Letter from the Director
Summer is in full swing and so is Babe! We are enjoying the wide variety of families who come to visit the Babe House to see what we have in store for them. Some families will pop in for a quick visit while other families can officially be called regulars! This simply means that they come every Tuesday and Thursday.
And boy, do we have the best families coming in! Some families use the Babe House as a fun place to host a playdate while others are searching for friendly support. Some families like Babe because they are new to town and are looking for a place to belong, while others are bringing their kids in to play as a way to kill time over an afternoon. No matter the reason for coming into Babe, the one common theme I have been seeing is that all families have been very welcoming with each other. The families that are in search of support are greeted with open arms by our staff and volunteers as well as the other moms who come to Babe.
With all of these families visiting Babe, there are times our playroom can be overflowing with both people and toys. Occasionally, the playroom can even get a little too full! We started offering one-on-one activities for parents and kids to do together in our classroom. The simple activities range from playdough to reading, to building with blocks. Each activity is equipped with questions parents can ask their children to promote critical thinking skills in the child and strengthen relationships between parents and kids.
In addition to our classroom being open for free play, we are slowly starting to offer organized classes once a week! We are especially excited to be partnering with Area 5 Programming and Parkview Hospital, which have offered to help provide teachers and curriculum. While classes will only be offered once a week for the time being, eventually, we hope to offer a couple of classes on both Tuesdays and Thursdays, as well as evening support groups. Daytime classes will be designed for parents and children to attend together.
Finally, we are in the midst of our fundraising campaign! We started on May 1st and are doing great! We’ve managed to raise a little over 20% of our goal. Just to recap, we were given a $50,000 matching grant opportunity. For every dollar we raise our donor will equally match it up to $50,000. This is our first official year of fundraising and we are so thankful for the support we have already received. If you are excited about what we do and want to support our work, keep reading on to see how you can help!
It’s been a great start to the summer as well as our organization! We appreciate all of the support you’ve given and we’re excited to keep you updated on the progress.
What is Babe of Wabash County?
Babe of Wabash County is a project of the Community Foundation of Wabash County. We serve families with young children who are between the ages of 0-5 years old. We encourage and incentivize families to use the services already established in Wabash County that promote good health, education, and connection. Families can earn coupons by receiving services from partnered community organizations and businesses that promote and offer services that align with our values. They can redeem these coupons in our store for brand new baby items. In addition to helping with a financial need, Babe will also offer classes to families that teach good parenting and life skills, literacy education skills to young children, and financial classes, plus a number of other support groups and specialty classes. For more information about our store and classes, contact Katey Till at email@example.com.
Classes have started! This June, we started offering classes one day a week. Lauri Gunderman met with parents to answer their most asked questions. Reba Woodward hosted our first storytime. And director, Katey Till, had toddlers shaking out their sillies last week.
Our hours have shifted to new times. We are now open every Tuesday and Thursday 10:00-4:00 pm. The playroom will close at 3:30 and the store will close at 4:00.
Meet Grant and Dave Ford! Dave (junior) and Grant (sophomore) both attend Wabash High School. They have been coming on Tuesdays and Thursdays to help inventory merchandise and volunteer where it is needed.
Meet Ann Ridenour! Ann, who is known as Grandma Ann at the Babe House, is a retired school teacher who volunteers to be a kind presence and support at Babe. Ann comes in every Tuesday and enjoys being around the children and talking with their mothers. She will even be hosting a fun song and dance time once to twice a month starting in the month of August.
Meet Elizabeth Sherman! Elizabeth is a retired counselor/therapist. Although she lives in Fort Wayne, she drives to Wabash every Thursday to help run the front desk and keep the store open. Moms have already enjoyed asking Elizabeth for advice.
We’ve added two new vendors this month! Helping Hands and North Manchester Library are our newest vendors. North Manchester Library will begin handing out coupons in August.
Thank you to Advantage Housing and Babe of Whitley County for the amazing donations! Advantage Housing donated over 1,000 preschool and elementary books that teach literacy, math, and fine motor skills. Babe of Whitley County donated several boxes of new Halloween costumes and Christmas items that will be available this fall. We appreciate both of these amazing donations and organizations!
