Sunday, November 13th marked the 6th Annual Celebration of Giving for the Women Inspired Network, a women’s giving circle established through the Starved Rock Country Community Foundation. The Celebration is held each year to award grant funding to worthy organizations in Starved Rock Country who empower and enhance the lives of women and children. Nearly $120,000 has been raised to date; a WIN Scholarship for Young Women Leaders has been established; and a new WIN website has been created.
The Safe Sleep for Infants Program of The Aden Lamps Foundation, was awarded $10,000
to purchase over 1,000 sleep sacks for distribution. Created by Ashley Lamps of Peru, the
Foundation honors Aden Lamps, Ashley’s five-month-old son who died in 2013. At the time of Aden’s death, he was not in a safe sleep environment as recommended by the American
Academy of Pediatrics. The mission of the Aden Lamps Foundation is to educate others about the dangers of unsafe sleeping environments for infants. The organization creates safe sleep packets for parents of newborn babies. The packets include a Halo Sleep Sack designed specifically for safe sleep, the board book Sleep Baby Safe and Snug, which teaches caregivers what to do and what not to do when putting a baby to sleep, a “onesie” with the words, “This Side Up” on the front and “Turn Me Over” on the back, as well as safe sleep information. Approximately 1,500 packets are distributed each year.
Since its inception, the Aden Lamps Foundation has provided over 9,000 safe sleep packages to babies born at St. Margaret’s Health in Peru and Spring Valley, OSF Ottawa and Morris Hospital. The LaSalle County Health Department’s “Women, Infants, and Children” (W.I.C.) program, day care facilities, and various other organizations have also received the packets. Recently Ashley began educating students in three area high schools’ Family and Consumer Science courses. Each of the students’ programmable infants is also provided with a “Safe Sleep Sack.”
The Spring Valley Youth Center received a $4000 grant award to support the Evening Meals Program. The Center opened its doors on April 24 th , 2022, after receiving unanimous approval of the Spring Valley City Council for the use of the City Hall Community Room. The
mission of its founders, Danielle Wildhart and Laura Dubberstine, is to provide a safe place for youth to connect with other youth, have fun and share meals. Various presenters also speak to the youth about having a positive outlook, setting goals, giving back to their community, and other life lessons.
Their most important goal is to be able feed the kids two nights per week when the Center is
open. Some meals have been donated by local restaurants; however, most of the meals have
been purchased by the Director with the monetary donations of interested citizens. The WIN
Grant funds will be used to purchase food for the students who come to the Center, so they won’t leave hungry. Another goal is to stock a small, free pantry with food available to the youth to take home. The most compelling comment shared by the presenters was, “Leftover food usually goes home with students so that their families can eat, too.”
For information about the Women Inspired Network, visit winsrccf.org; or visit Women Inspired Network – WIN on Facebook, or call 815-252-2906.