News of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Pittsburgh area, counsel from its leaders, and reflections from its members.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Entrepreneurs' Growth Conference

Some folks work for others; some are self-employed, or want to be. Every year Duquesne University holds an Entrepreneurs' Growth Conference for those who fall in the latter category—to "empower entrepreneurs" who are "building businessses." It is the biggest conference of its type in the Pittsburgh region. This year's conference is on June 5. The conference features "dozens of workshops & live demonstrations, a business-building trade show, networking opportunities, and lots of workshops for every type of business." In the interest of full disclosure, I work for Duquesne University.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Tornados in the Region

Today's Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported that among cities with populations over 100,000 Pittsburgh is the 7th most tornado-prone. PA is the 17th most tornado-prone state, averaging about 20 tornadoes per year. Westmoreland and Crawford Counties are the hot spots. The height of the tornado season in our region is from mid-May to mid-June. The worst tornado ever to hit our region killed 76 people as it ripped through northeastern OH and northwestern PA on May 31, 1985.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Home Storage Order Form

The Church is still urging the Saints to store a year's supply of food, three months' worth of the things you normally eat and a nine-month supply of commodities that have a long storage life. These are the commodities available from the Home Storage Center. The Church has now made available a home storage order form to assist you in planning your purchases. The form lists the commodities available and their current prices. The form automatically tallies the cost as you enter items on the form. Some commodities are also available by mail from the Distribution Center. Home storage will give you peace of mind. Consider using any tax refund you may get to build up your home storage.

Grocery Shopping for the Needy

Some wards and branches don't receive deliveries from the bishops' storehouse. Even for some that do there are times when a need can't wait for a bishop's order from the storehouse. In such cases groceries may need to be purchased locally. The following ideas on ways to accomplish this came out of the March 25 Relief Society Welfare Forum:

1. Use a credit card to make the purchases, then turn in the receipt for reimbursement.
2. Set up an account at a grocery store that will bill the ward or branch. This may be possible only at smaller, family-owned stores.
3. Prepare a shopping list, perhaps using the bishops' order form, then have the needy family make their own purchases, using a credit card and returning the receipt for reimbursement and comparison with the approved list.
4. As appropriate, and with proper cautions to preserve confidentiality, delegate shopping to a counselor or a home or visiting teacher.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

OSU Extension's Financial Resources

When we were in MT this last week visiting our daughter she showed me resources on financial management from the MT State Extension Service. I wondered if similar resources existed from the extension services in the three states represented in our region. I checked, and found outstanding resources available from the Ohio State University Extension. "Keeping Track of Spending," "Manage Your Money," and "Some Option$ for Re$ourceful Living" are especially good. Check them out.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Still More from the Home Storage Center

Sister Marjorie Salem, Director of the Brecksville OH Home Storage Center, wrote on May 4 that "the Church has instituted a new policy whereby only someone who can run the cash register (Home Storage Center workers) can let anyone purchase any cannery items. " In the past, when wards and branches from our region have had assignments to work in the bishops' storehouse, they have also been able to return with items from the Home Storage Center. This is no longer the case. "It is too much responsibility to ask the storehouse staff to do this job.

"Also, because of the rush and the enormous demand we have been getting for food storage during the last 2-3 months, we are booking appointments now in late July/early August. Please understand we are booking multiple wards at the same times. One Saturday we had 8 wards at the cannery, and we still can't keep up with the rush."

"[At present] I only have 3 items left. We are completely out of everything except hot cocoa, fruit punch mix and onions. It has been so crazy lately that we have to pre-order everyone's order 6-8 weeks ahead of time to get it on the following month's truck. We only get one delivery per month—example: I would have to order food during the first week in May for delivery during the 3rd week of June. They have been sending a semi truck and between the storehouse and Home Storage Center we are at the weight limit and they can't send any more cannery items. Once the pre-ordered items are set aside, I am generally out of everything else within 10 days. I won't be working again this week at the cannery because I am out of everything and our next truck doesn't come until May 16th, and then the rush starts. (Basically, I have been scheduling appointments around the truck delivery times.)"