The Community Services for Children had a dedication ceremony for the Donley Family Infant Center on Thursday night.
The Donley Family Infant Center is a treatment center for infants and toddlers who have been abused or have been prenatally exposed to drug and alcohol abuse. The facility is part of the Safe Start Program, which is the only program of its kind in the state. The Safe Start Program at this campus started over nine years ago and up until now has only been able to house up to 15 infants at a time.
This brand new facility was a necessity for the Program because of the lack of space available to provide for these children. The Donley Family Infant Center can house up to 40 children, more than doubling the previous maximum capacity.
Although this is a new facility, the building was previously the “Stepping Stone Building”. The Stepping Stone Building was operated by the Allentown State Hospital and was used to house and rehabilitate patients suffering from mental disabilities. When Community Services for Children took ownership of this building they demolished it and rebuilt a facility more appropriate to house young children.
There are several classrooms, therapy rooms, and offices located throughout the building. Major donors have been honored through the naming of some of these rooms. These donors include Air Products, PPL, Harry C. Trexler Trust, Julius & Kathryn Hommer Foundation, and Keystone Nazareth Charitable Foundation. According to the President and CEO of Community Services for Children Jane Ervin, other donors that have donated items to be used in therapy sessions and classrooms will be honored with a plaque in the building or through the planting of a tree on the grounds. Ervin mentioned that the building will be named after the Donley family because they gave the largest donation to the project and that Ed Donley has been a key figure in the new renovations throughout the campus.
“This new facility completes Ed Donley’s vision for the campus,” said Ervin.
Ervin also highlighted other Board Members involved with the project. Dave and Kathy Leber are members of the Board that were in charge of the raising the capital gain used to fund the project. Dave Leber informed the attendees of the dedication that they have successfully reached the 80% mark of their fundraising goals, putting their total amount fundraised so far above $2.4 million.
“So if anybody knows of anyone out there with a spare $600,000 lying around, send them our way so we can reach our total goal,” laughed Leber.