Thank you Renee Bleke for the beautiful hand-crocheted baby blankets! Renee crafted several gorgeous baby blankets and donated all of them to Babe.
Thank you Wabash Community for the donations of used children’s clothing! Our parents especially love our donated section! They enjoy taking home bags of used clothing that are free. No coupons or cash are required.
Thank you to Leona for sharing her two-year-old birthday with us! Leona's parents asked for donations for Babe in lieu of birthday presents for their 2-year-old daughter. Leona was so excited to present us with bags of baby items as well as a large cash donation. . What to look for in the month of July?
Reading and Movement with Katey. July 1st at 10:30 am
Movement and Songs with Katie and Lauri. July 8th at 10:30 am.
Mommy and Me time with Bethany. July 15th at 10:30.
Crafts with Grandma Terrie. July 22nd all-day
Storytime with Miss Reba. July 29th at 10:30
BABE OF WABASH COUNTY WILL BE CLOSING AT 12:00 pm ON JULY 15TH.
T-shirts are for sale at Visit Wabash. $20 a shirt. All of the proceeds go to Babe of Wabash County. Matching Grant Opportunity! Babe of Wabash County is the recipient of a dollar-for-dollar $50,000 matching grant that began May 1, 2021, and ends August 31, 2021. For every dollar Babe raises, the donor will match it up to $50,000. All donations will directly benefit families and children, ages 0-5, in Wabash County by providing them with essential items such as diapers and clothing, access to educational programming, and opportunities to build connections with others. Donations to help Babe meet its $50,000 goal should be made out to the Community Foundation of Wabash County with Babe of Wabash County in the memo line. Education Corner Meet Bethany Sizelove Bethany has a degree in Illustration from Indiana Wesleyan University. She has 4 years of experience as an Arts and Crafts Director for Quaker Haven Camp teaching different art techniques and crafts to children ranging from age 4 to 18. She was also a Homeschool Art Teacher for one year and adapted her homemade illustration curriculum for children in kindergarten through fifth grade. We’re excited to have Bethany host Mommy and Me Arts and Crafts This class is for a child and their daytime caregiver, whether that be a parent, grandparent, relative, babysitter, or daycare provider. Come explore different art mediums by doing different projects you can make with your child that is based on their skill and attention level! Each month Bethany will have a different project available that will allow parents and kids to experience new ways to make art together. In addition to learning about art, Bethany hopes to help parents set aside intentional time to connect by creating something with your child. Reminder
If you wish to donate new items, here’s a list of things we could use. Click HERE for a list of items we need for our store.
Many people have asked if we accept used baby items. We do, but space is limited. Please call us at 260-274-0158 or click HERE to email Katey to see if we are currently accepting used donations.
Here are a few more pictures of what happened at the Babe House in the month of June!
Thank you! Thank you again to all of the volunteers that have given their time and help! We simply can not do this without you!
Check out our list of community partners who help make our community stronger!
1st Steps Early Intervention
85 Hope Clinic
Area Five WIC
Aubrey the Doula
Hands of Hope
Healthy Families of Area Five
North Manchester Public Library
Parkview Wabash Health Clinic/ Dr. Rafael Jose Nunez-Alvarado
Parkview Wabash OB/GYN, Dr. Jonathan Larsen
Playhouse Studio of Dance
PPG/OBGYN/ Shelly Boone
Roann Paw Paw Township Public Library
The Learn More Center
Tobacco-Free Coalition (Mommy and Me Program)
Wabash Carnegie Public Library
Wabash City Schools/ LH Carpenter Early Childhood Center and Wabash High School)
Wabash County Museum
Thank you to our Board of Directors and Committee Members. You have gone above and beyond in helping bring Babe to fruition.
Board of Directors:
Matt Stone (president)
Susan Street (vice president)
Lauri Gunderman (secretary)
Jeannine Gleason (treasurer)
Aubrey Till And finally, thank you to all who have supported us with your financial gifts/donations or your kind words and prayers. Contact Information Katey Till Executive Director firstname.lastname@example.org Office Phone (260) 274-0158 88 West Hill St. Wabash, IN 46992 www.babeofwabashcounty.org https://www.facebook.com/Babeofwabash