If you have questions, please email:

megan@ballardcenter.org

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!!!

Follow Us On:

Contact Us

Ballard Community Services
PO Box 7
Lawrence, KS 66044
785-842-0729 - Ballard Center
785-842-0440 - Penn House
The Leadership Lawrence class of 2014 invites you to participate in our 2nd annual Party with a Purpose on December 7 at 12:00! This event is a fantastic way to not only party, eat, and have fun, but also do something amazing for your community.

Sponsored by Independence, Inc. and Integrity Midwest Insurance, LLC. Your $35 entry fee gets you beer and wine and food. But that comes after you and your teammates go shopping for a family you've adopted for the holidays. 

If you'd like to help a family for the holidays, but find the pricetag of adopting an entire family daunting, this is a way to really contribute to hope for a family in not only a happy Christmas but a productive and hopeful 2015.

Pay your entry fees in advance and the organizers will assign each team of 10 people a family. Your team of 10 will meet at Fatso's and then depart to shop. After shopping, bring the gifts back to Fatso's to wrap. Enjoy food, drink, and fellowship while you see the results of your efforts roll in!

Each person we adopt gets a shirt, pants, and a gift, and they also will receive Strengths-Based case management at Penn House over the next year in order to find a path to self sufficiency. By 2015 most of these families will not need assistance at the holidays, thanks to the "dream team" at Ballard Community Services.

If you'd like to be on a team, just email megan@ballardcenter.org and we will match you with a group!

If you would like to be a team captain, all you need to do is rally nine of your friends to join you in this Party with a Purpose! Please let Megan know if you are interested! 842-0729
Making it Work

Ballard Needs Your Help! 


Dear Ballard Friend,


Jennifer came to Ballard Community Services in tears with her blonde-haired, blue-eyed boy in tow. She needed care for him so that she could rejoin the workforce after 9 years in an abusive marriage. This mother of three, without money, family, or recent work experience, needed more than childcare. She needed skills in budgeting, job-hunting, bill paying, and resource acquisition. Mental health care, stable housing, and many other things that many of us take for granted were unavailable to her. Most of all, Jennifer needed to know that someone who cared would listen. She found all of that and more at Ballard Community Services.


It is because of donors like you that Ballard is able to help over 7,000 individuals and families a year, all of whom have a story much like Jennifer’s.

We have had an exciting year of changes, and we are delighted to report that we are offering many new programs, serving more people, with more success than ever.

  • Because of your continued support, we have been able to engage the services of a new Family Connections Coordinator who has done extensive work on setting up a high-quality, research-based home visitation and developmental screening program that meets standards and reports outcomes to the Kansas State Children’s Cabinet. Our participation in this type of programming not only only enriches the lives of our children and their parents, but contributes to the overall understanding of “what works” for children ages 0 – 6 state-wide.
  • Our Strengths Based Case Management Program, operated out of Penn House, saw more clients, engaged more volunteer case managers, and made a difference in more lives than ever. Penn House is successfully moving toward a vision of not only giving a hand out, but giving a hand up to individuals and families. We will continue to provide emergency relief in times of crisis, but are working more and more to offer services to those who can use help in moving out of crisis and toward a fulfilling life without need of outside aid. 
  • The word is out! Families know about Ballard and believe in our ability to provide affordable, high-quality early education. Our enrollment has been at capacity this year, which is testimony to our efforts to constantly increase quality. This year, for example, we have been chosen as a Positive Behavior Supports Training Site. Our efforts at staff training and retention have been successful and our children’s lives are daily affected by the constant work our teachers do to make sure our children are kindergarten-ready!

Ballard is doing the work of changing lives. With your help, we are changing our community and working with many other community partners to be sure we are doing it effectively and efficiently. We invite you to Ballard and Penn House to and see our changes for yourself. We are operating on a smaller budget and smaller staff than ever. We do more with less every day, and we do it all as a labor of love. We can only continue to make a difference, to see these successes, and to support our community with you as our partner.
Your donation will make a difference. We are proud to be Douglas County’s grassroots community center. Your continued generosity is appreciated, respected, and valued
Sincerely, 

Megan Stuke

Director of Development and Administrative Services

October 13, 2016
Dear Ballard Friend,
Jennifer came to Ballard Community Services in tears with her blonde-haired, blue-eyed boy in tow. She needed care for him so that she could rejoin the workforce after 9 years in an abusive marriage. This mother of three, without money, family, or recent work experience, needed more than childcare. She needed skills in budgeting, job-hunting, bill paying, and resource acquisition. Mental health care, stable housing, and many other things that many of us take for granted were unavailable to her. Most of all, Jennifer needed to know that someone who cared would listen. She found all of that and more at Ballard Community Services.
It is because of donors like you that Ballard is able to help over 7,000 individuals and families a year, all of whom have a story much like Jennifer’s. 
We have had an exciting year of changes, and we are delighted to report that we are offering many new programs, serving more people, with more success than ever.
Because of your continued support, we have been able to engage the services of a new Family Connections Coordinator who has done extensive work on setting up a high-quality, research-based home visitation and developmental screening program that meets standards and reports outcomes to the Kansas State Children’s Cabinet. Our participation in this type of programming not only enriches the lives of our children and their parents, but contributes to the overall understanding of “what works” for children ages 0 – 6 state-wide.
Our Strengths Based Case Management Program, operated out of Penn House, saw more clients, engaged more volunteer case managers, and made a difference in more lives than ever. Penn House is successfully moving toward a vision of not only giving a hand out, but giving a hand up to individuals and families. We will continue to provide emergency relief in times of crisis, but are working more and more to offer services to those who can use help in moving out of crisis and toward a fulfilling life without need of outside aid.  
The word is out! Families know about Ballard and believe in our ability to provide affordable, high-quality early education. Our enrollment has been at capacity this year, which is testimony to our efforts to constantly increase quality. This year, for example, we have been chosen as a Positive Behavior Supports Training Site. Our efforts at staff training and retention have been successful and our children’s lives are daily affected by the constant work our teachers do to make sure our children are kindergarten-ready! 
Ballard is doing the work of changing lives. With your help, we are changing our community and working with many other community partners to be sure we are doing it effectively and efficiently. We invite you to Ballard and Penn House to and see our changes for yourself. We are operating on a smaller budget and smaller staff than ever. We do more with less every day, and we do it all as a labor of love. We can only continue to make a difference, to see these successes, and to support our community with you as our partner.
Your donation will make a difference. We are proud to be Douglas County’s grassroots community center. Your continued generosity is appreciated, respected, and valued.
Sincerely,

Megan Stuke
Director of Development and Administrative Service


JOB OPENING!


Ballard Community Services seeks a Family Connections Coordinator. The Ballard FCC performs home visits with our early education families, facilitates developmental screenings, plans and executes family engagement events at the center, works with teachers regarding individual student needs, and acts a liaison with our strengths-based case management team at Penn House as-needed.


Qualified applicants will have a Bachelors degree in early education, human development, or similar field. Home visitation experience preferred.

This position is 32 hours a week, including some evening hours. Must have reliable transportation and be able to work flexible hours.


Please email resume and cover letter to megan@ballardcenter.org

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!

 

Sincerely,

 

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.