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Stepping Stones S ummer 2008


What is Stepping Stones? Stepping Stones is an independent, non-profit organization that offers transitional housing and supportive services to youth aged 16-20 who are experiencing homelessness. Residents live in furnished, two-bedroom apartments with another resident. Stepping Stones has a maximum capacity of six residents at one time. On the same site as resident housing is our Community Center, which includes housing for the Resident Assistant and our administrative offices. Residents can drop by the Community Center to socialize or use computers throughout the day. The Community Center is also where weekly meetings are held with residents and direct

Passport to Health

Stepping Stones’ summer Passport to Health Program encourages both residents and youth (aged 16-20) in the community to make healthy eating and activity choices. Activities, which are planned and supervised by the AmeriCorps Health Coordinator, are twice weekly and participants have the chance to earn $25 a month through completion of program requirements! Participants can look forward to canoeing trips, educational workshops, and healthy snacks. The free program is open to youth (16-20). It runs June 11th- August 6th on Wednesdays from 2:30-4:30 & Fridays from 10-2. For more information or to sign up, contact Sarah Koch Connor at 339-9771 or

Spring Fling

Stepping Stones’ first ever “Spring Fling” was held at the IU Law School lawn on May 18. The event included an arts and crafts fair, yard sale, silent auction and live entertainment. Local musicians The Scraps and Aaron Persinger played several acoustic songs and Tasha Jones, a spoken word poet from Indianapolis, performed her poetry on topics such as self esteem, drug addiction, and racism. We had a great time, made a lot of new friends, and raised over $500 for the youth in our organization. Many thanks to all the people who helped us make this a success: Carrie Albright and Kristin Thompson, Jocelyn Bowie, The Clean Greeners, Bill Connor & Telene Edington, Blast-Off Balloons, Bloomington Valley Nursery, The Bloomington Vibe, Eek-o-Logical, IU School of Law, Kroger, Master Rental, Papa John’s, John Stipp, and Windfall Dancers.

Staff and patrons of the Spring Fling enjoy hula hooping on the IU Law School Lawn to the music of The Scraps.

Homeward Bound 2008

The 6th annual Homeward Bound 5k Walk to provide housing and end homelessness took place on April 6 and supported 13 local nonprofit agencies.

Residents, staff, and board members had a cookout a week before the walk to celebrate everyone’s fundraising work. After the cookout, residents tie-dyed t-shirts to go with the team theme—the 1960s. The theme was inspired by the popular Bob Dylan song, “Like a Rolling Stone.” We asked people to imagine, “How would it feel, to be out on your own, with no direction home, like a complete unknown, like a rolling stone?” Just as the walk is about to kick off, Stepping Stones board, staff, residents, and friends gather for a photo.


P.O. Box 1366, 47402

36 people walked with the Stepping Stones Team and helped raise over $5300 for the organization!


Meet some of the residents! Felicia is a 19 year old recent graduate from Bloomington South High School. She says of graduating, “I have made it through my senior year and it is an honor to me to be able to say that I am graduating. [It] has always been a matter how long it would take, [or] what roads I would have to take to get there.” Felicia attributes many of her successes to her time spent at Stepping Stones. “Being at Stepping Stones, I feel like I got a chance of a lifetime, especially considering the fact that only six teens at a time can be in this program. There are many people that work in this program that we begin to get very close to and they become like a real family...they are always there when we need them, no matter the time of day.”


Felicia will soon be graduating from the Stepping Stones program as well. She wants to work with people with developmental disabilities and is pursuing a job at Stonebelt.

Ashley Ashley is a 19 year old resident of Stepping Stones who has been in the program for about 10 months. Before Ashley came to Stepping Stones, she reports that “keeping up with...classes at school was hard because we moved so much in the middle of the year.” Since coming to Stepping Stones, Ashley says, “...I’m passing all my classes and [I’m] happier. I used to miss school. Now I don’t.” Though they can be long at times, Ashley agrees that the weekly meetings held with the residents and direct care staff are helpful in staying updated on her progress in the program and on what other residents are accomplishing. She also recalls the resident trip to Holiday World last August and her time volunteering at Rhino’s as some of her favorite experiences at Stepping Stones.

Kayleigh Kayleigh is an 18-year-old resident who has been at Stepping Stones since February. She has held a job at Steak N’ Shake since her arrival, and is an active member in the Healthy Living Program. She enjoys the Healthy Living Program because of the rewards, the easy access to working out, and she enjoys cooking. Kayleigh will be going to Vincennes University in August, and sees Stepping Stones as a great place for her because it is a stable place to live while saving up for college. She plans on attending Vincennes, getting her associate’s degree and then transferring to Indiana University to finish her last two years. Kayleigh is a very welcoming and fun person, who describes herself as “awesome!” She is very artistic and loves drawing, baking, and being creative.

Belinda Belinda is an 18-year-old senior at Bloomington South High School. She has been a resident of Stepping Stones for about two months and enjoys the program. Belinda describes herself as fun, nice, and easy to get along with. She has been able to attain a job at KFC while at Stepping Stones Belinda enjoys hanging out with friends, singing, and writing poems and songs. Her goals include finishing high school, going to college, and becoming a midwife or obstetrician. She feels that Stepping Stones is helping her reach her goals and she likes the people who work and live here.


