Champion for Community
Melissa Small, Evansville Region
A passion for serving through Little Lambs
In 2009, Private Banking Officer Melissa Small wanted to begin volunteering for a nonprofit organization focused on the needs of women and children. She joined the board of Little Lambs of Evansville, Inc., and she has now served as their board president for the past two years.
Little Lambs was founded in 1995 in response to the high infant mortality rate in Evansville and Vanderburgh County. Today, the organization serves more than 4,500 infants, children and parents, mainly in Vanderburgh County, but also in surrounding areas. The Little Lambs mission is to “encourage positive parental acts that will increase the physical and mental development, health, and safety, of at-risk infants and young children.” They work to create such an environment in several ways including the following:
Says Melissa, “There is no handbook on parenting, so we work to educate young parents and reward them for positive actions. We want them to know they have somebody they can turn to for guidance.”
Little Lambs clients earn vouchers for actions such as keeping prenatal or pediatric doctor visits or attending classes on parenting, nutrition or substance abuse prevention. The vouchers can be redeemed at the Little Lambs store at First Presbyterian Church for items including diapers, car seats, baby bath tubs or gently used clothing. Last year, more than 11,000 vouchers were issued.
Melissa notes that her involvement with Little Lambs has been supported greatly by her Old National co-workers. For the past two years, a team of Old National associates – Shannon Marshall Perry, Vicki Simmons, Karen Morris, Brooke Fisher, Meagan Theil, Cindy Weis, Kathy Mattingly, Clara Pfister, Kay Riggs and Pam Chapman – has helped purchase and distribute Christmas gifts for Little Lambs clients. She says, “The support from my Old National family, and many others, is truly overwhelming and so very much appreciated throughout the whole year!”
About the impact Little Lambs has for families, Melissa concludes, “I have had people come up to me and tell me how much Little Lambs helped them when their child was young. That’s a good feeling, and it tells me that even though we’re a small organization, we’re making a big difference.”
Melissa's other volunteer activities: