APPLETON, Wis. - B.A.B.E.S., Inc. is battling a big deficit.
"I would say $50,000 to $60,000 in the hole, probably more," said Executive Director Elder Williams.
This past year, the child abuse prevention program in Appleton was denied more grant requests than usual. Williams said it's just one of the reasons the non-profit organization fell further into the red. Now, the future is uncertain.
"Closing the doors? That's a hard one to say. As long as I have breath, I'm going to try my best not to do that," Williams said.
For 20 years, families with parents up to age 27 have relied on B.A.B.E.S.
"My husband is currently deployed in Kuwait, hopefully home soon, but three kids by myself 24/7 is very overwhelming," explained Ashlee Ann Crosno.
She has found relief from the stress through B.A.B.E.S.' no cost childcare once per week for up to seven hours.
"It was a lot of weight off of my shoulders to even have two hours to myself during the week," she said.
It allowed Renee Abhold, a single mother of four, to attend classes at Fox Valley Technical College to further her education.
"To me, it's a very good program. I know my kids are in a safe place where they're going to have a good, home cooked meal," explained Abhold. "They have parenting classes and counseling services that they offer which is really good for me too."
Now, B.A.B.E.S. is making a plea to the public to donate, so they can pay the bills and not be forced to cut services.
"I want to continue with our strategic plan. I want to continue with our new projects that we have on the horizon," Williams said with tears in her eyes. "I'm only unable to do that when I don't have funding and so the funding is needed."
B.A.B.E.S. has tried to save money by reducing staff hours but that resulted in to two key team members leaving the non-profit. Leaders hope a surge in donation pledges will get B.A.B.E.S. back on track for the parents and children they serve.
"They are our future and we want them to grow strong and fulfill their destinies and be the people that they can be and contribute to our humankind. So in order to do that in our community, we need to keep B.A.B.E.S. healthy," said Board Member and Volunteer Yvonne Kehl.
B.A.B.E.S. goal is to never have to charge for its programs that serve families from Outagamie, Winnebago, Calumet and Brown Counties.
The organization has many options to show your support through giving of money or time volunteering. Click here for more information.