The nonprofit organization provides food, formula, diapers and other essential items to babies and toddlers whose families have experienced trauma or financial loss due to such circumstances as loss of a loved one, divorce, sudden unemployment or natural disaster.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, 85 percent of brain development occurs during the first three years of life. Infant Crisis Services reports that one in four babies in Oklahoma lives in poverty, and these children often are deprived of basic needs at a critical stage in their lives. Such babies have a moderate to high risk for developmental delay.
Volunteers assist children
Amy Spielberger, public relations coordinator for Infant Crisis Services, said its 2,249 volunteers saved the organization $327,908 in operating costs last year.
“Our volunteers make a big difference, it’s pretty amazing,” she said.
Spielberger said employees and volunteers save Newville’s hats throughout the year and put them on a “warmth tree” every Christmas.
The warmth tree is a Christmas tree decorated with donated clothing that will keep children warm in the winter. Every year from November to January, parents can choose an outfit for each of their children.
Spielberger said Newville’s hats are always a favorite of moms and babies alike.
“Our moms love anything handmade. They feel like they’re getting more than just a hat; they’re getting something from someone’s home. It’s personal,” she said.
To learn more about Infant Crisis Services or to become a volunteer, to go www.infantcrisis.org.