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PostPosted: Thu Apr 01, 2010 12:33 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:40 pm
Posts: 2034
Location: ottawa
For the first time I ventured with our son to a special event gathering at the mall. There were pictures with the Easter bunny (he was having non of that) and crafts/colouring. What I wasn't prepared for (silly me) was that there was also an Easter treat collection from the mall stores. Because I'd met friends there I decided instead of just walking away which really accomplishes nothing to go to some stores and see if there was any non-food items. Our son is just over 2 1/2 so he doesn't get that it is candy being given out, he just gets now that he wants to take something too "hold, me hold". I got smart and when I entered a store I would whisper and ask if it was a food item then leave quicky after a simple 'he has allergies' explanation. I did have to leave our group of friends as that was becoming too difficult but when we finally we hit a store who brought out a basket of stickers I like a big dork had tears in my eyes. I could hear other kids groaning that this store had stickers but I was too busy saying thank you over and over to the store owner. He said he thought of kids with allergies and decided against food treats. One other store had pencils and two other stores dug sticker out from other occasions they had stashed in their drawers. One store owner felt awful but I said it wasn't a problem, he had a ticket gun in his hand so I said to just ticket our son's arm. That was the highlight of his morning, he has gone down for his nap now happily wearing several sale stickers.
I think I will send a letter to the mall regarding Halloween. I don't expect them to stop handing out food, our son has to understand what he can and can't have as he gets older. But I would like to suggest (after thanking them for putting on a great kids day) that stores consider have a small selection of non food items. For those that had stickers or pencils, THANK YOU!

_________________
DD 12 yrs -no allergies
4 yr old DS - asthma/eczema Anaphylactic to Peanuts, all tree nuts, sesame , all pea/lentil legumes, gelatin.
Allergic to trees, grass,ragweed, feathers, dander, mold and dust.
Outgrew eggs, fish, shellfish


Last edited by BC2007 on Wed Aug 18, 2010 7:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Easter at the mall
PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 8:49 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6455
Location: Ottawa
Which stores had non-edible hand outs? We want names!! :happydance
(if you happen to remember)
Quote:
I like a big dork had tears in my eyes.
:huggy
It's OK. I have those moments, too. Blame it on the tree pollen.

_________________
Moderator
Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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 Post subject: Re: Easter at the mall
PostPosted: Fri Apr 02, 2010 11:37 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:05 am
Posts: 641
Location: AB, Canada
I feel for you! Food is such a big part of EVERY event (I realize that Easter & Chocolate go together, but still), it can really make an otherwise fun even stressful/tearful. You handled it well, and you aren't a dork!

_________________
DSs 7,7,9 all PA


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 Post subject: Re: Easter at the mall
PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2010 4:51 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:40 pm
Posts: 2034
Location: ottawa
It was sooo worth it to email the mall. I sent them a very positive email thanking them for their community spirit and having great family days. After explaining the situation I did let them know that I was not in any way asking for these events to be non food events. I let her know that children with allergies do accept that there are things they just can't have. What I did ask was if it was possible for stores to be asked to consider having a small quantity of non food items on hand for those children unable to accept food treats. The director of marketing emailed me back already and said she thought peanut free treats would be a great idea. I emailed back letting her know I wasn't being ungrateful or critical (I am always worried that tone might be interpreted wrong with email so I try very hard to keep the positive implication clear) but peanut free still doesn't mean all children with allergies can have that treat. I explained that with the large range of food allergies most children with multiple allergies or especially those with a dairy or soy allergy still couldn't accept food treats. She responded that she thought it was a great idea to ask stores to have a supply of non food treats and she was totally open to this suggestion. She agreed that sales stickers from a ticket gun might get a little old over time :lol: .

