• Vaccinating is Caring

    At Infant Crisis Services, we are all about building healthy communities. We know that starts with healthy babies, that's why we've made it our mission to make sure no baby goes hungry. But it takes more than proper nutrition to keep kids healthy. Children need immunizations to protect them from infectious diseases, like the measles and whooping cough, both of which have made an unfortunate comeback in the United States in recent months. 

    August is Immunization Awareness Month, and we are doing everything possible to educate parents about the importance of vaccinating their children. We are partnering with the Caring Van Program, which targets children in low-income and under-served areas who encounter difficulties in accessing traditional health providers. They provide immunizations at no charge to children in need. We will be joining the Caring Van this Thursday, July 31, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Buy for Less location on SW 29th Street and May Avenue. And on Friday, August 1, from 4-7 p.m. at Buy for Less on Penn and 23rd Street. 

    Both of these back-to-school events are free and open to the public. We know many families with school-aged children also have little ones at home. Our BabyMobile will be on hand to provide basic necessities for those families as the Caring Van makes sure all children are properly immunized. 

    For a schedule of all Caring Van events and locations, click here.

  • Jammin' for Babies

    If you've read our blog before, you probably already know how much we love our volunteers. They are dedicated, talented, creative and they love the babies! 

    Today, one of our regular volunteers, Sherry Park, brought in lots of jars of yummy homemade jam! I'm a sucker for homemade jam. When I was a kid, I would often help my grandmother make jam in her kitchen. Grandma lived close to a cherry orchard where you could pay to pick your own cherries, so we would go pick our cherries together and then take them home and make tons of jars of jam. Those are still some of my fondest childhood memories.

    Anyway, now that you understand my deep love for jam, I'll get back to Sherry. She brought in all of these jars of homemade jam today that she is selling for $10 a jar. Even the presentation of the jars is pretty! All of them are trimmed with fabric. You can tell she put a lot of work into not only making the jam, but packaging it. But the story doesn't stop there. Sherry is donating all of the money from her jam sales to Infant Crisis Services! She's calling it "Jammin' for the Babies." Aren't our volunteers creative?!

    Thanks Sherry for devoting your time, talents and financial resources to help the babies! And thank you for making me reflect back on one of my favorite memories. Can't wait to try the Plum Crazy Peach!

  • Volunteer Appreciation Banquet

    Last Friday, we held our annual volunteer appreciation luncheon and awards banquet. It's a time for us to love on those amazing people who donate their time to love on babies in need. We have some pretty phenomenal volunteers at Infant Crisis Services. Some of them have been with us for over a decade! Others may have started just a few months ago. But all of them are very special to us. We could not serve the community in the capacity that we do without the work of these dedicated men and women who freely give of their time and talents. 

    We named two volunteers of the year at the luncheon, Carol Barnett and Mary Keefe. I can say on a personal note, these two women are like family. I know the rest of the staff agrees. 

    Our other award recipients are as follows:

    Newcomer Award Raelyn Arnold
    Administrative Sherry Park
    Baby Mobile Caroline Schuepbach (not pictured)
    Ambassador Joann Winters (not pictured)
    Corporate Award Access Midstream
    Unsung Hero (Teen) Ryal Reddick

    It was a county fair themed luncheon complete with a pie judging contest and lots of cowboy boots! Roxanne R won the contest for her coconut cream pie, which was just as pretty as it was tasty.

    Thanks again to all our volunteers who work so hard every day to make a difference in our organization and our community.

  • Vote for Us!

    Infant Crisis Services is once again nominated in The Oklahoman's Readers' Choice Awards. This year, we are in the top five in two separate categories, Best Nonprofit and Best Annual Event. While it's an honor to be nominated, you can help us win! (We may even thank you in our acceptance speech)

    So here's what you have to do. Click here and vote. Easy right? You can vote once a day per computer through June 23.

    The picture to the left shows what categories you will find us under. Best Annual Event is listed under the "Lifestyles" category. Our yearly gala, Boots & Ball Gowns, is nominated. If you've ever been, you know it definitely deserves to win!  

    The Best Nonprofit category is located under the "Best Local" tab.  That's where you can vote for Infant Crisis Services! 

    And while you're in the voting mood, the OK Gazette is accepting nominations for it's Best of OKC contest. Feel free to nominate us for Best Nonprofit and Best Place to Volunteer if you would like. You have until June 25 to fill out a ballot. Here's the link. Happy voting and thanks for supporting Infant Crisis Services!

  • Someone to Count On

    He is only 2 years old, so little Ash will probably never remember moving from New Mexico to Oklahoma one year ago. He may never remember the last year of his life, or the rundown hotel room that his parents and two siblings lived in. He may not remember the financial struggles as his father, an over-the-road truck driver, worked so hard to provide for his family. He may never remember the stress on his mother's face, as she sought out help to feed her children. 

    We had the privilege of meeting Ash, Thursday, when his mother, Adele, brought him to Infant Crisis Services. She came in with her closest friend, Brandi, who had used our services before with her five children.

    Brandi and Adele met on a Facebook page for Oklahomans helping other Oklahomans. Brandi and Adele immediately connected, because Brandi's story was similar to Adele's personal struggles. 

    "We've actually become really good friends because of our situation," Adele said.

    Brandi was also practically homeless at the time, living with friends while she was struggling to provide for her children. She now has a home of her own, and has taken Adele and her husband and their children in. Although it's only temporary, Adele says it's been a huge help to her family. They hope to have a lease on their own home within three weeks. That home is just four houses down from Brandi.

    So while, Ash may never remember the hardships that plagued his family during the first few years of his life, he will probably remember Brandi, his mother's new best friend. He will probably remember growing up with Brandi's five children, and maybe he will remember us at Infant Crisis Services.

    "It really is a relief to know there are services out there to help," Brandi said of our organization.

    "It would definitely be more of a struggle for families," Adele added. "There are people out there who are willing to help each other, but without organizations like Infant Crisis Services, it would definitely be harder for families to get by."

  • Summer Swimming Safety

    It's that time of year again when kids are out of school and parents are looking for ways to beat the heat and keep the family entertained. Unfortunately, summer is also the season when we see the number of accidental drownings increase.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention children ages 1 to 4 have the highest drowning rates, and most of those drownings occur in home swimming pools. In fact, drowning is the second leading cause of death among children 1-4, surpassed only by birth defects and congenital abnormalities.

    Because all of our clients fall within that age demographic, we want to help educate parents. 

    Here are some ways you can keep your children safe this summer.

    1) It should go without saying, but never leave a child unattended or unsupervised around water. This doesn't just mean when they're in the swimming pool, this includes bath time and splash time in kiddy pools, as well. With babies and toddlers, an adult should always be within physical reach of the child. Don't leave an older child to supervise a younger one, either. Make sure their is a responsible adult around at all times.

    2) Limit distractions. If you are pacing around the backyard on your cell phone, are you really paying attention to your children. Drowning is silent and quick. A momentary distraction is all it takes for a child to go under.

    3) Learn CPR. Everyone at Infant Crisis Services is CPR certified. We're surrounded by dozens of babies every day. We know it is important and can save a life. This is especially true when it comes to water safety.

    4) Floaties are toys not safety devices. Arm floaties or even floating baby seats are not meant to be used in place of adult supervision.  Just because your child is wearing or using a flotation device in a swimming pool, they can still drown if now properly supervised. 

    Finally, if you have a swimming pool in your backyard or even on the grounds of your apartment complex, keep your doors locked, and even dead-bolted if possible, so your curious tot can't slip out without your knowledge.


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