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GIVING, RECEIVING COMES FULL CIRCLE: Annual campaign brings change

March 22, 2013

Katey Till, of South Whitley, and her two-year-old daughter, Daisy, visited B.A.B.E.’s new location on Line Street Wednesday. Till and her family have utilized the nonprofit’s services for the past seven years. Now Till is able to donate back to the organization that has been helpful to her family. Post & Mail photo / Christie Barkley

COLUMBIA CITY — Pocket change is needed to make positive change for Whitley County families.

B.A.B.E.’s annual April giving campaign is in its fifth year and baby bottles are being prepared for distribution across the county to collect monetary donations.

“These bottles will be in businesses all over the county,” said Shawn Ellis, B.A.B.E.’s executive director. “There are smaller bottles that we are handing out to churches so that their members can take them home and fill them.”

The campaign will help support B.A.B.E.’s mission — “to provide quality incentives to parents who participate in preventive and prenatal care, including parenting, educational and nutritional classes to promote healthy pregnancy, birth outcome and early childhood development.”

Recently, B.A.B.E. moved to its new location on Line Street, Columbia City. Taking possession of the former Carriage House Flowers building, the nonprofit has more room to expand its services.

“We are able to display more of the items we have in our inventory. We also have more room for Stages,” Ellis said.

Stages is a resale store, a division of B.A.B.E., that sells used baby and children’s clothing, as well as other items. Unlike B.A.B.E., the resale division is open to anyone who’d like to purchase items. No vouchers or B.A.B.E. coupons are necessary.

“This is how we are sustaining B.A.B.E. long term,” Ellis said. “Right now we are only dependent on grants for about 30 percent of our annual budget. It’s our goal to continue to lessen that number.”

To do that, Ellis said the April baby bottle drive is imperative to the financial make-up of the nonprofit service.

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