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Neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow . . .

You can't control the weather! But the child behavior specialists at our Residential Treatment Center (RTC) recently persevered to make sure a child and his mother would have Christmas together. No matter what.

Can you imagine the disappointment, when Marcus's mother told him that their plans to be together for the holidays were interrupted by bad weather? Zaria, Marcus's mom, was stranded at the St. Louis airport and would not be able to get to Normal until very late on Christmas Day.

"That's just not good enough. We can do better than that!" declared Blythe, the coordinator of Marcus's group in the RTC.

From that moment on, things began to move quickly. Staff member Erin cancelled family plans of her own to come in and join her coworker Bob in making the reunion possible. It would take both of these dedicated staff members to make this plan work.

Bob phoned Zaria and told her that the RTC staff had found a way to get her and Marcus together in just a few hours. She was moved to tears. When asked if she would like to tell Marcus that she would see him soon, she insisted that Bob and Erin have the pleasure.

"Are you serious?" exclaimed Marcus. The overjoyed boy jumped up and down on his way to his room to get ready to hit the road and see Mom.

Here's where things got a little complicated. Marcus, a ward of the state, cannot cross state lines. So, Erin and Marcus stopped at McDonald's on the Illinois side of the border, while Bob went on into St. Louis and picked up Zaria.

What a reunion! When Marcus and Zaria hugged each other in the McDonald's, it was a scene worthy of a classic Hollywood Christmas movie.

The Baby Fold selected to participate in national alliance

The Baby Fold has been invited by the National Alliance for Strong Families and Communities to join 14 other agencies in a learning group focused on working together to address complex issues facing nonprofits, and create new solutions for families in need. The principal consultant for this group is Tom Woll, who is a national leader in organizational change. "We know that most residential treatment centers across the country are struggling to manage shrinking budgets. The Baby Fold is positioning itself to be able to address shifts in treatment trends for residential care. To be part of this cohort is an incredible opportunity for The Baby Fold to access a variety of resources to support our agency's strategic initiatives, and help support staff through a time of organizational change," reported Dianne Schultz, CEO of The Baby Fold.

Love Begins at The Baby Fold

Matt and Sarah Idleman know what it is to love and to be loved. When each began their work at our Residential Treatment Center(RTC), they knew that they would be helping kids learn to trust and love again. They could not have imagined that in the midst of the chaos, laughter, challenges, tears, and joy of the RTC, they would find love that would lead to marriage and a family of their own.

To read their touching and hilarious love story, click here.