NBC26 Cares: B.A.B.E.S. Helps Parents Cope
Photo: Video by nbc26.com
Appleton, WI -- Did you know that every 13 seconds, a child is reported abused or neglected in the U.S. It's a disturbing cycle of violence that an Appleton organization is working hard to break, and they couldn't do it without the community's support.
3-year-old Blake is the apple of Kelly Rehm's eye, but balancing life as a single mother, a college student and, until recently, working a job, it can all become overwhelming.
"I get pretty stressed, but I really try not to be because I don't want to show that to my son," said Rehm.
Two years ago, Kelly turned to B.A.B.E.S. for help. The child abuse prevention program provides respite and counseling services for young parents up to age 27.
"Young parents who don't have all the education for how to be a good parent, we try to help out with that so that the kids are not suffering by abuse," said Elder Monica Williams, Interim Executive Director for B.A.B.E.S.
B.A.B.E.S. also offers free child care for parents who need an emotional break or in Kelly's case, it allows her to attend classes at Fox Valley Technical College.
"I think that takes a big stress off, knowing that somebody's watching my son that I trust and I can concentrate on school then," Rehm said.
As a non-profit organization, B.A.B.E.S. depends on donations to improve more lives. It's why Mid-Day Women's Alliance has chosen the organization to receive the proceeds from its upcoming Black & Pink Ball.
"Being a woman's organization, we're all about families and wanting our children safe," said Barb Sexmith, Mid-Day Women's Alliance member and Co-Chair of the Black & Pink Ball.
Sexmith hopes the event that features food, dancing, a silent auction and raffles will raise $15,000 for B.A.B.E.S.
"B.A.B.E.S. provides a legacy for these young parents to become better parents, which in return their children will become better parents one day. So it's just looking at what it will do for our community," Sexmith explained.
The money will help B.A.B.E.S. maintain their building.
"We just are grateful, very grateful," said Elder Williams.
A sentiment that's echoed by Kelly.
"They've just been wonderful to us."
She credits B.A.B.E.S. and community support for giving her a chance to give her son a better life.
The Black & Pink Ball to benefit B.A.B.E.S. will be held Wednesday, December 4th from 6:00-9:00pm at the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel in Appleton.
Click here for ticket information: http://middaywomen.org/mtgs-events/bpball/
Click here for more information about B.A.B.E.S.: http://www.babeshelp.org/