Staff Spotlight: Jamie Bryson

If you’ve been to one of our events you’ve probably met Jamie and instantly recognized her enthusiasm for Sweet Cheeks and people in general. She always has a smile and kind word which makes her the perfect person to help coordinate our volunteers. We need over 200 man hours each month to get our diapers out the door and Jamie makes sure we’ve got everything covered and that people are excited to come wrap diapers. We’re lucky to have her on the team!

Jamie Mack staff picName: Jamie Bryson (Mack)

Day Job: Cengage – Content Developer

Sweet Cheeks Role: Volunteer Coordinator

Why are you excited to be a part of the Sweet Cheeks Team? I had been looking for a way to give back to the Cincinnati community since moving here a few years ago. The mission of Sweet Cheeks is one that I love to share with others because it helps individuals and ties them into such important services through other agencies as well. The individuals I work with in this venture are such incredible givers, it is so exciting to be a small part and link arm and arm with them in pursuit of making a difference!

Tell us about your kid(s)/kids you love: I don’t have any children of my own yet, but my favorite thing that I love about kids, especially my niece and nephew, is their incredible energy and unrelenting happiness that they share with others! They are not weighed down by any issues that adults so often get upset over, and their smiles are contagious! I love seeing the world through their eyes!

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? Madagascar, because the natural beauty and encountering unique species would be quite the adventure!

What are you reading right now? You Are a Bad Ass at Making Money- Jen Sincero

If you had one extra hour of free time a day, how would you use it? I would spend it reading a good book and drinking a delicious glass of wine (or coffee if the time was in the morning!)

If there were a holiday in your honor what would it celebrate? March 20th—My Birthday is the holiday that exists in my honor and celebrates ME! Birthdays are the BEST DAYS and should be celebrated longer than one day with all of your most favorite things, doing exactly what YOU want to do– no questions asked!

 

Staff Spotlight: Our First Intern!

We are thrilled to introduce our new intern: Megan Kolida. She is coming on to help us at a critical time in our growth, and we are so happy to have her on board. Here’s a little more about Megan:

Megan Kolida Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank InternName: Megan Kolida
Day Job: Community Relations Coordinator at Performance Honda
Sweet Cheeks Title: Intern

Tell us a little more about your background and where you want to go with your degree: I grew up in Cincinnati and graduated from Oak Hills High School in 2005. I decided not to attend college right out of high school and took a *brief* 7-year hiatus from learning. I started at Cincinnati State in 2011, then transferred to the University of Cincinnati in 2013. My time at UC was short-lived, and I eventually transferred back to Cincinnati State and completed my Associate’s Degree.
I will be starting my Bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies in August. I hope to be prepared to work at a non-profit organization upon completing my degree.

Why did you want to work with SCDB? When I was reviewing a list of non-profit organizations that were looking for interns provided by my Intern Advisor, they all seemed too big for the kind of learning experience I was looking for. After reading more about Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank and learning more about the assistance they provide to families in the community, I knew it was the kind of organization that I would like to learn from.

What do you hope to do in the future? In the future, I would really like to work for a non-profit organization with a focus on something I am very passionate about, which is education.

What are you most looking forward to learning and doing at SCDB? EVERYTHING! ☺️ I am really excited about learning how Sweet Cheeks, or any non-profit for that matter, runs on the support of the community. I would like to see how that support comes to life from informing the community about the cause to gaining contributions, then maintaining that relationship.

What are you reading right now?  The Handmaid’s Tale

If you had one extra hour of free time a day, how would you use it? Laying on a blanket at Ault Park.

If there were a holiday in your honor, what would it celebrate? Get In Your Car & Drive With Your Music Up Loud Day

Welcome to the Sweet Cheeks family, Megan!

Sponsor Spotlight: Performance Lexus

Performance Lexus

It’s no secret that Sweet Cheeks wouldn’t exist without the support of our incredible Greater Cincinnati community. Today we’d like to tell you a little more about our annual sponsor Performance Lexus. From our very first meeting it has been clear that the folks at Lexus care as much about keeping the babies in our community healthy, happy and safe just as much as we do. Dan Kommeth, General Manager of the Kings Auto Mall location, said “Performance Lexus exists not only to sell and service automobiles, but to also be part of the community at large. We are successful because our employees and our organization give back to those that need our help in the Cincinnati area.”

