To Inform Families First

When emergencies happen

Category: General

Back To School and Off To College

by Jennifer Mitchell

Posted in: General
Posted on Aug 12, 2019

It’s already August, which for many families means it’s time to head back to school. If you have a teenager or college student, this can be a somewhat daunting idea. As I write this, my sixteen-year-old just left to run a few errands. Of course I wrapped her in bubble wrap after setting the maximum speed in the car at 30mph before sending her on her way. Okay, I just thought about doing so. But I think about it every time she leaves...

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Six Ways To Support A Grieving Friend

by Jennifer Mitchell

Posted in: General
Posted on Jul 26, 2019

At TIFF, we talk a lot about how to keep yourself and your loved ones safe. We also talk about how to be sure you’ll know right away, through our emergency contact system, if and when a loved one is not safe. But what do you do when those measures didn’t work? When the systems and precautions fail, and you or someone you know suffers debilitating, unimaginable loss? You grieve. You let them grieve. You endure, sometimes for longer,...

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Accidents That Change Us

by Jennifer Mitchell

Posted in: General
Posted on Jul 12, 2019

In this life, accidents are always waiting to happen. Of course, the difficult thing about accidents is that they are just that- unpredicted, unplanned events that can often change the course of our life, for a short time or forever. While we can’t prevent accidents from happening, the Crusaders for Change at TIFF’s Initiative are eager to help you feel armed and protected from life’s accidents as much as possible. One specific...

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Preparing for Life’s Storms

by Jennifer Mitchell

Posted in: General
Posted on Jun 24, 2019

June is the beginning of hurricane season, making us at TIFF remember so many instances of boarding windows, bagging sand, collecting flashlights and batteries, bottling water… preparing for a hurricane can be a big chore. Even worse, much of what we prepare for never even comes to pass. I’ve never had a broken window or flooded home due to a hurricane. But plenty of people have. How and when you prepare is crucial to the amount of...

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Summer Travel

by Jennifer Mitchell

Posted in: General
Posted on May 27, 2019

Most of the time, in our day-to-day operations, my husband and I divide and conquer the local driving. He takes kids to school; I pick them up. He drives someone to basketball practice while I wait for softball to finish. We don’t often get to ride around together during our normal routine. So of course, we are each other’s emergency contact. If something happens to one of us while in the midst of a busy week, the other one will be...

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The Shape Of a Mother’s Love

by Jennifer Mitchell

Posted in: General
Posted on May 9, 2019

Mothers can come in all shapes and sizes. Besides biological moms, we can have stepmothers, grandmothers who raise their grandchildren as their own, adopted mothers and all sorts of other motherly figures in our lives. The common denominator between all of these moms and mother figures is that they love their children as their own and they don’t stop caring just because they grow up. A mother‘s heart is full because of her children,...

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Autism Awareness Month

by Jennifer Mitchell

Posted in: General
Posted on Apr 18, 2019

This month, we are highlighting a particular group of very special individuals that TIFF’s Initiative would benefit: those who can't or might not be able to provide contact information in an emergency. Those like Julian, Christine’ nephew who is autistic and does not speak. He often goes out on little excursions with his grandmother, Barbara Olson. If, for whatever reason, there was a situation or accident and Barb was unresponsive,...

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Kentucky is Onboard!

by Jennifer Mitchell

Posted in: General
Posted on Apr 4, 2019

Last week, TIFF’s Initiative expanded its area of influence when we went live in Kentucky, only a few months after beginning the process of introducing the initiative to the state legislature. Since our goal is to be active and growing in every state, this is a big win for TIFF! We’re now in seven states, with the expectation of adding Texas, Indiana and Pennsylvania soon. As people learn about TIFF, they discover that the need for it...

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The Day I Discovered I Need TIFF

by Jennifer Mitchell

Posted in: General
Posted on Jan 11, 2018

I’ve been writing about TIFF for a while now, always with the conviction that everyone needs this system in place in their lives. I’ve told Christine Olson’s story, I’ve recounted several other stories of people who lost loved ones and can see the purpose and reason for quick response times. I’ve interview our county’s sheriff to learn what happens at an accident scene, so I can better inform you, our readers...

