1,000 Smiles

“I never thought I would be in a position where I had to use EBC’s services.”
2020 exposed growing inequality in our community. Workers in restaurant and service industries had their hours slashed, furloughed, or were let go completely. Experiences of family disruption, homelessness, and poverty continue to climb.

The question of stability has no single, clear answer.

“We didn’t think we were going to be able to buy any presents for our child this Christmas.”

In response to this uncertainty, over 60 people stepped up this winter to organize Community Drives. They created a wave of kindness by reaching out to their own personal networks, encouraging others to give new toys, books, winter clothing, diapers, and more.

It took weeks of dedication, but these Community Drives collected 10,000 new books, toys, winter clothing, and bedding in November and December.

This enabled EBC to fill over 1,000 gift orders, ensuring that every child had 5 gifts to open during the holidays.

“Because of the pandemic, everything is harder now. But because of the work you all do at EBC, making the holidays special was not.”

EBC allows families to put in gift orders for precisely what their children want. Whether it’s LOL Dolls, Black Panther action figures, or Moana Barbies, kids get to feel celebrated for their individuality. And parents don’t have to find time between online learning and cooking meals to run to the store or stretch gift cards. They simply place an order, and their caseworker delivers it to them safely and promptly. And this gesture relieves stress, allowing caregivers to focus on caring for their children and themselves.

It took a massive community effort for EBC to provide gifts to every single child served. Community Drive organizers, donors, businesses, faith-based organizations, provider partners, and more.

Click the button below to see everyone who supported kids, families, and EBC with their Community Drives!

2020 Holiday Helper Drives

Quotes in this post are from families receiving support through
EBC – Eastside Baby Corner and an agency partner.
The quotes were shared with EBC by partner providers.

 

Meet Our Founder – Karen Ridlon

Karen Ridlon founded Eastside Baby Corner (EBC) in 1990.   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. 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. 

Meet Our Board of Directors and Leadership
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