If your mall has such days for Easter, Halloween etc. email them. There is time before Halloween to have the mall or your community center etc. take into account allergies etc. before planning begins. I don't think anyone ever intends to leave a child out, unless allergies affected their lives it wouldn't even occur to them. This forum has taught me so much. It has taught me not to walk away but to step up and ask for change. It has also taught me that when I do write to a company to be thankful, encouraging along with my suggestion or concern. It goes much further than putting people on the defensive. I am thankful every day for email. I can't even imagine trying to correspond with companies snail mail!!!!

_________________
DD 12 yrs -no allergies
4 yr old DS - asthma/eczema Anaphylactic to Peanuts, all tree nuts, sesame , all pea/lentil legumes, gelatin.
Allergic to trees, grass,ragweed, feathers, dander, mold and dust.
Outgrew eggs, fish, shellfish


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 Post subject: Re: Easter at the mall
PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 7:52 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:40 pm
Posts: 2034
Location: ottawa
Just bringing this up again...sorry Susan, I hope you don't mind.
With Halloween (I won't say around the corner :lol: ) but coming up soon enough :frightened I thought I'd remind others to contact their mall ahead of time if they would like to help encourage non-food items. I know most malls have some sort of event and most involve food. Our mall administrator was very positive and receptive to my emails regarding the possibility of some type of non food treats. I know these events are organized in advance which is why it's great to talk to them sooner than later.

_________________
DD 12 yrs -no allergies
4 yr old DS - asthma/eczema Anaphylactic to Peanuts, all tree nuts, sesame , all pea/lentil legumes, gelatin.
Allergic to trees, grass,ragweed, feathers, dander, mold and dust.
Outgrew eggs, fish, shellfish


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 11:07 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6455
Location: Ottawa
I don't mind at all! It does come fast after the back to school flurry.

The merchandise is already on some store shelves!

_________________
Moderator
Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 29, 2010 12:04 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:40 pm
Posts: 2034
Location: ottawa
WOW WOW WOW!! That is the best way I can describe the Halloween event at our mall this morning. As I wrote at Easter on this thread it was difficult for our DS to participate as not only was almost all the food unsafe, it was , well, all food.
I have been in contact a few times since Easter with the marketing coordinator for our mall and she was very open and empathetic to my suggestions regarding the possibility of having peanut free foods and non food items. I even stopped in her office once just to say hi in person and chat.

This morning I was just amazed at how much she had done to accomidate those with allergies. I tell you when I ran into her at the mall today she got a HUGE hug. :huggy

Firstly, our mall hands out a printed list of the stores participating in the Trick or Treat event with a map of the mall. On the map this year was a red star for stores participating and a yellow star for the stores who as well as participating with a food treat also had food had non-food items for those with multiple allergies. The reason the map actually stated the yellow stars were for those with multiple allergies and not allergies in general was - get this- she arranged it so the ENTIRE mall was only to hand out peanut free treats. The mall administration actually bought the treats and then the stores purchased them from the mall. :banana
So some treats were now safe for DS but for for the treats that still weren't safe I knew there were also stores to ask for a non food item.

It gets even better. I was expecting a sticker or a kids tattoo, no biggie any kids would love that. But to my surprise the mall co-ordinator had shopped herself at the dollar store and supplied each of the stores wishing to have a supply of non-food items. The goodies were wonderful, a note pad, a toque with a skeleton on it, a witch crazy straw, a tiny plastic pumpkin with a handle on it which DS has not let go of since her first received it and said 'OOOHHH COOOOOL'. He is napping in bed still holding onto it right now. :lol:

I never expected this and boy did I ever thank the stores which participated. One store I thought had non food items didn't and I was emphasizing it was ok but the store worker felt so badly she took a tiny toy from her own shelf and gave it to our son. She felt extra badly she said as her son who is grown now had a peanut allergy growing up and she felt that she should have thought of food free items herself.
What shocked the mall coordinator was when I let her know that some stores had run out of non food items. I said that this was a good thing and made me happy as it showed there was a great need for allergy safe treats. I imagine those kids with a soy or milk allergy were very happy and pleasantly surprised today.