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Tiffiany: A Remembrance

by Jennifer Mitchell

Posted in: General
Posted on Dec 17, 2018

She's not gone... she's just elsewhere. This is the reminder Christine Olson lives with daily that helps her turn her grief into purpose and her tragedy into hope for others. She was just spending a quiet evening at home alone. After checking on her grown kids and knowing they were with their friends, Christine came home from work to drink a cup of tea while watching a PBS documentary on Pope John Paul. When the show ended around 11pm, she...

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Awards and Perseverance

by Jennifer Mitchell

Posted in: General
Posted on Nov 20, 2018

Like most great ideas, it started with a question on a legal pad. “What do you think about putting emergency contacts in your driver’s license?” And just like that, TIFF’s Initiative was born. Last Friday night, Christine Olson and the TIFF team participated in a local gala where the Anna Maria Chamber of Commerce presented awards to the Best Non-Profit of the Year, as well as the Best Small, Medium and Large Businesses of...

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How do you prepare for the unpreparable?

by Jennifer Mitchell

Posted in: General
Posted on Sep 17, 2018

Last week, we reflected on the 16th anniversary of 9/11, when our nation was thrown into turmoil and grief over senseless terrorist attacks on our own soil. Floridians also remembered the devastation, stress, and uncertainty we lived through just a year before when hit by Hurricane Irma, the largest hurricane in history to cover our state. Simultaneously, we watched in horror as Hurricane Florence approached the eastern seaboard to create more...

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Safe Travels!

by Jennifer Mitchell

Posted in: General
Posted on Aug 2, 2018

We say this all the time to friends and family as they set out on a vacation or journey, but do we ever actually take steps to ensure safety? As we pulled out of the driveway in our rented minivan, my fiance said a quick prayer over us for safe travels. We were embarking on a 16-hour overnight drive to visit his family with five kids in tow. We needed all the help we could get. Knowing that any adventure includes a fair amount of risk, we also...

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Generosity

by Jennifer Mitchell

Posted in: General
Posted on Mar 27, 2018

Tonight as I pen this post, our fearless leader, Christine Olson, is representing this brave initiative at one of our area's most prestigious charitable fundraisers. Generosity, hosted by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County, will line up the brightest and most deserving non-profits in four counties for businesses across the nation to support. Representatives of each charity will have the opportunity to explain and discuss their true...

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Hearts Out Of Orbit

by Jennifer Mitchell

Posted in: General
Posted on Mar 13, 2018

“To have a child is to have your heart go walking around outside of your body.” Not too long after the second of my three daughters was born, I heard this quote. With a toddler and a newborn orbiting my life constantly, I had never heard more truth spoken. I was surrounded by other moms with small children then, too. We were navigating these new waters together and life was blossoming as our little “hearts” scampered all...

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Those Irrational “Mom” Thoughts…

by Jennifer Mitchell

Posted in: General
Posted on Feb 20, 2018

Anytime I find myself unable to fully control a situation my kids are in, I tend to imagine the worst possible scenario. It seems to be a coping mechanism, and I imagine I’m not alone in my thinking. Moms, do you picture the house suddenly catching on fire the minute you leave the kids alone for a quick trip to the grocery store? Do you know for a fact they WILL be kidnapped if you let them go to the movies with their friends? Kids crossing...

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Why I Love Being Stuck In Traffic

by Jennifer Mitchell

Posted in: General
Posted on Feb 6, 2018

While most of the country is complaining about driving in dismal winter conditions, here in sunny Florida we encounter a totally different issue with winter driving: snowbirds. From October through April, the number of cars on the road increases by 20-30% due to the influx of winter residents- those individuals who migrate south for the winter to avoid the cold. Restaurants and local businesses love the extra business, but regular year-long...

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A More Meaningful Valentine

by Jennifer Mitchell

Posted in: General
Posted on Feb 14, 2018

This particular holiday can conjure up so many emotions in different people. The forlorn, downcast, and unlucky-in-love seek to simply survive the barrage of pink and red candy hearts on every aisle of every store. The newly-attached enthusiastically draw on their creative juices to exhibit their significant feelings for their significant other. Personally, my favorite part of Valentine’s Day is seeing my daughters wake up to treats waiting...

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