Most of the stories we feature in this newsletter come from the mothers Step By Step serves. But, this story is personal. It is about my father. Behind every successful organization is someone’s story. It is usually a story about experiences that taught them what to value and what is worth fighting for. My story is no different.
During the month of June, we honored fathers, a piece of the puzzle that is absent in so many families we work with, at Step By Step and in America. My father had a profound impact on my life. He wasn’t the perfect dad. Our relationship endured many years of tension and anger, but my dad’s messages, what he said and the way he lived, were always consistent. Family was his number one priority and everything he did reflected that. He loved children, a generational trait passed down to him. He respected age and wisdom. He was an incredibly hard worker. He valued his faith and tried to live it out in every aspect of his life. He was a man of his word and was respected by all those he came in contact with. And, his heart beat for farms, both in his family and across America.
To my dad, farms and the families who worked the farms, represented everything he valued. As soon as he was able, he moved his young family to a piece of property that he worked until he died.
For 18 years, Step By Step has come alongside women and children to help babies get a good start to life. As a country, I don’t believe there is a better place to put our time and resources. Step By Step’s next step, one we have been working on for the last four years, is to buy a farm. Why this place? Because of its rich history, stability, sense of belonging in the community, its sense of place. It represents something that is missing for many people today.
Many of the women we work with have fragmented, unstable lives. It is my desire to use this place to bring trust, stability, and a sense of community and belonging to the women and children we work with.
What will we do with this farm? We will cultivate businesses around events, food service, and retail, that will provide job training and mentorship for women. This will also be a place where children will be nurtured and cared for, while mom works and addresses some of the life issues creating barriers to her success. More than anything, we want to see our moms succeed, to grow in confidence and the skills they need to provide and care for their children.
Two years ago, Step By Step found the perfect farm in Puyallup - the Van Lierop Bulb farm. We signed a purchase and sale agreement at the end of 2014 and need to raise 1.5 million dollars by August 14th (with a close date of Sept. 30th). We have been working with foundations and individuals to get close to our goal, but we will need you to help us get to the finish line.
In a few weeks, you will receive a very specific ask from me. In 18 years, I have never done this, but I need your help. Whether you can give $10, $100, $1,000 or $10,000, please consider a gift towards this purchase.
My dad passed away in 2005 after a brief battle with kidney cancer. I know he would be proud of this project and what it represents. I know you will be proud to be a part of this project, too. I hope you will make a contribution when you see the bright pink envelope arrive in your mailbox.
For more information, visit www.legacyinmotionproject.org
- Krista, Founder & Executive Director
Our next big step, at the Van Lierop Bulb Farm..
“Imagine a place that preserves a legacy, cultivates hope,
invests in families, and brings pride to a community.”
One of the greatest barriers to the families we serve is an economic one. For disadvantaged women with young children, it is difficult to break out of the cycles of poverty and abuse, in which so many of them were brought up. We want to help them obtain the skills they need in order to provide for their families and reach a place of self-sustainability.
Many of the mothers we serve are talented and determined, but they lack the opportunity to develop their skills and abilities.
We have long sought the opportunity to expand the Step By Step program, in order to provide mentorship and job training for the women we serve.
This project will provide a place that celebrates family and encourages positive relationships and connections. It will be a unique resource for the community, leaving a lasting legacy and improving the quality of life for all our families.
Learn more about the project at www.legacyinmotionproject.org
Meet our Volunteer Champions of the Month:
April - Brenda Brewer
Brenda has become a huge favorite here at Step By Step. She is acutely aware of what is needed (ie newborn sized diapers, beautifully wrapped in purple ribbon). She has delivered donated car seats, baby clothes, and lots more. Whenever we see white bags filled with diapers, we know that Brenda has been here! She also lent us her wonderful crafty talents, as she made several beautiful diaper cakes for our Mother’s Day event in May. Brenda didn’t stop there, as she also brought along her daughter Julie and friend Patty Thomas to add to our volunteer team. We are so thankful for her amazing generosity with her time, talents and treasures here at Step By Step. Thank you so much Brenda - you are truly making a difference in the lives of our Step By Step moms
May - Keller Williams
Wow, that’s about all we can say about Keller Williams right now, just wow. They graced the doors of Step By Step early on the morning of May 14th, for their Keller Williams “Red Day” - a designated time when Keller Williams gives of their time to help throughout their community. We benefitted so much by their amazing volunteers who showed up to paint all of our offices. They transformed our space from pastel pink and lime green to something a little more neutral, and painted some beautiful accent walls with our signature Step By Step color. It turned out great and we are enjoying the fruits of their labor. Several folks also helped us out by weeding flower beds, putting together welcome home bags for our moms, and running a multi-store diaper drive which brought in over 18,0000 diapers. Thank you Keller Williams for all of your time and generous efforts. We are so thankful for your partnership with us!
June - Kayla Cushing
Kayla has started working with us here at Step By Step, sponsored through the Trillium organization. From bundling diaper stacks, to sorting baby clothes, putting together welcome home bags, and assembling our informational folders, Kayla always works hard and always gets the job done while keeping that great smile on her face! Thank you Kayla for all of your help, we really appreciate you!