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the Corn r Summer 2014

Inside Summer at EBC: From lemonade to bikes, we’ve got it covered

How recent donations of dresses, bracelets, socks and underwear are helping Eastside Baby Corner fulfill its mission

Giving kids what they to thrive • Summer 2014 • 1

A letter from Executive Director, Renee Zimmerman Before I became executive director in January 2013, I thought I knew Eastside Baby Corner. After all, I’ve lived in Issaquah for 15 years, donated the clothing my boys outgrew, and organized Cub Scout projects for EBC. I was wrong. Everything I saw was only the tip of the iceberg. Underneath are hundreds of remarkable people, each doing his or her part to keep this “little engine that could” organization chugging along. EBC is the 13-year-old National Charity League girls who raised over $1,200 selling EBC bracelets, the siblings who donated their lemonade stand profits, the members of the Providence Point Kiwanis who collected nearly $4,000 from Providence Point residents and the women who can remove any stain with OxyClean. It’s also the businesses who care deeply about community. Rowley Properties gives us a home; others sponsor our Helping Kids Thrive benefit

luncheon, or volunteer on a regular basis. Then there is SanMar. As you will read on page nine, SanMar is a special story. As a ‘family’—corporation and employees working together—they raised thousands of dollars through events, personal gifts and a company match. Through the financial contributions of the employees and the socks and underwear from the company, SanMar is changing our ability to help kids. In fact, their passion for kids and community runs so deep that Olivia Thurmond, Senior Manager for Human Resources, joined the EBC Board of Directors this year. I now know so much more about how many caring individuals, groups and businesses it takes to make our engine run, and I continue to look forward to learning even more about the people who give from their hearts so that others may have a better life. Thank you for all you do!


A special Thanks to our 2014 Annual Thrive Luncheon Sponsors


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It’s summer at EBC A donor’s tale - lemonade Summer dresses NCL’s donation of bracelets The bikes of EBC Socks and underwear from SanMar Why we are already thinking about back-to-school



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It’s Summer at Eastside Baby Corner For most children there is no better time than summertime – school is out, the weather is nice and there is always something going on. As we think about the excitement so many kids are feeling during this season, let’s pause to remind ourselves how much more carefree the summer can be for children if they have the very basics: diapers, food, a bed to call their own, appropriate clothing and shoes (that fit), and toys. Summer is a unique time at EBC. Many of our provider partners are connected to the children they serve through the school districts. When the kids are out of school they don’t have as much contact with them. Just before school let out we saw a surge in the number of orders placed as the agencies sought to make sure their children had everything they required for summer. Now,

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with summer needs met, there are fewer orders for us to fill. Far from meaning we get to sit back and relax for the next few months, summer is the time to replenish our supplies and have everything ready for fall, our busiest season. That’s not to say that it’s all work and no play. With the weather warmer we want to get outside too, so summer is also the time when EBC takes the show on the road - to local festivals and events - where we have the opportunity to introduce EBC and our mission to people who don’t know about us. We hope you enjoy this month’s issue of the Corner. We’ve tried to capture that special summer feeling while letting you know about all of the wonderful work our donors, volunteers and provider partners are doing. Happy reading!

Owen, Isaac, Oliver and Elsie Unger sell lemonade to raise money for Eastside Baby Corner

A Donor’s Tale: Lemonade Contributing to Eastside Baby Corner has always been a part of life for Owen, Elsie, Isaac and Oliver Unger. Given that their grandmother is EBC founder, Karen Ridlon, that’s easy to understand. Their mother, Susanne, explains that as they outgrow clothing and toys, they understand, and fully expect their hand-me-downs to go to Eastside Baby Corner. Lately, Susanne says, the quartet has been asking to have a lemonade stand - like

Oliver Unger, age 4, shared this drawing with us

so many kids do during the A letter from Owen Unger, age 7 summer months. Instead of very excited to be selling wanting to make money to lemonade for Eastside Baby buy toys, though, the Unger Corner, and they really got into children wanted to have their lemonade stand to raise money yelling, “lemonade for sale” and handing out EBC cards. In fact, for EBC. Susanne assured she says, they liked it so much the kids they would eventually they have already put her on have a lemonade stand, so the hook for setting up another when a neighborhood-wide yard sale came up in Grandma Karen’s neighborhood, Susanne thought it would be the perfect opportunity. The kids set up their enterprise in their grandma’s yard, selling Elsie Unger, age 6, sent EBC this drawing she made of her family lemonade stand next year. for 50¢ a cup, with all of the We extend a great big thank proceeds going to Eastside you to Owen, Elsie, Isaac, Baby Corner. They sold nearly 50 cups in total, and raised $55 Oliver and their mom Susanne. for EBC (some people donated We appreciate all your hard work to raise money for EBC, without taking a lemonade, or and we adore the nice notes paid $1 or more for their cup). and pictures you sent us. Susanne, says the kids were • Summer 2014 • 5

