Ballard Community Services
Mission Statement: Ballard Community Services is a non-profit organization that provides a high 
quality, affordable early education program and essential basic life assistance for families 
and individuals in need.
Mission Statement: Ballard Community Services is a non-profit organization that provides a high 
quality, affordable early education program and essential basic life assistance for families 
and individuals in need.
Mission Statement: Ballard Community Services is a non-profit organization that provides a high 
quality, affordable early education program and essential basic life assistance for families 
and individuals in need.
Ballard Community Services is a non-profit organization that provides a high-quality, affordable early education program and essential basic life assistance for individuals and families in need.

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Want to Make a Difference?  You can - just click on our donate button and tell us where you would like to help us help others.  Sponsor a child, adopt a family, provide a meal...every $1 means we provide $24 in services to our community.  Thank you!!!

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Ballard Spotlight

Melissa Packer, Mother of Dalton (4)

Melissa Packer is the mother of 3 adorable children: Sean -  13, Nolan – 8, and Dalton – 4, who attends Ballard.  Melissa came to Ballard last year when her fifteen year relationship with the children’s father was coming to an end.  A single mother for the first time, Melissa needed support.  She needed to work, and she needed resources to begin the journey to self-sufficiency.

Parents need more than just money to survive when their families are in crisis.  Ballard knows how to provide support in five key areas:  Parental Resilience, Social Connections, Concrete Support in Times of Need, Knowledge of Parenting and Child Development, and Social and Emotional Competence of Children.  While finances are always a primary concern, Melissa also needed support in other areas to begin her life again.  She has forged friendships with other Ballard parents, and turned to Ballard for ideas and resources as her situation evolved.


Despite a recent battle with a bead he inserted in his ear, Dalton is an amazing and happy child, and a delight to have within the four walls of our “Fours” classroom.  Dalton believes that everything is “AWESOME” and will tell anyone who will listen all about it.  Melissa has done a great job of keeping everything as normal as possible for her three boys while she has navigated the new landscape of her life. 

She works at General Dynamics as a 1-800-Medicare customer service rep answering medicare questions 40 hours a week.  She meets her children’s needs and maintains her household and puts on a brave face when we ask her how she’s doing.  She is starting school in the fall for a business administration degree, as she knows it is the only way to work her way up the ladder at her current job.  She will work full time, parent, and go to school, because being super-woman is, in her words, “the only option.”

Her family is known for its skill with a BBQ smoker, and has offered to help out with Ballard’s upcoming B3: Blues, Brews, and BBQ event, which happens to fall directly on Melissa’s birthday.  This busy mom also finds ways to give back. 

Recently, a private donor who was impressed by Melissa and her courage to be the best parent she can, donated $1000.00 toward Dalton’s childcare bill.  Melissa has an uphill battle, financially, and is struggling to find ways to keep her child in care while she works to improve their situation.  Gifts from the community such as this one are the salvation of many families who simply cannot afford child care, even at our deeply reduced rates.  Melissa and her Ballard family are immeasurably grateful for this support.  Through tears when she learned of this scholarship, Melissa said, almost in a whisper, “This is unbelievable.  No one has ever helped us like this.” 


Thank you, Melissa Packer, for being everything you are for your “awesome” children!

To all of our Ballard friends, this is the letter I sent out last week as a mid-season donation request.  Now, more than ever, we need your support.

June 25, 2014


Dear Friend of Ballard,


Because of supporters like you, Ballard Community Services has been able to fulfill our mission now for 50 years.  Since 1964, Ballard has been supporting families and individuals in our community, striving constantly to achieve higher results, helping more people achieve self-sufficiency, and improving the quality of live overall in Douglas County for all of our residents.


If someone you know is in crisis, if you know a child that needs care, we hope the first call on your list is to Ballard.  We know that we can help, and we know that we change lives.  We hope you know how valuable your gift is in that process.


In the last few years, Ballard has met some challenges and crises of its own.  Funding cuts, higher costs, and a significant increase in demand for services have made it continually more challenging for us to do business.  We have changed with the times, and have come to a place now where we are working collaboratively with the community to achieve better outcomes and be more efficient.  Our administrative overhead cost today is only 4 percent of our annual budget. 

At this time, we are operating more effectively and efficiently than ever.  We’ve had changes in personnel and scope of services.  While many of those changes were very difficult, we have found ourselves in a place now of vision for the future, and renewed commitment to our core mission: to serve the most vulnerable population in Douglas County by preparing at-risk children for kindergarten in a safe and loving environment, and by supporting families in crisis and helping them move to self-sufficiency.

But the challenges are not over.  More than ever, we need your support.  Without increased donor participation, Ballard may not be able to continue to provide our essential services.  While we are moving in a positive direction, we struggle still to overcome the challenges of a major budget shortfall.  We know that if we can encourage partners like you to participate in our mission, we can make it through this difficult time and find long term solutions to Ballard’s budgetary needs. 


Our beautiful building will turn 100 years old in January, and we plan to commemorate that anniversary with a large mural painted by the youth of Van Go Mobile Arts, celebrating the history of the Lincoln School, of Ballard, and of the entire Lawrence community.  While that is exciting, our 100 year old building is in need of serious repairs.  Additionally, our classrooms need updated supplies, and we hope to expand the strengths-based case management services that have been so successful in helping our clients help themselves in order to meet the needs of everyone who asks for our help.


Please consider making a donation today.  The individuals and families of Ballard are counting on all of us.  Your contribution makes a tremendous difference!




Megan Stuke

Director of Development

and Administrative Services

Penn House names pantry after small but mighty donor!

8-year-old Lawrence girl honored for donating birthday presents to families in need

Written by  
You may remember 8-year-old Lawrence girl Ivori Jones. This year on her birthday, instead of asking for the newest Barbie or a bike, she asked her friends and family to help families in need by donating diapers and hygiene products to the Penn House, 1035 Pennsylvania Street.

"Oh my goodness, Ivori helped us get a couple thousand dollars' worth of diapers," said Kyle Roggenkamp, Director of Human Services at the Penn House.

Roggenkamp said Ivori brought in enough diapers and hygiene products to help families in need for more than two months.

"The biggest thing to take away from what Ivori did is the inspiration she gives to others to do the same thing," said Roggenkamp

For that very reason, the Penn House decided to name their diaper pantry in honor of Ivori.

"We rarely have someone at that age make that kind of an impact, it's rare to have someone of any age make that large of an impact," said Roggenkamp. "It blows your mind. I mean we don't dedicate the pantry to someone every day of the week. This is a big deal to us. We're a grass roots agency and we depend on the kindness of the community. We are a hub for giving and Ivori was a big part of that this year."

A big action.

"I like to help out because it's nice to give stuff that you don't need," said Ivori Jones.

By a not so big person.

"I get to put diapers in my own diaper pantry, it's really fun," said Jones.

But one thing is certain, she has a big heart.

"I like to make people smile" said Jones.

For more information on the Penn House, a division of the Ballard Center, click here.