By, Claire Kupferle KV#3
Kindervelt has experienced a rapid rate of change in the past decade, as have many of its members! As technology expanded its influence on modern lifestyles, the organization saw a drop in membership with fewer local groups and fewer members. Originally there were over 2000 members, a number which is down to about a quarter of that today. Although there were fewer active groups, the tireless local and city-wide volunteers continued to raise funds on pace with the past.
During this period, changes to the organization included revising its fiscal year to coincide with the Kindervelt calendar year, reorganizing Kinderklaus Markt into Kindervelt Gala & Market, creating a revised logo, and beginning a new city-wide event “Let the Good Times Bowl”. Later, the craft Markt was separated from the Gala, which became a stand-alone event.
In keeping with the growing importance of social media, Kindervelt gave its website a more modern look and established a Facebook page. The newsletter was moved to a digital format, and the organization adopted email marketing and social media campaigns as a way of keeping the public informed of events. The motto was changed from “Having Fun While Raising Funds” to “Together, We Can Make a Difference.”
Internally, Kindervelt created a new membership level, “Citywide Members” which included at-large members unaffiliated with a neighborhood group. Meetings were revamped and a “Speakers’ Series” added several evening meetings to the annual calendar, with members gathering for food, drink, networking, and learning about the CCHMC divisions supported by Kindervelt through guest speakers from the medical center.
The focus on the Division of Asthma Research from the prior decade continued through 2012, with donations reaching almost two million dollars over four years. In 2013, Kindervelt shifted its focus to the Heart Institute-Kindervelt Neurodevelopmental, Educational and Learning Center. The organization donated over $1,946,000 over the next four years, enabling Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CCHMC) to treat a wide range of neurodevelopmental issues that are associated with complex heart problems in children. The Neurodevelopmental Clinic addresses delays in fine motor skills and speech, behavioral and emotional problems, and delayed preparedness for school among other issues, with services available for children and their families from birth to adolescence.
From 2017-2020, Kindervelt selected The Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the Kindervelt Psychiatric Emergency Assessment Center (PEACe). The rising rate of mental health issues among youth coming through emergency rooms is well-documented, leading to the creation of this ground-breaking unit. PEACe is a six-room psychiatric triage center and a bridge team of healthcare professionals that can provide the proper treatment for children in mental distress.
As an organization, Kindervelt is poised to continue the mission of making a difference in the lives of children and their families for many decades to come!