Janesville68.5°

New partnership puts local families first

Print Print
ROCHELLE B. BIRKELO
September 5, 2010
— Diapers. Formula. Baby bottles.

Blankets and crib bedding plus plenty of baby apparel to keep the baby dry after repeated mishaps throughout the day.


The list of what parents need for a new baby is longer than a back-to-school supply list. It’s expensive yet necessary.


In an effort to get local families the supplies they need for a happy, healthy baby, M&I Bank and the Rock County Health Department are partnering to help families who are pregnant or parenting an infant.


The bank will collect new baby items through Sept. 30 at eight of its branch locations in Janesville, Beloit, Edgerton and Evansville.


Janet Zoellner, nursing director at the health department, said the collaboration is important because nursing services deals with the whole person.


“We’re excited to have the opportunity to work with M&I Bank, which is able to provide some marketing expertise and also some gifts and incentives for the clients we serve to help them get off to a healthy start.’’


Mary Willmer-Sheedy, market president of M&I Bank in Janesville, explained said the bank every year looks at programs that impact the local community.


“As we evaluated this one, we felt it was incredibly unique,’’ she said.


“Local families—especially young families—are challenged with providing basic necessities for their children. So we felt the community and we could give a healthy and positive start and send a strong message that kids matter here in Rock County.


“Kids and families are the basis for everything we do every day. So if we could provide this ‘goodie bag’ of necessary items, it’d really open the door for these nurses, who do an incredible job.’’


The new joint project, announced Tuesday, has the potential to benefit many young families in Rock County.


A suggested list of donations include: diapers, receiving blankets, oral thermometers, bath kits, safety latches and outlet covers, baby rattles, teething rings and baby dishes.


A special collection, Drop-N-Drive Saturday, has been scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 18, when items may be dropped off from 9 to 11 a.m. at bank drive-through lanes at the eight M&I branches.


Items will be distributed to families participating in the health department’s Healthy Families First program that provides in-home nursing services to families who are pregnant or parenting an infant younger than 1. There are no income restrictions to receive services, and home visits are provided at no cost.


“We are excited to have this partnership from M&I Bank in Rock County,” Zoellner said.


“Our nurses visit families in Rock County throughout their pregnancy and baby’s infancy to provide valuable support during a time of great family transition. Nurse visits are a core service of the Rock County Health Department because we know their benefits last a lifetime,’’ she said.



Print Print