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First Year Reflections With Eye On The Future

Has it really been a year since I stepped into the shoes of CEO for The Baby Fold?  Some days it seems that the time went by in a flash and other days it feels like we have addressed more challenges than one year could possibly hold.  These past few months have been especially difficult. 
After a particularly challenging meeting wrestling with next year’s budget, our Leadership Team made the very difficult decision to reduce our Residential Treatment Center from 28 beds to 14 beds over the next 6 months. Knowing that children and families lives would be impacted, employees would be affected and the whole agency would have adjustments to make,  I prayed for reassurance that this was the right thing to do.  I wanted a quick resounding “yes” to echo from the heaven.  That did not happen, but what did happen next melted my heart.  A series of blessings began occurring each with its own message of reassurance.
• Mayor Koos visited The Baby Fold to give us our Platinum Organization sticker to display at our entrance to the agency, signifying 100+ years in the community.  Bill Hammitt, whose family has had a long history with the agency, joined us for the presentation.  What a great reminder of all The Baby Fold has provided to the community and all that the agency has overcome when threats to it's mission would appear.
• The work of Rob Parent (a board member) and Morgan Schulte (a teacher at Hammitt School) to coordinate fundraisers on behalf of The Baby Fold (Fiona Way and Jammin’ for Hammitt).  What a great reminder that there are lots of people out there who care about the work we do and the children and families we serve.
• When cash flow was getting tight this month, our farm manager, Brian Thompson called to say he has a check to send to us…just in time to meet the cash flow need.  What a great reminder that God’s timing is always right on time.
• We have received a very positive response to our initial fundraising work to support our Healthy Start program.  The efforts to raise money for the endowment fund are going very well from those we’ve asked but we’ve also had people contact us to participate –sometimes out of the blue and from people out of state!  And our first on-line campaign to create greater awareness and raise immediately needed funds exceeded our goal.  What a great reminder that our efforts to prevent the trauma we see every day is resonating with people everywhere - near and far.
These are just a sample of the outpouring of blessings I witnessed.  There are more examples of perfectly timed meetings, calls and visits.  Although we have many challenges ahead as we face these uncertain times, I feel reassured that God’s hand is on this agency and the children and families we serve are first and foremost His children.  Please keep The Baby Fold in your prayers as we continue to do the next faithful thing.

Summers A Bummer!

There are very few kids anywhere who look forward to going to summer school. Most of the Hammitt School kids don’t jump for joy either. But there is no doubt that summer school is very beneficial for them. It’s a time to practice and stabilize the progress they have made in their behaviors. But you won’t find very many kids who are excited about that.
However….there is a great “pay off” for working hard in summer school. Each Friday, through the summer school months, students have the opportunity to get out in the real world and see, hear, touch and learn new things.
Hammitt school teachers are skilled at connecting lessons and experiences.  The following are some of the “Fun Friday” Activities planned for the kids this summer:

o Picnics
o Trip to Children’s Discovery Museum
o Trip to McGraw Park
o Relay Games & Tournaments
o Walk to Normal Public Library
o Combined PE Classes
o Splash Park @ Tipton Park
o Walk on the Constitution Trail
o Trip to Miller Park Zoo
o Water Days with sprinklers, squirt guns & water balloons

So, even if we see some eyes rolling, and slumped shoulders about summer work, it will be overshadowed by the joy of hands-on learning and adventure.

Click Here For More Summer Fun From Macaroni Kid!

Is summer starting to wind down and you're not sure what to do with the kiddos?  Check out Macaroni Kid each Wednesday for the latest and greatest adventures around town to keep kids of all ages busy this summer!

Healthy Start Online Campaign Exceeds Goal!

Thanks to the amazing donors who participated in The Baby Fold’s first online giving campaign, the goal of $10,000 for the Healthy Start Program was exceeded! On June 25, The Baby Fold launched the “This is a Life Changing Moment” Campaign to raise funds for Healthy Start and its efforts to give young moms and their babies the best chance at a better life. Throughout the day, polls, facts, and fun questions were posted on The Baby Fold’s Twitter and Facebook pages.  Social media “friends” helped to promote the campaign by sharing that they gave, posting to the specific hashtag for the campaign, and changing their profile picture to that of The Baby Fold’s. By the end of the day, 65 donors had given to the campaign, bringing the grand total to $15,350!

To Learn more about the Healthy Start program, visit:



It Takes A Village- But We Couldn't Do It Without The Town

Town of Normal Mayor, Chris Koos, awarded President & CEO Dianne Schultz (along with Bill Hammitt) Platnium Level Status recognizing The Baby Fold's longevity in the Town of Normal.  Over 100 years and going strong!  Thank you Town of Normal for your continued support!