by Karen Mead-Elford, co-editor
Denise Meyer, of Owosso, along with her business partner, Aimee Klevorn, of Lansing, have just received their 501(c)(3) status to create a new, nonprofit organization called Action for Child Care, with the mission to “secure a healthy and safe environment with lasting solutions for underprivileged children in child care.” Meyer, who has a degree in family and community services, has already been in a leadership role with a nonprofit group for eleven years that is directed toward serving low-income children and their respective families. Her business association with Klevorn began during their work with that same nonprofit group, though Klevorn, who has a degree in communications and now works at Michigan State University.
While in the field, Meyer shared that she came to see a need in certain low-income child care situations where the funds for adequate safety measures were simply not feasible. These “food insecure” situations, where providing a basic diet is a challenge, did not have the fiscal means to supply necessary baby gates, smoke detectors, CO monitors, fire extinguishers, first aid kits and other mundane safety items that many take for granted.
Meyer began to formulate an idea to help with this obvious need, so she reached out to Klevorn and the two met in September. In an hour and a half, Meyer and Klevorn were able to agree on a vision, create a mission statement, and hatch a name for the nonprofit group they created: Action for Child Care. However, it wasn’t easy. The two both have full-time jobs, so they met on weeknights and weekends to design a business plan, apply for nonprofit status, and organize their fledgling business with the focus directed primarily toward license exempt child care situations (though not exclusively).
“Now, I’m going to venture into grant writing,” Meyer shared. “We need to be financially viable.” At this time, Action for Child Care is dependent on donations. There are several ways to donate available on the website at www.actionforchildcare.org. Please note that 100 percent of donations go toward this effort, and all donations are welcome. One way to help is to “Secure a Safe Home” by providing all necessary health/safety products such as electrical outlet covers, security gates, battery operated smoke alarms, baby safety locks, and related items. The estimated cost is around $132. Another way to help is by checking out the link to the Amazon wish list featuring an assortment of safety items.
“My Mom and Dad were phenomenal in inspiring me. They were foster parents throughout my childhood,” Meyer said. “It molded who I am today, and I’m thankful for my mother for that because I can see beyond any physical attributes. It helped make me who I am today.”
Meyer and Klevorn have established a set of ambitious goals that include providing education/services to underprivileged child care homes in Michigan, supplying safety products, aiding in educating child care providers on health and safety guidelines, and offering these same providers a step toward becoming licensed.
More information is available at www.actionforchildcare.org or by calling (517) 301-9009.