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The Gift of Communication: Meet Nancy Stevens

“It is absolutely essential for every person to be able to understand and be understood to function in this world. Communication in all its forms is critical to well-being,' says Nancy Stevens, a speech and language pathologist (SLP) who has dedicated her life to teaching students at Hammitt School for the past 40 years. Nancy has worked with children with a variety of speech and language challenges, and serves as a mentor to her staff, teachers, and families at Hammitt School. Each child has a treatment team, which when appropriate includes an SLP to give valuable input on how to help a child to be heard and understood.

For our students on the Autism Spectrum who are non-verbal, the SLP assesses the most effective ways to aid in communication. These may include anything from pictures, signs, touch talkers that can say yes or no, to iPads with specially designed apps that can speak for the child at school and at home! When a child is given the gift of communication, behavior problems fueled by frustration decrease and learning happens. 

Journey to Adoption

The Baby Fold is at the forefront of child well-being and the neuroscience that informs it. In fact, The Baby Fold was selected, one of only 8 sites across the country, by The National Quality Improvement Center for Adoption and Guardianship Support and Preservation to assist them in their pioneering research. Adoption is a family journey that begins with two hearts. One that may be breaking because the parent cannot raise their child and one that breaks because they want a child. Adoptive children commonly come from a history of early childhood trauma which negatively affects brain development. So - how do we support everyone involved in the adoption? Adoptive families served by The Baby Fold receive care in a child-focused and family friendly environment, informed by best practice and science. Our work is driven by what we know about trauma, the brain, and child development. Put more simply, our staff meets with adoptive families in their homes and helps them create a healthy and stable environment. The adoptive child learns about the effects of trauma along with their family and they receive therapy to address their specific needs. All this science comes through a filter of love and compassion for the child and family offering comfort and guidance along the adoption journey, for as long as needed.     

25th Annual Festival of Trees Nov 16-18: Tickets Now Available

The Baby Fold’s Festival of Trees is celebrating its 25th year! This fun, family-centered community festival will be held November 16-18, 2018 at the Interstate Center in Bloomington, Illinois. You are invited to kick-off the holiday season with us in support of The Baby Fold's mission. Come enjoy the sights and sounds with the spectacular Christmas trees, gingerbread houses, and entertainment to suit every taste There are special events for festival-goers of all ages! Purchase your tickets today to support the mission of The Baby Fold and have some fun along the way. 

The Baby Fold’s Festival of Trees Hours are Friday, November 16: 9:00 am – 8:00 pm (Opening Day Breakfast held from 7:00 am-9:00 am) Saturday, November 17: 9:00 am – 8:00 pm Sunday, November 18: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm (Auction closes at 2:30 pm, auction pick-up begins at 4:00 pm) See you there!  

Adopt a Child's Christmas Wish List: Create a life-long memory

Many children who receive services through The Baby Fold’s 12 programs would not otherwise receive Christmas gifts if it weren’t for the generous hearts of our community. Our children are excitingly writing their wish lists and YOU can help turn them into Christmas morning magic! 

Click here to Adopt a Wish List for one or more children. A list consists of 2-3 items with a requested spending limit of $50-$60 per list. Gifts can be dropped off between 8am-6pm December 4-8, 2018 at 1500 Ft. Jesse Road, Suite A, Normal IL 61761. Gifts must be unwrapped for safety. For more information contact Sam Guillory at sguillory@thebabyfold.org or (309) 451-7202.

Smart Ways to Be Charitable

2018 has brought tax reform, and many are enjoying increased discretionary income that will be spent, saved, or donated to worthy causes. We always suggest that you consult with your tax advisor about how tax reform will affect you, but here are some smart ways to be charitable in 2018, You can donate appreciated stock: With the stock market at or near all-time highs, give your appreciated stocks to a nonprofit like The Baby Fold and eliminate capital gains tax. Also, you can add The Baby Fold as a beneficiary of retirement plan assets: These assets remain taxable when distributed to a loved one, but are tax-free when given to a nonprofit. Additionally, consider giving from your IRA (if you are 70 ½ or older): Regardless of whether you itemize or not, IRA rollovers allow individuals to make gifts up to $100,000 annually from their IRA. These gifts are not considered taxable income, but do fulfill the minimum distribution requirement. Donors are dear to the heart of The Baby Fold. Your generous donations provide children a better life and help restore hope for the future – THANK YOU!

To learn more about the various ways you can make a difference with The Baby Fold click here or contact Norris Porter at (309) 706-9242 or email him at nporter@thebabyfold.org

Tour Anyone?

On the second Tuesday of every month, we welcome up to 15 people to tour Hammitt Elementary School and learn about The Baby Fold. These reservation-only tours take place at 108 East Willow Street in Normal, begin at 11:30 a.m., and conclude at 1:00 p.m. after a light lunch together. Join us to learn about the programs and services that we offer to children and families!
Upcoming tour dates:
• Nov. 13
• Dec. 11
Contact Lori Bultemeier at (309) 557-1075 or at lbultemeier@thebabyfold.org to schedule your tour today!