Summer Dresses: Made and donated with love, given to a special girl with a special need From time to time we receive donations of handmade items like blankets, toys, hats and clothing. We deeply appreciate (and admire) the crafters who

Matthea, Amelia and Annie, age 6, model handmade dresses recently donated to EBC

provide them, and know that the child who receives one of these treasures will certainly cherish it, knowing it was made with love, just for them. Recently we had the opportunity to give a few homemade summer dresses to a special girl with a special need. Our provider partner Grace Kuan from Family Connections Center shared her story: “TR is a second grader who comes from a single parent family. She was injured badly as a passenger in a car accident, along with another family. She was rushed to Harborview

where she went through surgery and is now in Children’s for rehab. She is wearing a big ring on her head to keep her head straight and is still practicing how to walk again. Her neck and spinal are both injured, which affects her ability to bend or move. She can’t wear regular t-shirts so FCC has been looking for the tie shoulder or zipper shirt/dresses for her.” Thanks to our crafty donors, EBC had (homemade) tie shoulder dresses to offer TR. We wish TR a very speedy recovery, and thank Grace for sharing her story.

NCL Emerald City Chapter donates bracelets & funds raised from selling them to EBC The Emerald City Chapter of the National Charity League selected Eastside Baby Corner to be the recipient of their group philanthropy project this

The Emerald City Chapter of the National Charity League sell bracelets to benefit EBC

year. Their goal was to raise $1,000 for EBC, and they decided to do it by purchasing and selling bracelets at local grocery stores. The girls ordered 1,000 bracelets, which read, “Help Kids Thrive – EBC” and sold them for $1 each. The group was pleased with how well the bracelets sold. They found that many people in the local community appreciated EBC and its mission and were happy to donate more than the girls were asking for the bracelets, or to donate and not take a bracelet. After the campaign the NCL presented

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EBC with a check for $1,347, far exceeding their goal. They also had bracelets remaining, and they donated them to EBC, so we can continue to raise funds. We are so appreciative to these wonderful ladies, not only did they support Eastside Baby Corner through this project, but many of the girls continue to support EBC through regular volunteerism. Such an awesome group! The NCL is a motherdaughter philanthropic organization with chapters throughout the Unites States. If you would like to have your very EBC bracelet (designed by the NCL) please email Cori at

The Bikes of Eastside Baby Corner

At the far end of our 7,558 square foot distribution center, very likely separated intentionally from the hustle and

bustle of the main Eastside Baby Corner comings and goings, lies a remarkably well-appointed unit, affectionately dubbed the man cave. Inside three men, Greg Wineland, Dick Scott and Pete Kraetsch, all retired, all volunteers, busy themselves with tools and spare parts. Born from a need for space to inspect and repair previously used items donated to EBC – like cribs and strollers – Greg, Dick and Pete

distributing nearly 300 bikes to have turned the man cave into children each year – remarkable a fully stocked workshop that progress for a program that enables the trio of men to put started out out 75 plus as “a three distributionpound coffee ready items can with nuts, each week. bolts and The man cave screws,” as is also home to Dick, who has EBC’s growing spent more bike program. than 11 years Actually, it is volunteering in great part for EBC, due to the describes it. acquisition of Besides the man cave the space, space that another the EBC bike element that program is as has allowed robust as it is today – with the bike program volunteers Greg Wineland repairs the bikes that are donated to to grow collecting, EBC inspecting, repairing and Continued on next page • Summer 2014 • 7

Volunteer, Tim Sullivan helps EBC pick up the bikes donated to EBC by the Redmond Rotary from their facility in Redmond

