EBC’s strength comes from community partnerships like this one

BellevueRot

For those of you who have volunteered at EBC, or who have taken a tour, you’ll understand the term “Mount Blessing.” For those of you who haven’t (and you should contact us to schedule a tour right away), Mount Blessing is the transition area where we store your incoming donations until our volunteers have the chance to sort them and put them on the shelves. On the days we receive a lot of donations the area can become quite a pile (hence the name Mount).

Recently, the handy men in our lives – a wonderful volunteer team that consists of Dick Scott, Pete Kraetsch, Greg Wineland and Tim Sullivan – came up with an idea to help us better organize, and contain Mount Blessing. They were happy to give the gift of time to build the system, but first we needed two things: funds to buy the supplies and someone to clear Mount Blessing down to the floor so they could build in its spot.

Step one, the funding. The Bellevue Breakfast Rotary has supported EBC for the past year with grants given for the specific purpose of making facility improvements that allow EBC to increase our ability to serve MORE kids. Last spring they gave $7,500. They increased their support this fall to $15,500. The Mount Blessing project is just one of the many safety, efficiency and improved inventory management projects the gift will fund.

Step two, preparing the area. This was a substantial task that required a lot of hands. Many of our core volunteers took on the project in addition to their regular HUB responsibilities. Most notably our Diaper Divas, Helen Scott and Jackie Koeneman spent six hours sorting donations!

Diaper Divas

With ample materials and a clean floor, Dick, Pete, Greg and Tim built the organization system in a day!

Renovation of intake 1

While we are beyond grateful for the new receiving system, which has made the donation process so much more efficient, we wanted to share this story because it highlights how incredibly important forming partnerships with our community is for accomplishing the mission of helping kids. It puts ‘it takes a village’ in a whole different light.

We often share our founder, Karen Ridlon’s words:

“EBC is so successful because it does not belong to any one person. It belongs to us all. And it requires all of us to help in whatever way we can.”

Conquering Mount Blessing is the perfect example of many people giving a little to do big things. From our donors helping us keep it full of great things to give kids, to our volunteers who make the EBC engine go, to the financial supporters who allow us to do this important work by making sure the volunteers have what they need, and finally, to our amazing network of provider partners who work with EBC to get your great donations to the kids in our community.

Thank you all!

Meet Our Founder – Karen Ridlon

Twenty-five years ago, Karen Ridlon founded Eastside Baby Corner (EBC).   A certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (University of California, San Francisco, 1972), Karen worked as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner in California and Washington, working in well child care, newborn care and newborn ICU support for a number of medical groups and doctors. In 1990, Karen founded Eastside Baby Corner to fill an unmet need of parents of newborns who lacked basic supplies for their children.

She is Executive Director Emeritus and a lifetime member of the EBC Board of Directors. Karen has been recognized for her efforts with many volunteer awards, including receiving the Leadership Eastside LENi Community Choice Leadership Award in 2013, Distinguished Member Award for the Washington State Chapter of NAPNAP (National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners) in 2013, Issaquah Schools Foundation Golden Apple Award (2009), and chosen as a UCSF Distinguished Alumni. Karen was a key player in the development of the Issaquah Community Center and has been a tireless contributor to many volunteer efforts over the years including scouting, the public schools, and her church. Karen is the mother of three children and a proud resident of Issaquah, where she lives with her husband. 

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