Posts tagged with "Geography"

Dad creates entertaining board game bed sheets for hospitalized children

May 7, 2019

After visiting a friend’s sick child in the hospital, Kevin Gatlin, a father himself, had an innovative idea—to create a way for hospitalized kids to learn and have fun while they are confined to bed all day. Now, his company, Playtime Edventures of Monroe, North Carolina, is entertaining kids nationwide, regardless of their circumstances, with interactive bedding and slumber bags.

The idea to make game-themed bed sheets came from a visit to the hospital, but was sparked by a family tradition. “Because of space, my wife would use our son’s bed as a desk,” Gatlin, who is from Charlotte, North Carolina, told CBS News. “They would do homework, play games or just watch movies. But, it wasn’t until I visited [a child] hospitalized for a long period of time did I realize that there was very little stimulation for kids confined to their hospital beds and rooms.”

Gatlin’s mother is a retired teacher, and she suggested making the games on the bed sheets educational. Gatlin enlisted the help of three teachers, a child physiologist and a family doctor to create Playtime Therapy Bed Sheets, which “provide kids a place where they could play, learn, sleep and heal.” According to Gatlin, it took more than two years to design the sheets, which have over 50 interactive games printed on them.

Each part of the bedding supports different types of learning. The pillows feature images and sentences that encourage kids to create stories. The flat sheet features giant board games, positive affirmations and colorful shapes. The fitted sheet is covered in mazes, word finding puzzles, games like checkers and tic-tac-toe, four different languages, math, grammar and geography.

“I wanted the sheets to have so many things for kids to do that they would never get bored playing with them,” Gatlin said. For game pieces, kids can use ordinary objects like coins or paper, or printable cut-outs from the Playtime Edventures website.

Donating has always been an important part of the company — Gatlin’s first order of bedding was donated to the Charlotte (North Carolina) Salvation Army for Women and Children.

Now, people all over the country buy the bedding to donate to children’s hospitals and hospices, shelters, juvenile centers, orphanages, group homes and summer camps. Bed sheets even can be purchased at a reduced cost ($24.99) and directly donated to hospitals and shelters.

Gatlin said the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive from both parents and hospital staff. “I’m truly happy my rbed sheets have provided a valuable service to those who deserve it,” he said. “The blessings in life come from giving not receiving.”

Gatlin still has a few more ideas on how his bed sheets can reach even more people. “I would love the opportunity to speak with the Red Cross and FEMA about providing our bed sheets during natural disasters,” he said. “Seeing families confined to shelters with nothing to do — I believe our bed sheets could provide some distraction during those hard times.”

Research contact: @CBSNews

Community involvement is linked to financial security

February 26, 2018

Nearly seven in 10 Americans (69%) say community involvement is important to their overall well-being— and nearly half (48%) agree that being involved in communities improves their finances, based on findings of a nationwide poll of 10,000 adults released by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance on February 15.

This new body of research – You Get What You Give: The MassMutual 2018 Financial Wellness and Community Involvement Study – examines the intersection of community participation and financial well-being and strongly demonstrates that community involvement strengthens confidence in financial security.

The poll—conducted on behalf of MassMutal by PSB Research—found that, even during tough times, Americans find a way to support each other. Indeed, today, the researchers say, four in 10 Americans feel anxious about their current and future financial security and think about their financial well-being daily. Yet, indicative of Americans’ community values, more than half (53%) report that they have supported someone in their community in a time of financial stress, and 25% have been supported by others in their community during a time of need.

In line with those findings, Americans clearly choose to make time for others. Nearly all Americans (95%) reported that they are involved in at least one community. Most are involved in a community with their family (86%), group of friends (65%) or neighborhood (50%). Those who place a premium on community involvement have unexpected benefits, with approximately six in 10 being either comfortable or confident in their current and future financial well-being.

Interestingly, Americans do not share the same definition of community. Respondents defined community in multiple ways, based on geography (81%), values (45%), culture (40%) and lifestyle (36%).

Community is also no longer just a physical thing; Americans are connecting with communities both online and in-person.  Most surprising in today’s digital world, regardless of age, Americans interact with their communities in-person, with the exception of political and interest-related communities.

No matter how they define community or participate in it, Americans agree that involvement in a community impacts multiple aspects of their lives. A majority report that community participation improves their social and family lives (88% and 82%, respectively).

“MassMutual began out of a concern for community in 1851, when our founders first started offering coverage to help their neighbors secure their future and protect the ones they love,” said Roger Crandall, MassMutual chairman, president and chief executive officer. “More than a century and a half later, we are still driven by that same purpose, and this study shows it is more relevant than ever. Our research clearly indicates that by Living Mutual—coming together and relying on each other—we can make our communities stronger and our lives more secure and fulfilling.”

Research contact: ptremblay@massmutual.com