And it’s not only local dealers who are getting into the giving spirit. Once local dealers decide which children’s charities to donate to, Lexus matches the donation through their Pursuit of Potential program (which has donated over 2.5 million so far!). “When the ‘diaper gap’ was brought to our attention, it seemed like the perfect fit for some of our charitable efforts,” Kommeth said. “Lexus is passionate about children’s charities. They want the local dealers to find the most impactful ways we can help the next generation in our communities. Sweet Cheeks is instrumental in making sure children get off to the healthiest start possible and we know our contributions are having a huge positive effect on these children’s lives.” Lexus’ support is ensuring that we can get an entire month’s worth of diapers out the door, as well as put on our 2nd Annual Diaper Dash at the end of the summer.

Here at Sweet Cheeks we are grateful for the opportunity to serve others in our community, and it’s very special when we find another company that preaches gratitude. “One continual theme in our internal meetings is gratitude,” Kommeth said. “When we approach each day with the feeling of ‘I get to (insert task or job)’ instead of ‘I have to,’ we feel we are better prepared to serve our guests’ needs. That translates into a better guest experience and makes our business more successful. When we are more financially blessed, we are able to contribute more back to the community and the whole cycle begins over again.”

Lexus, we are so happy we GET TO partner with you to end diaper need in our community!

Staff Spotlight: Claire Ballinger

One of the biggest signs of our crazy growth over the past year is the addition of a part-time grant writer to our staff. Claire and I have been friends for somewhere around 18 years, were roommates through all of college (and made it through with our friendship intact!) and have been able to share of love of reading, writing and our English majors from Miami University. She will be coordinating both the strategy and writing pieces of our grant-writing efforts to help bring some much-needed capital to our diaper distribution program.

Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank StaffName: Claire Ballinger

Day Job: Academic librarian/ mom

Sweet Cheeks title: Grant Writer

Why are you excited to be a part of the Sweet Cheeks Team? I believe we are put on Earth to love one another, and especially to love the most vulnerable among us. Sweet Cheeks is helping mothers, fathers, and their children flourish, and that’s a wonderful thing.

Tell us about your kid(s): Libby is the coolest! She is 21 months old this week. She picks and eats mint leaves out of our garden, loves reading, and practically survives off of cheese. She has serious dance moves and is the only person on the planet who likes it when I sing. She’s my girl.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?   Iceland. The sheer, unadulterated beauty of the land there is enchanting. And I would love to see the Northern Lights with my own eyes.

What are you reading right now? Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files.

If you had one extra hour of free time a day, how would you use it? I’d go for a walk outside.

If there were a holiday in your honor what would it celebrate? Simple pleasures.

 

Staff Spotlight: Sarah Riffel

We have recently added not one, but TWO amazing new team members. We’re so excited to welcome Sarah to the team. She’ll be coordinating all our partner agencies, as well as developing strategy around which parts of our service area need more agencies so we can reach more children. She is super smart, has a passion for helping others (especially kids!) and is going to be a key asset for our team.

Name: Sarah RiffelSarah Riffel

Day Job: Stay at home mommy (Worked for Cincinnati Children’s hospital for the past 4 years as a Molecular Genetics technologist in the Heart Institute)

Sweet Cheeks Title: Partner Agency Coordinator

Why are you excited to be a part of the Sweet Cheeks Team? Having a baby changes your life in so  many ways.  I immediately felt a pull to help other mothers who may be struggling to take care of their innocent babies.  Being a part of the Sweet Cheeks team will give me the opportunity to help babies in the Cincinnati area stay safe and healthy, while also meeting like minded people along the way.

Tell us about your kid(s): I have a 15 month old son, Quinn.  He is a sweet, goofy ball of energy with white-blonde hair.  He loves music, reading books and singing E-I-E-I-O in his crib as soon as he wakes up in the morning.  

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?  I have been wanting to go to India for most of my adult life.  I believe that traveling is the best way to relate to others and learn about the world outside of Cincinnati.  India is full of life, gorgeous colors, amazing history and the birthplace of yoga.  

What are you reading right now? The Memory of Earth by Orson Scott Card

If you had one extra hour of free time a day, how would you use it? Something creative like sewing, painting or yoga

If there were a holiday in your honor what would it celebrate? Be kind whenever it is an option.

Usborne Books Fundraiser

Usbourne books fundraiserJoin Sweet Cheeks for a live, interactive Usborne Books Facebook party beginning Tuesday, June 7th at 9:00pm! Contact us at [email protected] and we’ll forward you the invite. Never heard of Usborne?  They publish awesome kids’ books that are truly unique (not just marketing mumble jumble here – these books are AMAZING!!).  It’s a half hour where you can learn about the books and there will be prize giveaways, too.

