Community Outreach

Volunteers Wanted at School on Wheels


Scrutinizing consumer reports for the perfect backpack. Eagerly awaiting your child’s classroom and teacher assignment. Turning bargain shopping for school supplies into an artform. Yes, getting the kids off to school can be stressful, but it is typically a really exciting time for a family--a time of anticipation, new beginnings, and hope for the future.

Now imagine not knowing how you will ever afford a backpack or school supplies. Imagine not knowing which school your child will attend because you aren’t sure where you will sleep tonight. Unfortunately, this is the reality for nearly 5,000 homeless students in Indianapolis. The barriers and challenges facing homeless students can be incredibly overwhelming, but there is one local organization trying very hard to erase some of those barriers.


For the past 15 years, School on Wheels has been striving to provide one on one tutoring and educational advocacy for school-aged children impacted by homelessness. The non-profit, founded by Sally Bindley, serves as a “homework club” for some of the city’s most vulnerable students and also assists with backpacks, uniforms, and other educational needs. School on Wheels also assists the parents of homeless students who face their own host of challenges, and tries to empower them to be their child’s best educational advocate.

In the organization's first year, they were able to tutor at one shelter and reach about 50 students. This past year, however, School on Wheels operated in 13 partner locations and served just under 430 students.  That kind of reach relies heavily on volunteerism. “We couldn’t operate without volunteers”, said Volunteer Manager Samantha Breeling, “They are the heart and soul of what we do. They are the wheels on the school of wheels.” Volunteers can serve as volunteer tutors but also in administrative and support roles. This is an opportunity for the whole family to get involved. Children ages 11-13 are allowed to volunteer along with their parent or guardian, and children age 14 and older are allowed to volunteer alone with parental permission.


As you prepare your own family to head back to school, it is a great time to reflect on the challenges other local families may face at this time of year. If you feel fortunate enough to be in a position to help, School on Wheels wants you!


Do you have what it takes to be a volunteer?


Volunteers are asked to commit to one hour a week for one Semester. School on Wheels tries very hard to accommodate the schedules of its volunteers with tutoring shifts available during the day as well as later evenings.

Tutoring locations:



Volunteers are required to submit to a background check, complete a tutor application, and participate in a short phone interview. If accepted, volunteers will attend a two and a half hour tutor training.

 Complete the application here:


Not ready to volunteer yet but want to stay connected? Follow School on Wheels on social media:


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Green BEAN Delivery...Delivers


Where was all this passion coming from? The sheer level of enthusiasm and excitement and just love exuding from the end of the table at Green BEAN Delivery last month was contagious at best as Matt Ewer spoke to theCityMoms.


Wait, let me back up for a minute.

We arrived at GBDHQ – that’s Green BEAN Delivery Headquarters – ready for a special CityMoms-only lunch and learn session with Matt Ewer and Beth Blessing, founders and owners of Green BEAN Delivery.

Wait, let me back up yet another minute.

The second the invitation hit my inbox, I knew it was bound to be a hit. We, theCityMoms, were being invited to GBDHQ for a lunch, meet-and-greet with the owners, nutritional walk-through and discovery of their services. And with all of the “I don’t have time some weeks to grocery shop” and “I just wish there was a convenient delivery service that also believes in good food for my fam” conversations that had been swirling back and forth on theCityMoms’ private members-only page, this invite was going to become a very hot ticket for our moms indeed.


We announced it and immediately had 20 members ready to go. Rarely do we find events packed with that much immediate panache {unless of course it involves some kind of Ryan Gosling viewing because then, well…} but this did it.

As a fan of Green BEAN for close to 3 years, I’ve watched them grow from compact-sized to starting-to-hedge-national-status level, and couldn’t wait for our moms to see and hear firsthand.

The entire Green BEAN family was out to greet us as we arrived – the founders/owners, customer service, marketing, PR team and more. Lunch was spread out with goodies from some of our local favorites like Smoking Goose, Moveable Feast and more, but once Matt started speaking, our entire group of chatty-Cathy moms hushed.

“We’re parents. So we get it,” said Matt. “We’re trying to raise our kids healthy too so we like to think that we’ve brought this same level of expectation and family value to our company.”


In extreme short – and a description meant to really whet your palette so you investigate more: Green BEAN Delivery is a simple grocery delivery service. With a primary focus on organic fruits and vegetables, boxes are pre-loaded on a weekly basis with a selection of primarily in-season produce, but customizable if someone at home hates, say kiwi {ahem, mwah}. Shoppers can add and delete items at will, including some from the vast selection of general grocery items, bulk goods, meats, dairy and more. “Household items are definitely something we get asked about – we’re looking into it,” says Matt.

