By Sam Guillory and Claire Wagner, The Baby Fold
More than 2,000 years ago, weary men faithfully followed a bright star on a long treacherous journey. The star guided their path, lighting the way until they finally reached their destination. The Start of Bethlehem shined bright, leading the wise men to worship the birth of Jesus Christ.
Centuries later, we continue to worship and celebrate the birth of our Savior. Families gather, making precious memories, at crowded tables filled with love and a homemade meal. Children bundle up to make snowmen and snow angels or are wrapped tightly in their parents’ arms as they sled down a hill. Mom and Dad wake up to little ones jumping with excitement on Christmas morning, eager to see what’s under the tree.
However, not all children experience this tender care. To make sure that every child is wrapped in the love of a caring family, The Baby Fold has been serving children and families throughout Central Illinois since 1902.
The Baby Fold has been a cornerstone of our community, quickly becoming a nationally recognized organization focused on the wellbeing of children and families. The Christian organization supports over 1,200 individuals each year throughout 28 counties in Illinois. Twelve distinct programs offer expert-level compassion and guidance to meet the varying needs of each family.
Students from 40 surrounding school districts attend The Baby Fold’s Hammitt Schools when their needs exceed what public schools can provide. Children on the autism spectrum or with emotional-behavioral needs receive care custom-designed to meet their unique needs. Highly trained teacher-therapists and staff assess and respond to each child’s academic, behavioral, emotional, and social needs through individualized growth plans in a safe and loving environment. Through the help of The Baby Fold, nonverbal children are introduced to communication tools, and at long last are able to say “I love you” to Mom or Dad. Hammitt Junior-Senior High School students receive vocational education training at job sites for work, preparing them for work after graduation. Simply put, The Baby Fold helps children and students flourish into the best versions of themselves.
Alongside special education services, The Baby Fold provides foster care, adoption services, counseling, and other resources for parents who want the best for their children. Every child deserves a home for Christmas, and The Baby Fold is a state leader in finding permanent families for children in foster care. Before a child even enters this world, Family Support Specialists in our Healthy Start program walk alongside young parents, guiding them along the path of parenthood. Healthy Start families learn about child development, parenting techniques, social/emotional development, and more. The Healthy Start program is clinically proven to break the cycle of abuse and neglect, strengthening the bond between parent and baby.
The Baby Fold has been a beacon of hope in our community since 1902 and celebrated 120 years of faithful service last May. The ministry has persevered through both world wars, The Great Depression, and two pandemics, providing unwavering care to children when they need it most. The Baby Fold’s commitment to caring for the community is unwavering, regardless of circumstance. An investment in The Baby Fold is an investment in humanity and will have a limitless impact on local children for generations to come.
Just as the Star of Bethlehem guided weary men to praise the birth of our Savior, YOU can shine a light in the darkness. You can bless a child in foster care with a loving family, give the gift of speech to a child with autism, or give a newborn a healthy start in life. You can be a guiding star and provide health and happiness to a child in need this Christmas season.
With more than a century of experience, The Baby Fold is equipped to steward gifts of all sizes and types including IRAs, stocks, annuities, estates, cryptocurrency, and more. A dedicated team of gift consultants can help you make the most of your year-end giving, with tax-savings expertise. This holiday season, prayerfully consider supporting the children served by The Baby Fold.
To learn more about the impactful work of The Baby Fold or to bless a child in need this Christmas season, please visit www.TheBabyFold.org or contact Sam Guillory at [email protected] or (309) 451-7202.
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