Michelle Korty, Director of CRADLE, recently spoke at the Kiwanis dinner/meeting about CRADLE and some of the changes taking place. Pictured with Michelle is Kiwanis member Al Riggle. Michelle is the new Director of CRADLE as of July 2017. Deanna Jackson, previoius Director, retired after 18 years as Director. Michelle started off by thanking the Kiwanis for their support of CRADLE and expressed how much she looks forward to working with us in the future. She also mentioned she is on the Leadership Board of Get Healthy Scott County. This group has been working on several issues the past few years, most notably the HIV crisis and the opioid epidemic. Get Healthy Scott County is rolling out a new strategic plan on 6 Sep called the Blueprint for Transformation. It will be held at the Turning Point Church on IN 56. She urged Kiwanis to support and attend this meeting. She emphasized how the members of Get Healthy Scott County have tremendous respect for what Kiwanis is doing in the community for kids and would be honored if we could support this effort.
Michelle has been a social worker for 23 years and has served the community in Scott County in various fashions for the over fifteen years including serving as the President of the Scott County Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Council. As the new CRADLE Director, Michelle is looking at ways to involve and empower their clients to build self esteem and teach responsibility and how to plan for what they really need to take care of their babies in a healthy manner. She is implementing a CRADLE Bucks program similar to the Baby Bucks she used at Connections when working with many young families in the past. The parents/guardians receive CRADLE Bucks for healthy, positive things they do in the community and for their babies. These CRADLE Bucks may be redeemed for items at CRADLE. They’re able to pick up things like formula, diapers, clothing, baby beds, car seats, etc with the CRADLE Bucks. They can redeem the CRADLE Bucks once a week. This program helps build a better relationship between CRADLE and their clients. CRADLE doesn’t want to foster a feeling of entitlement and want to build self esteem in their clients.
Michelle is implementing a CRADLE Parent Support Group to encourage moms and parents to meet with each other to support each other, share experiences, encourage and learn from each other. Clients receive 10 CRADLE Bucks for participating. She is also starting a Parenting Class in partnership with Tammy Walker from the Scott County Purdue Extension to teach parenting skills. Michelle intends to expand services and engage other professionals to help. She is looking for someone to help her run a grief or loss support group.
CRADLE has been supporting Food For Our Souls giving diapers and wipes for distribution at the Thursday food giveaways at the Jayce Stallings Youth Center in Austin. Michelle has coordinated the opening of an outreach office each Thursday in partnership with WIC to support the needs of these young families better. Michelle has also arranged for two interns from Ivy Tech to begin helping at CRADLE. Volunteers are needed to help at CRADLE.
The CRADLE annual banquet fundraiser will be held on 20 October. The location is still to be determined. Please mark your calendars to support this incredible program to help our youngest kids. Cost of the dinner is free, attendees will be asked for a donation. CRADLE is also planning its annual Christmas Store again this year with the goal of serving 400 kids. If you have new or gently used toys, books or stocking stuffers, please donate them to CRADLE. Kiwanis will assist CRADLE again this year by donating our tables for the Christmas Store.
The Kiwanis members thanked Michelle for her presentation and wished her the best as she provides this service to our youngest kids!