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Healthy Start Families are Ready for Life

Kelly Winter of The Baby Fold says, “When you read to your child, his or her brain lights up like a Christmas tree!” Reading is a powerful tool for child development and one that we actively share with our Healthy Start moms and families. Each year our Healthy Start staff hosts a literacy party to celebrate and encourage connections through reading. Our young Healthy Start families recently gathered at Normal Calvary United Methodist Church to enjoy this year’s ‘Going on a Bear Hunt’ themed event! The gym was transformed into interactive and imaginative experiences from the book--swimming through a pool (balloons), sloshing through mud (brown pillows), stomping through the forest (sticks and leaves) and finally finding the bear (soft and sweet teddy) in the cave.

Attendees enjoyed their adventure in reading…as well as a scrumptious spaghetti dinner! Three proud preschoolers even sported red graduation caps as emotional families looked on, knowing they’ve supported their children and worked hard to give them the best possible start in life. Before leaving, the children received several books including the evening’s theme book Going on a Bear Hunt, by Michael Rosen.

With an amazing 98% success rate in breaking the cycle of abuse, our Healthy Start program is made possible through the generosity of donors who are committed to early intervention. Several of these proud “grandmothers” attended our literacy event and thoroughly enjoyed watching their investment make a huge difference in the lives of our little ones and their families. To learn more about Healthy Start and our campaign to sustain this life giving program in McLean and Champaign counties, click here.

Keeping the Promise to Adoptive Children

The Adoption Preservation Program, known as “Keeping the Promise” (KTP) at The Baby Fold is helping about 170 families who’ve adopted children from hard places to experience deep connections and healthy relationships. Every child will challenge parents, but adoptive children often have particular needs that require intensive intervention. The KTP staff travel to 22 counties across Illinois to meet with families in their home environments and problem solve together.

Many kids like "Jerry" seem to do well early in the adoption process. Jerry was adopted when he was in the third grade. He attended Christian school through the eighth grade and had very few issues. The transition to public high school proved to be extremely difficult for him. He had frequent anger outbursts and struggled with past memories of abuse and neglect from his biological family. His behavior became so severe that his education became threatened. Ken Summers, Family Therapist at The Baby Fold began working with his dedicated adoptive family in their home in southern Illinois. “The parents simply would not give up on Jerry,” said Ken.

Ken worked with the whole family, creating a plan to keep each of them feeling safe and secure. He met with each family member individually and as a group over several months to help them bond, problem solve in healthy ways, and to learn how to love and be loved. “It’s not easy work, but the parents have poured themselves into Jerry.” Ken adds with confidence, “He’s going to succeed in life.”

Jerry wants to be a police officer when he graduates from high school. He’ll surely possess an inherent empathy for troubled teens, and can offer hope that they too can make better choices and succeed in life.

Throw Kindness Like Confetti!

Members of our 2017-2018 Hammitt Elementary School Student Council have chosen “Spreading Kindness” for this year’s theme. In addition to academic and social skills work, we're teaching students to be intentional about being kind and recognizing kindness in others.

Each day, students add words of kindness and encouragement to bright and colorful ‘confetti’ post-it notes, cheerfully decorating a Hammitt School hallway. In addition, Suzy Kelly’s Kindergarten/1st grade classroom has a “warm fuzzy” jar where children put fuzzy puffs when they catch a fellow student being kind. Even our cleaning crew was surprised with handwritten thank you notes from the children.

Watching these kids, many of whom have had very unkind things said to them, be very intentional about saying kind words to each other gives EVERYONE warm fuzzies!

Charitable IRA Rollover Laws Now Helping Children

By taking a distribution from your IRA this year, you may pay more in taxes and may even reach a higher tax bracket. Laws are now in place that allow you to roll over part of your minimum required distribution directly to a qualified non-profit organization like The Baby Fold to help reduce your tax bill all while supporting our life-changing services. To learn more about how you can help The Baby Fold through a Charitable IRA distribution, please call Norris Porter at (309) 451-7204 or email at: nporter@thebabyfold.org .

Join us for the Festival of Trees - Nov 17-19

You're invited to The Baby Fold's Annual Festival of Trees! Stroll through the Enchanted Forest and bid on the gorgeous holiday decor, let the kids enjoy games and crafts in Jingle Bell Junction, or grab a cup of coffee or cocoa and take it all in. Available tickets include: General Admission, Opening Day Breakfast, Senior Day, Avanti's Family Night, Breakfast with Santa and the 'Heart of Festival' Luncheon. Events sell out quickly so click here to purchase your tickets today!

The Festival of Trees takes place Nov 17-19th at The Interstate Center in Bloomington, IL. Enjoy non-stop entertainment to kick-off the holidays all while supporting children and families. 

Adopt a Child's Christmas Wish List

Each year, The Baby Fold partners with the community to fill the Christmas Wish lists of the children we serve. Last year, we were able to fill over 600 lists! If you are able to adopt a child's list this year, please e-mail Kate Kirby at kkirby@thebabyfold.org. She will email you a child's list and provide all the details for drop off. Thank you!