El Nido Birth and Family Ministries provides classes and individual support to single parents and families. Their mission is simple, “Building Relationships, Delivering Lives and Educating for the Future”. This mission supports not only the Granite Falls area but those in need across the state. “We work with programs out of the cities and local, many clients find us through the hospital” said Debbie Eakes, President of the Ministry.
El Nido provides childbirth and parenting classes, breastfeeding assistance and support individually to those in need. Group classes are a vision for the organization but various hurdles for many parents make coordinating group attendance difficult. For Mrs. Eakes, who makes herself available for even the 2:00 a.m. breastfeeding call, “The goal with group classes is the parents become their own support unit with one another, then that is another layer of help”. The organization does not just provide for those newly expecting but also for the parents of older children experiencing new hurdles. The organization spends an even mix of time aiding in infant needs and continued family support.
El Nido became a nonprofit in 2015 and received a donated building in downtown Granite Falls on Prentice Street where classes are held. The location has taken up operating “The Santa Shop” for local children at Christmastime and offers home set-up assistance to families lacking typical household family items, “We could furnish a house if needed with the cribs and items we store here” said Eakes.
The ministry is also working creatively to lessen the region’s childcare concerns for parents by way of ice cream. The organization is currently working on design plans and will be seeking financing for “A Taste in Time” ice cream parlor. The business model offers nontraditional shifts, hours and a working structure that will hope to support families experiencing the deficit of childcare in the region. Ice cream proceeds will go back into the nonprofits family support efforts. “We hope to be open near the end of summer, but I’m sometimes ambitious” said Mrs. Eakes as she stood at the taped off floor segment set to be the service counter.