Kendal Gives Thanks

The Child Development Council was one of two nonprofit recipients of the “Kendal Gives Thanks” donation given annually from the residents of Kendal at Ithaca. Our CEO, Sue Dale-Hall was on hand to receive the award (in the amount of $9,250).  The other recipient present was: Natasha R. Thompson (President and CEO, Foodbank of the Southern Tier). George Ferrari (CEO, Community Foundation of Tompkins County) provided the Keynote Address.  The program included a reading of a Presidential Proclamation from President Barack Obama by Kendal resident John Kotun. Former Council employee and current Kendal resident, Alene Wyatt, played piano during the musical interludes.

Sue’s Remarks:

Our agency was founded because a small group of committed community members were concerned about what happened to children at home and in child care. June Rogers, our founding director, was especially concerned about rural isolated children and those with limited incomes. Children were increasingly disconnected from social, among other opportunities.

Today some of these issues remain, but we also face a variety of different issues. Children are connected more and more to YouTube videos, television, and their electronic devices, and not necessarily the support and resources they need more. Families are working more and more. They need our support.

We are very fortunate to live in such a great community, but it is important to know that not all children are doing well. Did you know?

  • The child (under 18) poverty rate in Tompkins County is 15.3.%
  • 57% of children under the age of five in a single parent household are in poverty.
  • This past spring we asked parents about their child care experiences and the findings reinforced things we already know – that there is not enough care; that quality matters and the cost is too much for most.
  • 56% of the families struggling to pay for child care compromise the basic needs of their children, which include housing, heat, clothing, health care, and food.
  • 1 in 5 babies are-food-insecure.  A can of formula costs $15 plus and lasts less than three days for a three-month-old baby.  It’s wonderful to share the stage with Natasha from the Southern Tier Foodbank, a great partner in feeding our community’s children.
  • Toxic stress for families and children that are struggling can be unrelenting. It alters the brain connections.
  • Unmitigated stress contributes to the inability to link feelings and behaviors.  This is why we partner with programs within the community to directly support low-income families in their homes.
  • We have a successful model that we use – particularly through our home visits to help reduce stress so that new parents can more effectively meet the needs of their children.

Our mission is to support children’s healthy development – wherever and however they may need it – at home, in child care, and in the community.

We have a very important responsibility to focus the lens through which children see the world and participate in it. You know that, as grandparents, aunts and uncles, friendly neighbors who share your space here at Kendal in your child care program.

Your gift will support the 1800 meals we make possible through our Child Care Food Program and it will help more of our most vulnerable families receive the parenting support they need. This gift will allow us to provide basic needs for 200 infants and toddlers at home and financial assistance to help parents pay for child care and so much more.

Your gift will allow us to be both responsive and nimble to the ever-changing needs of our families.

Everything that surrounds a child shapes the child. Thank you for being part of their community and ours.