Stepping Stones welcomes new staff members Bill, Jamila, Rhemma, and Tory! P.O. Box 1366, 47402 (812)339-9771

Icing on the Cake: Dessert and Awards Ceremony Stepping Stones’ first annual Icing on the Cake: Dessert and Awards Ceremony was held in May to honor youth champions in our community. Ron Thompson, Executive Director of the Youth Services Bureau of Monroe County, and The Hon. Viola Taliaferro, Retired Monroe County Circuit Court Judge, were honored with the first ever “Stepping Up Awards” for their dedication to and work with the youth of Bloomington and Monroe County. Each year, one man and one woman will be honored for their work.

Honorees line up after being given their awards at Stepping Stones’ Icing on the Cake Dessert and Awards Ceremony held in Lamkin Hall at Ivy Tech Community College.

Jan Ault, Rebecca Cambridge, Colin Connor, Kim Kanney, Katie Koselke, Rose Lester, Felicia Maldonado, Carol Neill, Kelsey Olson, Karen Papadopoulos, Eric Rensberger, Richard Shepherd, Rebecca Schroeder, David Schunk, Claudia Scott, Lindsay Orrison, Linsay Riddle, and Dave Torneo were also honored at Icing on the Cake for their various contributions to Stepping Stones and its residents and staff. Icing on the Cake raised over $2000 for Stepping Stones.

You’re Never too Young to Start:

A Lesson in Giving

In May, we were contacted by a family requesting an updated wishlist. They explained they were trying to teach their young son about being thankful for his privilege—so each parent chose a non-profit organization to support for their birthday. Family and friends brought gifts such as towels and band-aids to Mr. Fulton’s birthday party, and he and his son brought those gifts to Stepping Stones! Mrs. Fulton donated her birthday gifts to Hannah House. Mr. Fulton explains, “The nice part was that we never pushed the idea on him. We had our birthdays in April and May and got the point sufficiently across that he suggested the idea himself for his upcoming birthday in September.” The Fultons originally got the idea from a friend when their son attended a party where his gift was several cans of food. When asked why the family had chosen to give in-kind gifts, Mr. Fulton replied, “…we thought it was important that Jesse get to go to the charities and actually drop off the gifts. Most charities like to get cash rather than in-kind gifts, but we think that's too difficult for a small child to get his head around, so we prefer to make the contributions more concrete. Jesse was able to learn that these very real presents were able to help very real people.”

There are lots of ways to give... *Shower liners *Wall clocks *Storage tubs *Kitchen Table *Heavy-duty doormats *Floor lamps *New twin sheets *Alarm Clocks

Here are some of the things Step-

*Blankets *Gift cards: Target, K-mart, Staples, Best Buy *Tickets to sporting events *Tickets to theater shows *Toiletry items *Phone cards *Dishwasher/laundry detergent

Breaking News!

Stepping Stones has been awarded $15,907 in NAP tax credits to give away to donors like you! Please refer to our website or contact Erin Marshall at 339-9771 for more information.

To see our complete Wish List please visit our website.

Thank You for our new website!

Many thanks to Rose Lester for designing the new Stepping Stones website, 3WD and Michael Shermis for building the site, and the Indiana Youth Institute for funding the project! Please visit the website to learn more about Stepping Stones, our programs and residents, as well as ways to get involved. Find out how to apply to the program, what our current volunteer opportunities are, and keep up with our most recent news. Also, our newsletters will now be posted on the website for easy access! We have a PayPal link! PayPal is an easy, safe way to donate online without exposing any of your credit card information. The NAP tax credit forms are also available on the website for people interested in donating to Stepping Stones and saving money next tax season.


P.O. Box 1366, 47402


Please Recycle


C ONGRATUALTIONS To Bloomington South Graduate, Non Profit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Bloomington IN Permit No. 248

P.O. Box 1366 Bloomington, IN 47402

Stepping Stones, Inc. Here’s how it works: Stepping Stones purchases the gift cards from the participating grocery stores and then sells them at face value. You can then purchase the gift cards from Stepping Stones. The grocery store, not the customer, is making the donation. The grocery stores will donate 5% of every gift card purchase to Stepping Stones. Kroger gift cards can be reloaded at any Kroger store. Bloomingfoods and O’Malia’s/Marsh cards must be repurchased through Stepping Stones. Bloomingfoods cards can be recycled at any of their three locations.

Mail your order & payment in the donation envelope provided. Please make checks payable to Stepping Stones. If you have questions or would like more information, contact Erin Marshall at 339-9771. 4

P.O. Box 1366, 47402

in p p Ste

s e n o t S g

Grocery Gift Cards

Name Phone


Select which, and how many, cards you would like to purchase: Bloomingfoods $50 no.__ $100 no.__ $200 no.__ $300 no.__ Kroger $25 no.__ $50 no.__ $100 no.__ O’Malia/Marsh $25 no.__ $50 no.__ $100 no.__ (812)339-9771

2008 Summer Newsletter  


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