Helping at-risk mothers give their children a “Healthy Start”

The Baby Fold
The Baby Fold was a 2014 MCLP project partner.

The Baby Fold was a 2014 MCLP project partner.

MCLP’s 2014 project with The Baby Fold has become the “gift that keeps on giving.”

The Baby Fold offers a wide variety of services to women and children, including “Healthy Start,” a program for at-risk mothers. Supporting teen and first time mothers, the program offers training and guidance on proper childcare, nutrition and parenting skills.

The challenge, like many in social services, is increased demand for services and decreasing budgets. How does one keep a vital program like this sustainable?

MCLP selects five community projects annually, each served by five class participants who work with their partner organization to address a local need. Baby Fold was one of the projects tackled by the Class of 2014—with team members Bobbi Hynes, Tejas Jani, Kiran Konam, Jerin Thomas, and Lola Albright, and advised by Carl Davis. The Baby Fold challenged them to help publicize and build support for Healthy Start that could lead to sustained financial support.

MCLP team members for The Baby Fold community partner project.
Class of 2014 MCLP project team with The Baby Fold community partner

With help from Growmark, Inc., the team organized and produced a very polished film explaining the Healthy Start program.

Julie Payne, The Baby Fold’s Vice-President of Development and Public Relations, praised the MCLP team. She noted that sometimes an organization will work with a program like MLCP, helping to develop new leaders, but not necessarily having high expectations for immediate results. “We were amazed at what this team did. They exceeded our expectations. They were a delight to work with and are helping give these children a healthy start.”

The Baby Fold is currently revamping their web and social media presence. The video this group produced will play a prominent part.

The video production was not the project’s end. Team members Lola Albright and Tejas Jani continue to help The Baby Fold. Lola serves on the Healthy Start Advisory Board and Tejas serves on the website development team. Another MCLP graduate, Peter Stroyan, is on The Baby Fold board.

MCLP team members present their project with The Baby Fold to the community.
MCLP team members present their project with The Baby Fold to the community on March 8, 2014.

Tejas works at State Farm and his contribution is technology. “I want to help the community with the use of technology.” He is providing guidance to The Baby Fold as they revamp their website and social media presence. Tejas said that both The Baby Fold and MCLP touched him.

“As a single parent, I wanted to stay involved in this project. It really hit home to me.” MCLP was critical to his own personal growth too. “Going through a nine-month program such as MCLP, I witnessed the most growth in the shortest period of time, in myself. MCLP helped me find a purpose for my personal goal, helping the community with the help of technology!”

MCLP team projects can offer a boost to participating nonprofit partner organizations. Even more, they can offer not only the nonprofit, but also the MCLP team members, an ever-widening opportunity for community caring and involvement.


2 thoughts on “Helping at-risk mothers give their children a “Healthy Start”

  1. Bobbi Hynes

    I am glad to see that The Baby Fold will be using the video we created and that we still have an MCLP presence there. It was a real pleasure to work on that project and share it with The Baby Fold staff. Way to go “baby Boomers Team”

  2. susan meiss

    Healthy Start is a wonderful program. Good work, MCLP team members. Congratulations to Dale Strassheim, for being a super partner. The Baby Fold is a community gem. Many thanks to all of you for your efforts and success. What higher purpose can there be to help poor and/or young inexperienced mothers? Very worthy work. Susan Meiss

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