The greatest thing about Green BEAN Delivery is the ease of customizing. “That was important to us too,” the founders spoke. “How do we make it easier for our customers? We like to think of ourselves as a tech company who likes to get dirty.”

But our adventure to GBDHQ was about more than just learning the basics of the service.

Owner Beth – also a licensed dietitian – walked our group through the steps to make a mason jar salad, more Pinterest-worthy than I can explain. Whoever thought salad-eating was this simple, by loading all the dressing first, the savory/heavy items in the next layer, followed by the greens. When ready to eat, simply shake to combine and voila.

Then she talked us through healthy lunch options for our kids; suggestions that in my 8 years of parenting left me thinking why didn’t I think of that?

Meat jerky instead of the same-ole’ sandwiches.  Salted nuts as protein stand ins. Mini yogurts {here’s looking at you Trader’s Point Creamery} with individual helpings of granola, fruit and more. My go-to sandwich with pretzels and cookies were dying a quick and fiery death.


But what really hit at the heart of the matter was Matt’s simple declaration to our crew: “Green BEAN Delivery is about evolution, not revolution.” Boom. For them it’s about continuing to evolve the service, the products they provide and the outreach to the community {which in and of itself could comprise an entirely different post!}.

If we weren’t already sold, then the sheer chatter of the moms who attended back at our theCityMoms private member forum was enough to rile up even more new signups.

I know I personally have loved being a Green BEAN customer, even so much as when a few spare chocolates showed up in my weekly bin one day with a love note from GBD Marketing Manager James. It’s this level of passion we saw on display at our lunch and learn, and the same level you see brought to the table at every corner.

Thank you Green BEAN Delivery for offering such peek behind your curtain. Now excuse us – we have some brussel sprouts and tangelos to devour.




MORE INFO: Green BEAN Delivery offers weekly, bi-weekly and other delivery options. Bins are available beginning at $28 and can be customized to your heart’s content. Sign up today as a new customer using the code CITYMOMS15 and save $15 on your first bin purchase. Offer is valid thru 5/31/2016.


theCityMoms would like to thank Green BEAN Delivery for their wonderful hospitality and Dittoe Public Relations for not only their extreme patience but also their ongoing kindness to our network of moms. 

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Things We Are Talking About {week of march 30}
We have a private chat forum for our members - it's a place where we connect in the days between physical meetups, get advice, share ideas and talk about all things motherhood. And here's what was on the minds of our theCityMoms this week, the week of March 30th:
  • Spring has definitely sprung in Indianapolis, and we are investing in all opportunities to enjoy it. Our moms chatted about great, non-candy ideas for Easter baskets and came up with: bubbles, new swimsuits, goggles, kites, play-doh, toy cars and books.

  • Visit Indy has installed a fabulous logo sculpture at Washington + West Streets downtown, encouraging visitors to take photos and share with #LoveIndy. More here.
  • This week we enjoyed an amazing rose tasting, charcuterie plates and {of course} chatter at anexclusive MNO with Cerulean Indy. They really rolled out the red carpets to make our moms feel cared for. And the goat cheese pinwheel desserts topped off our tummies. Thank you Cerulean! 

CityMoms enjoying a rose tasting and presentation by helper Jeff at Cerulean
Bring the family to the Green Family Fair on Sat, 4/18

So what's on deck for us this weekend? First Saturday Member Mornings at the Children's Museum where members receive admission one hour earlier than the public, Family Day at the IMAyoga downtown at the Indy Winter Farmers Market {instructed by CityMom Anne!}, an Easter egg hunt at the Indianapolis Propylaeum, a free egg hunt at Fishers Station and the Superhero Magic Show at Lawrence Branch Library. Whatever you and your family are up to, enjoy a lovely holiday weekend!
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Macy's National Believe Day and 'Yes Virginia' Giveaway

TODAY is National Believe Day. 


What is it? it is the day that Macy's and The Make-A-Wish Foundation team up to grant wishes to deserving kids all across the country. 

During the holiday season Macy's gives $1 to Make-A-Wish for EVERY letter written and dropped off to Santa in their stores and via their web site. On December 12th they are doubling their donation to $2 for every single letter. 

This is an amazing, and very simple way, for you to spread the holiday spirit with your children.

Macy's has also set up a national social media hub to track all the amazing events taking place on this special day. You can check it all out at:

Join in the fun and giving by tweeting or facebooking a message to the kids being granted wishes today using these hashtags: 

  • #Macys
  • #NationalBelieveDay
  • #MacysNationalBelieveDay
  • #MakeAWish

In Indy, Macy's is celebrating with a special visit from Colt's Player Reggie Wayne, at it's Castleton location today!

