Avedis awards $150,000 grant for expansion of Legacy Parenting program

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Vicky O. Misa The Shawnee News Star [email protected]

The Avedis Foundation just announced a $150,000 grant to the Legacy Parenting Center to expand its Earn While You Learn Parent Education program.

Established in 2015, Legacy Parenting serves families in Pottawatomie County and surrounding towns by providing parenting education and resources, including diapers and formula. Serving families from pregnancy until the child turns five, Legacy’s customer base has grown from 96 families in year one to approximately 440 families, with 675 children in 2021.

Guests range in age from 14 to 73 – from mothers in college to grandparents raising their grandchildren.

“The Avedis Foundation is proud to support Legacy Parenting with this program expansion grant,” said Avedis President and CEO Dr. Kathy Laster. “(Executive Director of the Legacy Parenting Centre) Lacey Holt, her Board of Trustees, her staff and her army of volunteers are leading an efficient operation with a strong vision for their future.”

In addition to providing education and resources, Legacy connects families to other agencies and support programs leading to self-sufficiency. The long-term impact that negative childhood experiences have on a person’s health and well-being can be detrimental. Participation in the Earn While You Learn Parent Education program provides tools to build resilience and equip parents to prevent their children from having some of these experiences.

Legacy is the leading organization in the Avedis service area that uses the Earn While You Learn concept. By earning points with each educational lesson for shopping in The Legacy Store, parents can gain a sense of accomplishment and are empowered to make lasting change. The store is stocked with diapers, formula, clothes, baby gear and more.

In 2021 alone, Legacy conducted more than 41,600 parent education minutes and distributed 172,300 diapers in its store.

Laster said it was an honor to support Legacy Parenting and its mission to serve so many children and families in the community.

The Avedis Program Expansion Grant will play a vital role in helping Legacy not only serve more families with education, resources and mentorship, but also increase volunteer capacity. The funds will be used to double existing space in the Mission Shawnee building to improve customer services and The Legacy Store while adding four training rooms.

“Over the past six years, we’ve seen customer services grow from eight families a month to 180 a month at Legacy, Holt said. “With the help of the Avedis Foundation expansion grant, we are able to double our space and therefore double our impact for families.

Legacy is a United Way of Pottawatomie County partner agency, a member of the National Diaper Bank Network, and the first state agency to join the Oklahoma Pregnancy Care Network.

“We are committed to building strong, healthy families,” Holt said. “We are grateful to the Avedis Foundation and other community partners who support us in our mission.”

“Over the past six years, we have seen client services grow from eight families per month to 180 per month at Legacy,”

– Lacey Holt, Executive Director of the Legacy Parenting Center

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