Not available at this time? No worries – shop the online catalog of books until midnight on Friday June 10th! – https://b5143.myubam.com/313553  50% of all sales from this party are going to go back to Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank–just make sure you order through that specific site!  

To help you out, we’ve put together a list of the Top 10 Usborne books, as selected by Sweet Cheeks moms (in no particular order!)

  1. That’s Not My Puppy…

…or pick your noun!  There are a ton of cute books in this series (and this is the only Usborne book that we’ve seen sold in actual stores!). So whether your child likes puppies or pirates or trucks or mermaids or kittens or bunnies – there is an option for them in this fun touch and feel series.

  1. All Better!

This is favorite! It allows small children to help make their animal friends feel better (with reusable and re-positionable stickers). These are the real deal too – the heavy duty stickers truly do last forever (even with pet fur stuck to them!)

  1. Shine-A-Light: On the Construction Site

This book series is like magic to our little ones – they simply shine a flashlight on the page and they can see the “inside” of things.  Just like the “That’s not my…”, this is also a series so a topic can be picked that your child is more interested in if dump trucks don’t do it for them.

  1. There’s a Mouse About the House!

This interactive book “tricks” kids into practicing their fine motor skills – by tracing the path a pesky little mouse takes throughout the book (with an actual mouse!)  Also – I am sure NO one has trouble with their kids having patience…but this books will help with that – you can’t turn the pages too quickly or skip them or else that pesky little mouse won’t be there!

  1. Wind-up Bus

This book has ACTUAL train tracks that go along with the story, and a wind up bus! The tracks can even be removed to create a large track to use for other play.

  1. Ted and Friends

Have a little one thats starting to learn to read?  BUY THIS. Enough said.

  1. Wipe Clean Alphabet and Numbers

There are a ton of books out there that are dry-erased based, but this by far beats any other we have seen.  The marker erases easily with a dry paper towel, and doesn’t leave ANYTHING behind!

  1. Hush-a-Bye Owl

Love this for all the babies out there!  It is touch and feel, but also looks like a toy.

  1. Pop-up Jungle

You haven’t seen a pop-up book until you see an Usborne pop-up book. Trust us.

  1. Muddle and Match book series

Split pages allow kids to create their own version of the story!  Such a fun way to let their imaginations run wild.

Staff Spotlight: Amy Boldt

There is nothing more fun than getting to regularly reconnect with someone you’ve known since junior high. When Amy decided to take on the hardest job in the world (stay-at-home mom), she quickly realized she was going to need something to become involved in outside of taking care of her sweet little boy. Her enthusiasm for Sweet Cheeks and willingness to take on one of the biggest and most critical aspects of our business has helped us move forward so quickly.

Amy and Jude Sweet Cheeks Diaper BankDay Job: Stay-at-home Mom

Sweet Cheeks Role: Diaper Drive Coordinator

Why are you excited to be part of the Sweet Cheeks team? I’m excited to be able to help out children in need, and become more active in the community.

Tell us about your kid(s): Jude, age 18ish months. He is a daredevil, and has already been to the ER for stitches. He will probably be the death of me–good thing he’s cute!

Which part of Sweet Cheeks’ current strategic plan are you most excited to work on?  I’m excited to get drives set up, although the process takes much longer than I anticipated!

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? Anywhere in the Caribbean, I love the beach.

What are you reading right now? The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy.

If you had one extra hour of free time a day, how would you use it? Reading.

If there were a holiday in your honor what would it celebrate?  Cats, chocolate, and Netflix! (super weird, I know…)

Staff Spotlight: Dave Thamann

We are so thankful to have Dave on the Sweet Cheeks team. He is logical, methodical, practical and is going to keep us on the straight and narrow. Some of the issues that we’ll be dealing with soon like Board of Directors insurance, warehouse insurance, and event insurance seem REALLY overwhelming to those of us who can barely figure out car insurance. To have that stress removed so we can focus on all the really great things that are going to actually be insured is amazing!

D. ThamannDay Job: Managing Editor for Insurance Information Service (part-time; semi-retirement)

Sweet Cheeks Role: Risk Management Director

Why are you excited to be part of the Sweet Cheeks team? I was not aware of the problem that Megan described and now that I am, that problem needs to be addressed and Sweet Cheeks seems to be the group to tackle the problem.