Visit the Hugo Boss shop at Macy's in the Castleton Square Mall this evening to meet Reggie in person.

  • Between 6-8pm he will write his Letter To Santa and drop it in the Macy's mailbox.

theCityMoms really want our readers to help Macy's make this a magical day by raising as much as possible for The Make-A-Wish Foundation!

theCityMoms & Macy's
Yes Virgina
We are excited to offer a very special giveaway, sponsored by Macy's, to one of our socially active readers. That lucky reader will a 'Yes Virgina' gift pack that includes: $50 Macy's Gift Card, DVD, Book, Doll & a Believe Stocking & Ornament!
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Greening The Statehouse- Are You An Environmental Advocate?

zhero.jpg#GreeningTheStatehouse #JoshFox #GasLand

Are you concerned about our state's air and water quality for your children? 

Do you dream that there will be beautiful Indiana landscapes and clean lakes and streams for their children? 

Please join Hoosier Environmental Council forGreening the Statehouse, Indiana's largest annual gathering for environmental advocates. 

Though Indiana has made strides in improving our environment, our state still faces threats from such toxins as coal ash, factory farm waste, mining runoff and legacy industrial waste. As we head into 2015, all Hoosiers who care for our air, land, and water must stand together to protect our environment. 
Learn how to be an effective environmental advocate at Greening the Statehouse 2014

Save $5 on registration with discount code: CityMoms

Event Details:
Greening the Statehouse Details:
Saturday, October 25 8:30 – 11:30 am
IMAX Theatre at the Indiana State Museum
650 West Washington Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204
A light breakfast will be served and underground parking at the Indiana State Museum will be validated
General admission: $30; Students: $15
Facebook |Twitter | YouTube

Renee Sweany
Thank You to Renee Sweany for telling us about this opportunity to get involved with the Hoosier Environmental Council & Greening The Statehouse 2014. You can stay up to date with GREEN happenings all over Indy by following Renee onTwitter.
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theCityMoms Dream Big and Introduce A New Community Initiative


"It's just… there are NO groups for the expecting mom. And what's more nerve-wracking than expecting a baby when you don't have anyone around to help? When your friends 
haven't had babies yet? What do you do?" <-- this was the beginning of the discussion for us at theCityMoms, and our newest Event Planner Rachel was leading

 the charge. 

She was right. There are expectant mom groups in Indianapolis run {lovingly} by doctor offices or hospitals. But if someone wanted a social group or something to help ease them in to the discussion of impending motherhood, Google turned up NOTHING. We had discussed the idea of a Bump Club since last fall but with other initiatives taking priority, it finally became time for this:

Maybe you saw our BIG ANNOUNCEMENT this week… We're excited to launch a new initiative called theBumpClub, designed just for expecting moms.

Makes sense, right? theCityMoms is Indy's largest moms group, with almost 500 experienced mothers. 500 I've been there moms. 500 I haven't slept a wink moms. 500 I've tried everything moms. 500 seriously will anything make them stop crying moms. Why not use this knowledge, reach out to expecting moms and offer them our wisdom and support? So with theBumpClub, new moms or moms-to-be for the 2nd or 5th time are welcome to join us. And we promise all will find something that appeals to them and their motherhood journey.
Almost all of these events will be FREE of charge - it's important to us that our moms not be required to pay high fees for something that should be fun!
Know what? You do not need to be a member of theCityMoms to attend theBumpClubevents {but you will want to after you see all of the fun, support and perks we have for our members!}.

theBumpClub will offer:

Two events each month: 
  • One with a forward-looking education focus {diapering, breastfeeding, pregnancy needs} 
  • Another with a fun & social focus {pampering anyone?!}. 
  • Real Mom Roundtables
  • Discounted theCityMoms Membership
  • the same supportive and loving feeltheCityMoms have offered since March 2013
It is a great way to meet other expecting mamas in your area, with similar due dates, fears & expectations while learning about motherhood in a non-judgmental, supportive environment. 


Our mission is to provide a support community & events calendar available to any and all moms in the Indianapolis area. We have all been in those stretched out, cankle wielding shoes of pregnancy and want expecting moms to know that we are here for you. 

Join us for our first official theBumpClub lunch on Saturday, July 19th at The Cheesecake Factory in Indianapolis.  RSVP onFacebook or email to reserve your spot. Stay tuned for future event announcements to pop up very soon.

Please share this event with all of your expecting mom friends too!