Bikes Continued: is the addition of Greg to the team. While Dick and Pete are accomplished handymen, bikes are not their thing. When asked what exactly it is he does in the man cave, Dick

replies, “anything, except bikes.” When Greg began volunteering three years ago, Dick was all too happy to turn over the coffee can. Greg was a natural choice for the lead bike role. Always arriving at EBC on his bike, Greg grew up building and repairing bikes. He is well connected in the bike community and knows where to go and to whom to speak to keep the EBC bike program growing, without increasing the financial cost. Growing the bike program was on Greg’s agenda from the start. Just as big as the role of bikes in Greg’s life, is the role of kids. He and his wife Penny Lewis were foster parents for 23 years, providing a home for 16 kids during that time. Greg says he hates to see kids go without, and since

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bikes mean so much to him, seeing kids go without bikes really impacts him. When he started volunteering at EBC and realized how many kids in King County didn’t have a bike, he knew he wanted to help expand the program. To do that, Greg began working closely with the Redmond chapter of the Rotary Club, which runs a bike recycling program in connection with the City of Redmond’s triannual recycling and collection event. It was a partnership of benefit to both sides – Redmond Rotary had an overabundance of recycled bikes and EBC was looking to increase distribution. Now in its third year, the partnership remains strong. Jeff Hayenga, is the EBC/ Redmond Rotary liaison. Not quite the bike guy Greg is,

SanMar helps EBC give new socks and underwear “When I heard about the SanMar donation, I Issaquah based national clothing distributor SanMar recently donated 20 pallets of socks and was beyond excited. I purchase many of the goods we buy, always looking for discounts underwear to EBC. The donation was part of a to stretch each dollar as far as possible, while nation-wide fundraising effort by the business keeping a careful eye on our financial bottom who collected $40,000 through employee line. SanMar’s donation enables Eastside Baby contributions. EBC was given the choice to take Corner to achieve a long standing goal of giving the $40,000 or leverage SanMar’s buying power and take the donation in clothing. EBC choose to a larger quantity of underwear and socks in the bags of clothing to the children we serve. have SanMar buy kid’s socks and underwear. And the money we would have spent on those While socks and underwear are not that purchases allows EBC to have the resources to glamorous, the impact of this donation is huge meet agencies requests to serve more children.” for us. First, sock and underwear are items we always need. We try to include a week’s worth of the accessories in each of the approximately 200 clothing bags we hand out each week. We prefer to give kids new socks and underwear, and there just aren’t that many coming in through donations. We often have to buy them. This is the second benefit of the donation. With an abundance of socks and underwear in our distribution center, we can use our donated funds for other high-needs items - like car seats, cribs, formula and diapers. EBC core volunteer Karen Rubin explains the Sue Tank, the volunteer in charge of our socks, unloads new socks donated by SanMar impact well,

Bikes Continued: his commitment to keeping resources local serves as his motivation to nurture the relationship. “I like to get as close to the recipient as possible,” he explains. While he and his team never meet the end recipients of their bike donations, he does take comfort in knowing that they are staying in the community. Plus, there is the occasional picture shared, something that seems to be ‘payment in full’ for everyone involved in the entire bike program. Back at the EBC man cave several photos of bike riding, ear-to-ear grinning children adorn the walls. Greg pulls down one of a little girl

aptly named Joy. “When you see a grin like that,” he says, “you know why we do this.” While the EBC bike program has grown significantly in the past three years, we are unable to provide bikes to every child who needs one, and we would really like that to change. If you or someone you know has a bike they no longer need, please consider donating it to EBC. We are especially in need of small bikes (14”, 16” & 20”), particularly boy’s bikes. We also need helmets so the kids who receive bikes can ride safely. Joy happily shows off the refurbished bicycle she More information on drop-off received from EBC last year times and locations available online at • Summer 2014 • 9

Why we’re already thinking about back-to-school Even though summer vacation has just begun, the children’s return to school is already on our minds. It’s not because the kids are already bored, and we just need them out of our hair, or because we are like the retail stores who start selling everything months before the actual season (yes, we mean the holiday decorations in October). EBC is thinking about back to school because we have a lot to get done to make sure when the kids do go back to school, we have enough supplies to fill all the back-to-school orders. For our school supplies program we offer backpacks alone and backpacks full of supplies, for two different age

Save the Date - 5th Annual Pants Party set for September 6th Each fall EBC asks our supporters to “Drop Your Pants” (off) at our Annual Pants Party. Now in its 5th year, Pants Party is a carnival-style event held at the EBC distribution hub (1510 NW Maple Street in Issaquah). 10 • • Summer 2014

groups (5 to 8 and 9 to 12), and for both genders. We have a list of supplies that we have created from the school district’s recommended supplies list, and we do our best to offer children everything they will need. We rely almost completely on donations for all of our school supplies. We are happy to accept almost anything school related, but are particularly in need of college rule notebooks and filler paper, erasers, markers (wide and fine), color pencils, scissors and boys backpacks. If you would like to help, you can drop off supplies at our hub or host a drive. Contact Cori at for more information.