It really does show that you need to speak up. If others aren't aware of an issue there is nothing they can do to change, become more inclusive. For those who really take the effort to accomidate those with allergies.... :thanksign
:happydance :happydance :happydance

_________________
DD 12 yrs -no allergies
4 yr old DS - asthma/eczema Anaphylactic to Peanuts, all tree nuts, sesame , all pea/lentil legumes, gelatin.
Allergic to trees, grass,ragweed, feathers, dander, mold and dust.
Outgrew eggs, fish, shellfish


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 29, 2010 1:06 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jul 05, 2010 11:37 am
Posts: 1523
Location: Alberta
I'm so glad for you. Most people really do want to help out, especially when it comes to kids...but they do have to be made aware first.

Way to go!!! You made a big difference with this and a lot of people happy that you'll never know about. :huggy :thumbsup You also gave me an idea or two.

Michele

_________________
Myself - Seasonal, cats
dd-asthma (trigger - flu) anaphylactic to eggs, severe allergies to bugspray and penicilin,pulmicort
ds-Seasonal, cats and OAS
dh-allergy cats, bugspray and guava, outgrew egg allergy


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 29, 2010 2:50 pm 
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Site Admin

Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6455
Location: Ottawa
You are amazing! I'm so glad your son had a great time.

_________________
Moderator
Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 30, 2010 11:35 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 12:05 am
Posts: 641
Location: AB, Canada
That is truly wonderful!! So great of them to go above and beyond.

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DSs 7,7,9 all PA


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 31, 2010 7:11 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 923
Location: Oakville, Ontario
This is such a heartwarming story... people can be so amazing and caring, and it's absolutely wonderful to hear all about your experience amongst very caring strangers! I'm sure you've made a big difference in many peoples lives.

_________________
15 yr old daughter: no health issues
12 yr old son: allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, fish, sesame, sunflower, mustard, poppy seeds, green peas, some fruits, instructed to avoid all other legumes (except soy & green beans), pollen, cats, horses


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PostPosted: Wed May 11, 2011 8:30 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 10, 2008 9:40 pm
Posts: 2034
Location: ottawa
I meant to post about this years kids Easter event at our mall (full circle from the year I left in tears, my orig. post on this thread). The event was wonderful, a kids musician, Easter bunny pics with an amazing 'set', tables covered in lavender table cloths with balloon center pieces, craft supplies out, styrafoam eggs to decorate with glitter glue and sparkles, crayons out for pre printed Easter colouring pages..a face painting table and are you ready.............NO FOOD!!!!!!!! :banana :happydance

I see the woman who runs these events for our mall now and then, I make it a point to stop by the admin. office in the mall and have a quick chat every so often. She is amazing. When I finished scooping out the Easter Event with my allergy mommy eyes she got a well deserved hug. She has lysol wipes on hand, purell out, NO FOOD! She told me she was going to have a food portion (where stores wanting to participate would have goodies similar to the mall trick or treat) BUT...as she couldn't find any pn/tn safe individually packaged goods so she opted out of the food this year entirely. At halloween she had pn/tn safe treats and then non food items for those with allergies above and beyond pn/tn.

I'll admit it, when she told me that I teared up. When don't I tear up!! :roll: Having my email on file she also now and then will send me allergy product links she happens to come across, saying she thinks of DS . The allergy world brings friendships in the most amazing ways. The woman from Hallmark who gave Ds the teddy at Halloween turns out to be a mom from our daughter's school. Her son has severe tn allergies and she too has become someone I chat with now when I see her. And yes..I gave her a teal ribbon recently! :mrgreen:


To those who go out of their way to make a difference :thanksign !!!!

_________________
DD 12 yrs -no allergies
4 yr old DS - asthma/eczema Anaphylactic to Peanuts, all tree nuts, sesame , all pea/lentil legumes, gelatin.
Allergic to trees, grass,ragweed, feathers, dander, mold and dust.
Outgrew eggs, fish, shellfish


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