Psssst: If you are a local business owner who is interested in offering a meeting space or information to our club please contact our BumpClub team by email:

theCityMoms Team of Organizers
Find out more about our team and how to get involved here.
Follow us on twitter @thecitymoms
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It's Time To Make A {Diaper} Change
#DiaperChange | #ChangingTables | #CityMomInitiative
My 19 month old daughter and I walked into a family friendly restaurant recently to enjoy a mommy-daughter lunch.  I had forgotten her “bag of goodies” to keep her occupied but knew she would be fine because each table included a paper table cloth with crayons. It screamed kid-friendly!  I ordered our food and then proceeded to color as we settled in for a lovely lunch. 

A few minutes into color-fest, my daughter stopped what she was doing and got the contemplative look on her face that can only mean one thing.  This was not a cause for concern because we were prepared!
 I had the diaper bag with all the necessary supplies AND we were in a family friendly restaurant.
So, off to the women’s bathroom we went.  To my surprise, there was no changing table.  How could this be?  This was an establishment that has plenty of high chairs, crayons at each table and a fabulous kid’s menu. 
I decided we had a few options:
  1. Change the poopy diaper at our seat while offending the other patrons but also making a point to the restaurant.
  2. Change the diaper in the car and then return to finish lunch, knowing I would be upset the rest of the time.
  3. Get our food to go, politely remind the restaurant of their need for a changing table and then make the drive home to change the diaper and eat.
As fired up as I felt about the situation, I went with option three hoping it would still make my point – we were leaving BECAUSE they did not have a sanitary, convenient option to change my child’s diaper. 
As it turns out, when I polled my mom friends (thank you theCityMoms!), this situation is quite common and it does not stop there!  
There are many places that do have changing tables in the WOMEN’S bathroom but not in the MEN'S room. 
 I guess that means there is the assumption that dads don’t take out their diaper aged children without mom?  I think that could be a whole new blog post! 
How would you have handled the situation?  

How can we {as in all caregivers} persuade so-called family friendly restraunts to install changing tables in their bathrooms? 
Share your opinion right here as a blog comment or share this post and give your opinion on Twitter orFacebook

Kristi Shea
Mom to one and one on the way. Kristi is a native Hoosier via Evansville who has called Indy home since '99. When she is not chasing her sweet toddler around she loves studying Spanish and planning her family's next road trip. Follow Kristi on Pinterest!
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7 Ways To Give Back & Help Others In Your Community
When I was three years old my dad started a charitable program that helped give children, in my community, a Christmas that they would not have had otherwise. I would go around town with him while he was collecting donations. 
#giving back | #helping | #community 
As soon as I was old enough I was shopping for these other kids, wrapping their gifts, and eventually delivering them to the families myself. 

Working with this program was something I looked forward to every year; seeing the joy on these parents’ faces and knowing that I was helping them give their children something special was such a rush.
"{My parents} instilled in me, at a very young age, the power of helping others. Giving back. Thinking of others before myself."
You’re probably wondering why I tell you this. My point is that my mom (a Registered Nurse) and my late father (a policeman) instilled in me, at a very young age, the power of helping others.
Giving back. Thinking of others before myself. And now that I am a mom to two young children I want to instill the same values. My husband and I are active volunteers in our community and we try to get our kiddos involved in any way we can.

Are you looking for something to do with your little ones this summer? A way to give back to your community, maybe? Here are a few things that you, as a family or just the kids, can do to help those around you: 

  • Visit your local animal shelter/humane society. Whether it’s helping them clean some liter boxes, mopping the floor, or even playing with some of the animals they are always looking for volunteers. (make sure to call first – some centers have age restrictions)
  • Host a canned food drive. It could be for your local food bank, a church ministry, or even an animal shelter/humane society. You could walk around your neighborhood and ask others to give OR even just donate some of the items you have around the house. 
  • Serve meals at a local homeless shelter. If your kids are old enough (usually around 16 or 17) they can come with you. I’ve done this before and it is so much fun!
  • Donate clothes/toys to shelters. Most of them are willing to take what you have; calling first to see what’s on the top of their list is always a good idea.
  • AMVETS or other military support organizations will take items from your home and give them to our Veterans in need. Pots, pans, clothes, stuffed animals, exercise equipment – they will take pretty much ANYTHING you have to give. Have the kids go through their old things and pick something out to donate. 
  • Clean a park. Just take a trash bag (& gloves!) and walk around picking up liter on the ground. I did this with my Daisy Troop and the girls are STILL asking to take walks and pick up garbage during our meetings! 
  • Yard work. Help and elderly neighbor mow their lawn. Or plant some flowers. They will be so grateful and happy to have your assistance! 
“A simple act of kindness can make a tremendous impact on a person’s life.” – Anonymous 

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