Family Time
January, 2011 - Issue #75
Can your Family "Help for the Holidays?"
The Blue Star Mothers need new or gently-used handheld video games to send to our troops overseas. Scarves are on the American Cancer Society's wish list. Struggling moms and dads - clients of the Child & Family Center - are in desperate need of grocery-store gift cards. Circle of Hope is working hard to collect aloe-based hand cream for women undergoing radiation for breast cancer. And the list goes on.

It's easy to feel frazzled as you and your family struggle to finish shopping and holiday preparations. Things might even be "tighter" than you'd like. But for most of us, wondering if we can afford to purchase a tube of lotion to soothe chemo-ravaged skin isn't on our radar.

You and your family can make a real difference in a neighbor's life this holiday, and you don't need to spend much time or money to do it. (The experience might not even cost you a penny if you have some goodies - like blank journals - in your closet). The City of Santa Clarita has comprised a list of local nonprofits that are working overtime to provide for the increasing need in our community. These organizations have posted "wish lists" ranging from cookies to computers.

Visit to find a need you can comfortably fulfill. If you have kids, this is an excellent opportunity to teach - and model - both generosity and gratitude. Scan the list as a family and help make the holidays happier for someone in need.

Wish List
Domestic Violence Center:
Target, Walmart & Kmart gift cards

Santa Clarita Community Center:
children's toys & basic necessities

Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center:
volunteer food servers,
aerobics instructors & drivers

SCV Education Foundation:
"Read with Me!" volunteers & gently-used
children's books

SCV Emergency Winter Shelter:
lumber, insulation & siding

Boy Scouts of America:
"Scouting for Food" donations
to see the entire list.

Starting the New Year Healthy
Your friends at Good Neighbor Pharmacy of Santa Clarita Valley can help support your health and wellness resolutions (as well as those pledges to save money). The SCV locations offer thousands of ways to help keep you and your family safe and healthy while keeping costs low. The Valencia Wellness Center offers natural products to help boast immunity and fight stress. Manager Kim Wahl will work with you to find remedies and supplements to suit your personal health goals. At Valencia Medical Equipment and Supply, Joe and Tami can help you choose products to keep you and your family safe in the home. Saugus Drugs & Hallmark also offers home safety products and can help you meet your shopping and gift needs with a great selection and affordable prices. And all of the pharmacists at Saugus Drugs, Valencia Pharmacy and Valencia Town Center Pharmacy can help you be assured you are getting the most from your insurance coverage by offering delivery, assistance with insurance authorizations and refill reminder programs. Visit any of the Good Neighbor Pharmacies of SCV to get your New Year off to a safe and healthy start!
Valencia Pharmacy, Medical Equipment, and Valencia Wellness Center 255-7910
Valencia Town Center Pharmacy 291-1800
Saugus Drugs and Hallmark (with Postal Center) 296-3980

Together Time
Whip up some wholesome family experiences by making a simple, delicious banana bread with the kids. Even the youngest members of your family will enjoy squishing super-ripe bananas into the mix. Get ready to make a little mess - and a lot of memories! This recipe is courtesy of Diane Knight, owner of Lady Di's Cookies & Sweets, who makes this bread for family and friends.

Lady Di's Secret & Simple Recipe for Delicious, Moist Banana Bread
AŻ cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 AŻ tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
4 to 5 over-ripe bananas, mashed well

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugar, then add eggs and vanilla. Cream again. Add flour, baking soda and pinch salt. Mix on low only until incorporated. Add mashed bananas. Mix on low only until incorporated. Spray bread pan with nonstick cooking spray. Bake for approximately 55 minutes. Cool bread for 10 minutes in pan on wire rack. Remove from pan and continue cooling on wire rack. Enjoy!
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