Tell us about your kid(s): My two daughters are grown adults now but I do have three great grandchildren: Liam (8); Hendrix (6); and Lucia (4).

Which part of Sweet Cheeks’ current strategic plan are you most excited to work on? I don’t have one item to single out—I am willing to work on and do whatever I can!

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? Historic sites in the U.S. and Europe since I am a history buff.

What are you reading right now? Cross Justice by James Patterson.

If you had one extra hour of free time a day, how would you use it? Ride my bike on the local bike trail.

Staff Spotlight: Andree Schell

We are so lucky to have a second creative genius on our team. When Andree volunteered to run the social media for Sweet Cheeks, it freed Megan up to spend more time on tasks that grow our business. The energy and passion she gives to creating a community of folks who want to make a difference in the lives of babies is infectious. We are so thankful to have her strategic mind to pull from!

Day Job: Director of Operations

Sweet Cheeks Role: Business Manager/Social Media Director

Why are you excited to be part of the Sweet Cheeks team? After giving birth to my son last year, the importance of supporting the community we as parents are part of became a top priority for me. Sweet Cheeks has allowed me to opportunity to use my strengths to help make a difference for parents in need.

Tell us about your kid(s): My son, August, is one year old and the sweetest little boy. He’s intuitive, creative, funny and smart. He lights up my life every day.

Which part of Sweet Cheeks’ current strategic plan are you most excited to work on? I’m really looking forward to building a community online through our social media campaign. I think it is increasingly important for all parents to know that no matter your background, we are all in this together.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? My husband stole my answer for this one! I’d love to travel to Thailand and Cambodia. I’m very intrigued by their art and culture and would love to immerse myself in them to learn more. And also for the food, who are we kidding?!?

What are you reading right now? Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J Ryan Stradal. I highly recommend this book. Especially for midwesterners.

If you had one extra hour of free time a day, how would you use it? Can I have two? Hah! If I had one extra hour I would use to either sleep, garden, read, or work on art. I suppose it would depend on my mood.

If there were a holiday in your honor what would it celebrate? This is a tough one, but a holiday in my honor would probably be a little like Earth Day. We’d plant trees and flowers, play with and pet all the animals, and run around outside in the sunshine. We’d also eat our weight in pasta, guilt free.

Sweet Cheeks + The Flying Pig Marathon

Sweet Cheeks + The Flying Pig

It’s no secret we have a thing for flying pigs (I mean how cute is Morty, our diaper-wearing piggy mascot??). So we’re pretty excited to have some wonderful opportunities to fundraise AND help make Cincinnati’s annual Flying Pig Marathon a huge success at the same time. There are TWO ways you can support Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank and get involved–one involves cash and the other involves your time. We hope you’ll choose both!

#1 The Piggest Raffle Ever

This raffle is the easiest (and cutest!) raffle you’ll ever do. Simply purchase a Pig for $5 each on behalf of Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank (from the drop-down menu). For each Pig purchased, you have a chance to win on Flying Pig Marathon Weekend and the charity you select receives 100% of your donation! And new this year–more pigs for your money. Order 6 or 12 PIGS and get a discount PLUS end up with more chances to win! Here’s what it looks like on the Piggest Raffle Ever page:

Piggest Raffle Ever Flying Pig Marathon

So what do you win? If your numbered Pig is the first selected when thousands of Pigs are dropped on Friday, April 29, 2016 at the post-race of the Little Kings Mile, YOU will win$5,000 Cash and the charity for which you purchased the Pig (that’s us!!) will also receive $5,000 Cash! You do not need to be present to win but everyone is welcome to join the Pig Drop!

#2 Green Team Volunteers

We need 30 volunteers to help clean up the finish and post-recovery area of the Flying Pig on Sunday May 1st from 11am-3pm. You don’t need any special skills, and will receive an official Flying Pig volunteer shirt too. The really exciting thing? If we provide 30 volunteers from Sweet Cheeks, we get a $500 donation!! So what are you waiting for? Follow the instructions below to get signed up for a great afternoon of fun.

  1. Follow the direct link to our online volunteer registration site:http://volunteer.getmeregistered.com/events/open_opportunities.php?id=190
    OR you may visit our website to access the registration site: http://flyingpigmarathon.com/get-involved-2/volunteers/
  2. Find and select Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank from the Group list.
  3. Complete Required Volunteer Information.
  4. Use “diaper” as the group password when asked near the end of the form.
  5. Click “Get Me Registered” to submit your information.