March Newsletter

Note from the Director

Greetings to all of our supporters, donors, coupon vendors, teachers, and volunteers. We are so pleased to finally be able to come to you with news that Babe of Wabash County is just a couple of months away from opening its doors. We would not be where we are without your support. From your help in getting our building ready for the public to monetary donations that have helped with purchasing items for our classrooms and store, you have helped us bring our dreams to fruition. We can't wait to see the impact Babe of Wabash County will have on the community! Thank you for investing in our vision with your time, hard work, money, and support. We look forward to continuing to partner with you and serving Wabash County! Sincerely, Katey Till Executive Director Just a Reminder, what is Babe of Wabash County?

Babe of Wabash County (Babe) 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 as well as pregnant women. We encourage and incentivize families to use the services already established in Wabash County that promote good health, education, and connection. Families can earn Babe coupons by receiving services from partnered community organizations and businesses that promote and offer services that align with our mission. The coupons can be redeemed in our store for brand new baby and toddler items. In addition to helping with a financial need, Babe also provides classes that teach good parenting and life skills, promotes literacy education to young children, and offers various support groups to parents. What’s new with Babe of Wabash County?

Well...that’s kind of a loaded question because nearly everything we’ve done is new! The best way to answer “What’s New?” is to start in 2020. Here’s our timeline:

  • July 2020: The Community Foundation granted Babe of Wabash County a $5,000 grant.

  • September 2020: Babe was granted a generous donation of $100,000 from an anonymous donor.

  • November 2020: Babe purchased a house on 1 North Miami St. Wabash, IN 46992. This amazing house will be able to accommodate all of the programs that the organization has envisioned.

  • December 2020: Babe was given a large donation of toys. We partnered with Lighthouse Mission, F.I.S.H., and Growing Grounds to help distribute these toys as Christmas presents to 140 families in Wabash County and beyond. We served 349 children.

  • December 2020: Crossroads Bank gifted Babe of Wabash County a $250 gift certificate to Menards. The money will be used to help build a handicap ramp.

  • January 2021: Work! Lots of work! Volunteers donated several hours to help paint, renovate, repair, clean, organize, and move furniture, toys, supplies, and appliances into and around the 4,000 square foot house.

  • February 2021: Parkview Hospital granted Babe $1,000 for our classroom and educational needs.

What to look for... We are excited to announce the opening of our store and educational areas.

  • Our opening date will be Tuesday, April 20th.

  • Our hours will be every Tuesday 10:00 am-4:00 pm. This is our beginning schedule. We will add additional days and hours over the course of time. A new schedule is TBA.

  • Coupons will be publicly distributed in March. Our hope is that our vendors will begin issuing coupons to their clients as soon as they are given the materials. Check out our list of vendors at www.babeofwabashcounty.org under the "Store" tab. Note to vendors: Our executive director will be contacting you very soon.

  • Our grand opening/Open House will be on May 7th during First Friday. It would be our pleasure to show you our facility and honor all of our volunteers, community partners, public donors, teachers, and clients as our special guests! More details of our grand opening are to come.

  • Babe is expected to gain its 501c3 status in 2021. This will make us an independent nonprofit. Thanks to the Community Foundation of Wabash County for all of their assistance in gaining this important status.

Education Corner

Meet one of our many wonderful teachers: Lauri Gunderman


Lauri has been an Early Childhood Educator for 36 years. She holds a bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education and a minor in Child Psychology. In addition to her undergraduate work, she obtained a Masters degree in Special Education in 2000. Currently, Lauri teaches 4 and 5-year-olds through a language-rich Developmental Preschool with Wabash City Schools. She is also the secretary for Babe of Wabash County and part of a team of volunteers working to develop the educational programming for the organization. This spring, Lauri will be offering a class for parents and children called, Preschool Language Enrichment. This is an interactive class that includes parents and their children (ages 3-5).

Are you interested in being your child’s greatest teacher? Being aware of your language during play and everyday activities will lead to incidental learning, language development, and early literacy. This class will incorporate the 5 practices of early literacy development: singing, talking, reading, writing, and playing.

The children will enjoy interactive literature and experience hands-on follow-up activities. Skills reinforced: attentive listening skills, following a 1 step directive, answering simple ‘wh’ questions after hearing the story, color/shape identification, and fine-motor work. For information on how you can attend Lauri's class, contact Katey Till.

Announcements

If you are interested in volunteering, teaching a class, or becoming a coupon vendor, please contact Katey Till. All teachers and volunteers who work with the public must submit a background check and be interviewed.

Donate Today

If you are interested in investing in the positive change we are making for families with young children in Wabash, click HERE to support us. $25 will provide diapers to three families for two weeks. $50 dollars will provide diapers to 3 families for one month. $100 will provide diapers to 7 families in Wabash for one month. Your donation makes a difference! Thank you for your support and for making a positive impact!

Thank you! Thank you again to all of our Community Partners for issuing coupons to families with young children. We are so proud to join in your efforts of making Wabash county stronger and better!

  • 1st Steps Early Intervention

  • 85 Hope Clinic

  • Area Five Agency, Healthy Families

  • Aubrey the Doula

  • Bowen Center

  • Family Optometry

  • F.I.S.H.

  • Hoosier Chiropractic

  • 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

  • Tobacco-Free Coalition (Mommy and Me Program)

  • Wabash Carnegie Public Library

  • Wabash City Schools/ LH Carpenter Early Childhood Center

We’d also like to thank all of those who have volunteered on our workdays and have helped us prepare the building for opening. Your time, work, and donations are appreciated more than you’ll ever know!

Thank you to our Board of Directors:

  • Matt Stone, Chair

  • Susan Street, Vice Chair

  • Lauri Gunderman, Secretary

  • Jeannine Gleason, Treasurer

  • Sherry Schoening

  • Justin Vail

  • Ben Backer

  • Courtney Backer

  • Amy LePage

  • Katie Denger

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 1 North Miami St. Wabash, IN 46992 Office Phone (260) 274-0158 babeofwabashinc@gmail.com www.babeofwabashcounty.org

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