Being a parent is a challenge no matter what stage you are in. You must be committed to the physical, developmental, and emotional well-being of not just your child, but your family as a whole. That’s why Any Baby Can pledges to empower and support parents.
Veronda Durden, President and CEO of Any Baby Can, came into the organization with a career built on improving Texans’ lives. Alongside the staff, board, and dedicated troop of volunteers, Durden has aspired toward a vision to create a community that prioritizes healthy families.
“Any Baby Can helps families deal with difficult situations, but we also believe in fixing the foundation so that everyone starts off with a more stable base,” says Durden. “It’s a privilege to play a role in providing programs and services to families and their children that impact their ability to reach their goals and highest potential. I also enjoy building strong, resilient, high-performing teams and watching them excel.”
As an organization that looks at the whole spectrum of family wellness, Any Baby Can sets its sights on both individual and societal experiences. There are primary needs like teaching a child to walk without a walker and assisting parents with navigating insurance for a child with cancer. On top of that, there is concern for food security, housing stability, and effective schooling.
Many clients share love with other families, building and nurturing long-term connections within the community. Alongside other volunteers, they take part in Any Baby Can’s variety of opportunities to give back. They work behind the scenes, at in-person events, and from the comfort of their homes.
“We often have volunteers who decide they want to do more, like join an advisory committee, provide gifts for families during the holidays, or support our work in other ways. We couldn’t accomplish all that we do without our volunteers,” says Durden.
Corporate partnership is also crucial because those companies fuel the organization’s mission. As partners, they fund key programmatic and development initiatives that align with their own values and goals. This may be the week-long Camp Grey Dove in the summer or the notable One Stellar Night fundraiser event in April.
“Any Baby Can’s volunteer culture is a rewarding, meaningful experience for anyone who chooses to give their time and talents,” says Durden. “Our volunteers are passionate about children’s health and development, want to empower parents, and always bring a great attitude to any task.”
For over three decades, the services offered by Any Baby Can have made a huge impact on families throughout our region. That includes a 24-year-old woman named Mary who has made a particular impact on Durden.
Thanks to a friend, Mary was connected to Any Baby Can’s Nurse-Family Partnership program, which matches first-time mothers with a free nurse until the child turns two. Despite personal hurdles to overcome, she found great comfort in the steady presence provided to her. Today, Mary is the Program Coordinator with the Healthy and Fair Start program and has a positive outlook on her future.
“As I look ahead to the next year, I am focused on even greater successes in pursuit of our mission and vision of strengthening families so all children can succeed,” says Durden. “We want to serve more clients and find opportunities for growth that are fiscally sound and sustainable. We know that our community needs and wants more services, so we continue to partner with corporate groups to do as much as we can for our neighbors here in Central Texas.”
Real Stats from Any Baby Can
99% of client families report that they know more about child development after participating in Any Baby Can programs.
In 2022, approximately $650,000 was raised for medical equipment, diapers and formula, utilities and rent, and more.
100% of first-time moms are screened for mental health and offered counseling sessions through Any Baby Can.
Over 3,400 clients received services last year, including 1,855 parenting classes.
Any Baby Can has client families, both large and small, that need gifts during the holiday season. Through the Adopt-a-Family program, you will be matched with a family and given a wish list of anything from clothing to home repairs. If you are interested in taking part next year, be ready for when sign-ups begin in September!