For the Children
With a mission to help kids reach their full potential tomorrow by meeting basic needs today, EBC provides necessities for children so that EBC’s partners – schools, human service agencies, food banks, hospitals – can help families become stable, safe, housed, fed and employed. Relying on volunteers, EBC takes in donations of children’s clothing and goods from the community and wisely purchases most needed essential supplies for children that we guarantee to provide, including baby food, formula, car seats, pack n’ plays and diapers…EBC began 2020 with 54 active agency partners, and through this network of agency partners, more than 1,500 children each month get what they need, when they need it. EBC annually distributes more than 110,000 items for kids in the Central Puget Sound region. Volunteers contribute an average of 2,700 hours each month at our three Hubs.
EBC Collaborator, Convener, Provider and Voice
Since our founding in 1990, EBC has fostered strong relationships with our partners. We now look to deepen that commitment to collaboration with a three-year strategic vision to be a leading collaborator, convener, provider and voice for children and families experiencing poverty and/or crisis. Our aim is to lead a community collaboration in the gathering of resources to provide tangible goods, knowledge and skill building to families through qualified health, human services, education and government provider partners in the central Puget Sound region.
In 2019 EBC adopted a program framework to organize and support the strategic direction:
- Starting Out Right – Providing for the health, wellbeing and security of expectant mothers and children in the early years of life.
- Safe Kids & Families – Bringing the skills, knowledge and tools to create a safe home, and outdoor and transportation environments to all families.
- Strong Foundations for Every Kid – Ensuring that children, through age 12, have the clothing, supplies and equipment to be ready for school/ready to learn, supporting them to participate fully in their community, playtime and family.
History: Founded by Karen Ridlon in 1990, EBC has grown from a few items at Karen’s dining room table to an over 10,000 square foot Central facility in Issaquah. The Northshore hub began operating in 2015, moving into its present location in 2017. EBC – West Sound was launched by a team of volunteers, opening in 2016. EBC began transitioning from an all-volunteer organization in 2008.
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