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This Holiday Wish Guide™ feature is brought to you by The Salvation Army Chicago

The holiday season is an important time here at Rock Father HQ. I often write about holiday traditions, activities and of course, my annual Holiday Wish Guide™. For many families, their wish is simple - to have a roof over their heads and food on the table. The Salvation Army Chicago can help with that - serving communities in Chicago, Northern Illinois, and Lake County, Indiana by providing emergency financial assistance, grocery assistance through local food pantries; educational and recreational programs for children, adults and seniors; in addition to leadership training and character development programs for youth. One thing we make very clear to our daughters is that the season is one of giving, and whenever we see the familiar Red Kettle, The Rock Daughters™ drop some coins and often get a chance to ring the bell.

They say that "friendship is magic," and with that in mind, Hasbro - makers of MY LITTLE PONY - celebrated International Friendship day by unveiling what they're calling their first "brand anthem" for MY LITTLE PONY, titled ‘Through the Eyes of a Friend.’ It's social experiment that invited parents to hear how their child was doing in school; and surprised them with a report card from their child’s best friend. Check out that video below, but keep scrolling as there's much more...

As the June 16 release of Disney•Pixar's Cars 3 approaches, various partners are getting in on the action, and today it's Subway, along with Joe Gibbs Racing driver Daniel Suárez. The NASCAR driver, who voices "next generation racer" Daniel Swervez in Cars 3, rolled into the Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club of Greater Charlotte for a special after school event.  Suárez fired-up his specially branded Subway/Cars 3 stock car for the children in attendance, after speaking with them about the importance of maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle. 

Published in Rock Father Rides

Star Wars 40th AnniversaryAnnounced today on ABC's Good Morning AmericaStar Wars: Force For Change has teamed up with Omaze to launch Star Wars “Past, Present and Future” — a new fundraising campaign to benefit UNICEF and Starlight Children’s Foundation — in honor of the saga’s 40th Anniversary celebration. The new initiative will give Star Wars fans a shot at winning three "once-in-a-lifetime" experiences, including an appearance in the upcoming untitled Han Solo Star Wars Story, tickets to the world premiere of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, or an overnight stay at Skywalker Ranch. Each week, a new prize will be awarded to a randomly-selected winner, and at the end of the campaign, one randomly-selected grand prize winner will be awarded all three Force-filled experiences. Check out the announcement video featuring Daisy Ridley (Rey) and Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) below...

Published in Movies, TV and More

I never knew the feeling prior to becoming a parent, but once you have children, there is nothing more important - nor terrifying - than the health and well-being of your little ones. My wife and I have been fortunate to have had no major issues thus far, but for so many others, the journey has been much harder. You always hear the saying "the struggle is real," and for one family near Boston, indeed - the struggle is not only very real, but a series of battles that started before the birth of their son, Ari "Danger" Schultz. Their little guy was identified as having heart issues while still in the womb, and he soon became the first person to ever undergo two successful heart surgeries before birth. Now four years old, Ari just received a new heart this month (after 211 days on the waiting list) and is going through some harsh "rejection" as his body works to accept his new organ. As if being entrenched in an ongoing war for their son's life wasn't enough (in addition to raising other children), Ari's family was dealt another blow when they recently found that their home is a "tear-down" thanks to extensive water damage, black mold and fungus. Sadly, their insurance will hardly cover it, and because of that, a GoFundMe account has been established to help them on their way. Check out the video below...

Published in James' Journal

If you watch the news, it's easy to feel down about a lot of things, and that's why I like to highlight some good news - like the occasions when an organization that I respect is making waves by doing good. The folks at Mattel are in the business of making children happy, and that extends well beyond simply making toys. One such initiative has been the UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital, and this week, Mattel announced a $50 million gift to UCLA Health that will fund an expansion of the facility, and "help establish a world-class pediatric care center and research hub focused on improving children's health."

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