Pants Party started as a way to bring awareness to our perpetual fall-time need for pants to use in our back to school clothing bundles. The event has been a big success, growing both in size and in the amount of pants collected each year Last year, the 4th annual Pants Party brought in nearly 4,000 pairs of pants. This year’s Pants Party will be held on Saturday, September 6th from 10am to 1pm. Besides the joy of giving pants to a child in need, pants donors are treated to food, games, entertainment, warehouse tours and giveaways. We are still finalizing plans for this year’s Pants Party events. If you would like to participate, we are looking for sponsors, entertainment and, as always, volunteers. Contact Cori at Join our E News mailing list at to receive the latest Pants Party information.

Join Us! Volunteer your time at EBC and help us help over 500 kids every week

Recently one of our core volunteers explained that volunteering at Eastside Baby Corner “gets in your blood.” We wouldn’t want to ‘brag’ or anything, but we do believe that once you’ve volunteered at EBC, there is a good chance you will be hooked. We think this happens for several reasons, but here are our top two: 1. Our mission is a special one; we help local kids - in a very tangible way. When you volunteer at EBC you might be filling a clothing bag for a very specific child, or you might be sorting donations that have come in from individuals or groups. Your experience will be hands-on, and there will be no question in your mind that the work you are doing is going to make an impact. 2. The Hub is a very happening, very exciting place to be. During our primary volunteer shifts certainly, but at almost any time really, the Hub is full of people, many who have volunteering at EBC for years, happily going

about the business of making sure we are able to fulfill our mission to the kids of King County. Whether you need hours for school, you want to make a difference in the lives of kids or you want to help a local nonprofit succeed, consider giving your time to EBC. We will be happy to have you on our team. Find out more about volunteering at EBC at

Bet you never realized your used children’s items were worth so much

Sometimes it seems like we put our child to bed wearing a size four and they wake up wearing a size six, and of course it happens about a week after we went out and bought them a

whole new wardrobe in size four – since they just grew into that size after all. The next time this happens to you, we would like to encourage you to 1) try not to get too frustrated because it doesn’t have to be a total loss and 2) donate the clothes to EBC where they will have a second life with a child from your community. Each week EBC fills about 200 clothing bags for King County kids in need. We call these bags The Big Bundle because they hold an entire week’s worth of

clothing (plus toiletries, toys, books, socks and shoes), selected specifically for the child who will receive them. Nearly all of the clothing that makes up these Big Bundles comes from donations from parents like you, so while we sincerely wish ‘minimal growth spurts’, we want you to know that when they do happen, we would be pleased to have your kids outgrown clothes. Visit us online at to learn about donation drop off times and locations.

Go behind the scenes at EBC: Subscribe to our blog at • Summer 2014 • 11


P.O. Box 712 Issaquah, WA 98027

Join Us September 6 Pants Party

November 14 5th Annual Helping Kids Thrive Benefit Luncheon

Stay Connected Drop-off Hours

Contact Us

The Hub 1510 NW Maple Street P.O.Box 712 Issaquah, WA 98029 (425) 865-0234

Visit us online at Keep up to date with Eastside Baby Corner news and events by liking us on Facebook, following us on Twitter and Pinterest, or subscribing to our blog. Sign up for our social media tools, as well as our monthly E-News at

The Hub Monday 5:30PM to 8:30PM Thursday 9:00AM to 11:00AM Saturday 9:00AM to 12:00PM Issaquah Highlands Self Storage Monday - Sunday 9:30AM to 6:00PM Marymoor Self Storage in Redmond Monday - Saturday 9:30AM to 6:00PM Sunday 9:30am to 5:00pm

Our Mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of children and families in need by collecting and purchasing children’s items and distributing them, free of charge, through agencies who are providing services for families in east King County. At EBC we give families help and hope.

Giving EBC a home since 1990

Eastside Baby Corner Summer 2014 Newsletter  
Eastside Baby Corner Summer 2014 Newsletter