You Can Be a Holiday Helper
By Mara Kealey, Development Associate at EBC
Do you remember reading the book, “The Giving Tree” as a child?
“Once there was a tree… and she loved a little boy.”
The tree gave the boy her apples, her leaves, everything she had so he could grow up happy. The tree loved the boy, and the boy loved her back.
I see the message of this book all around me. I see parents, caretakers, school teachers, and more giving everything they can to help foster the happiness and growth of children. Especially right now, during this time when every bit means so much.
You probably remember the end of the story. The tree is merely a stump, but the boy, now an old man, brings back the apple seeds to plant.
I think about this story during the winter months quite a bit. I think about the great lengths parents and caregivers go to provide their children with warmth, joy, and happiness. And how the pressure to give increases during the holidays.
That’s why at EBC, we are very proud to provide holiday gifts and celebration to all the children we serve.
Imagine a child’s eyes light up or the smile that spreads across their face when they open a gift. The joy of receiving something that’s all their own. Something unique that celebrates them. Then imagine the warmth parents or caregivers feel when they can share this experience with their children.
Last year with the support of our Holiday Helpers, 1,000 families celebrated holidays and birthdays.
This year, EBC needs your help to support families struggling the most during this unprecedented time. We simply cannot do it without you. Consider donating a toy from our Online Giving Catalog or hosting a Holiday Helper Toy Drive to assist us in reaching our goal of 3,000 gifts this year.
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