Happy Birthday to Us!
It's been a year since we signed the papers to open the Non-Profit WonderLab. And we realize it's been a while since we've given the public an update on all we've been up to. Time flies when you are juggling family life, day jobs and trying to change the way in which services are delivered to thousands of children across the Inland Empire, and we regret that we let that get in the way of our communication with you. So here are a few highlights of the past year in business and what is new on the horizon.
WonderLab is the embodiment of years of doodling inspirations on napkins over lunches. We believed there must be a better way for kids to get the rehab therapy services they needed without selling our first born children or going deeper in debt with each treatment. (You see, insurance only pays a small portion of the actual cost of services which is why so few pediatric therapy businesses exist in our area.) We started filling out paperwork and making phone calls February 2016. By May we were seeing patients in our donated space at Crosswalk Church. (WonderLab couldn't have existed at all without Crosswalk's support and generosity. That said, if you're looking for a warm place to drink gourmet coffee drinks with some lovely people, do yoga, and learn to love well, check them out!) We scheduled three patients that first week. Last week we scheduled 83!
In between those visits we have been humbled by the generosity of friends and strangers. We have learned to negotiate contracts, set up electronic medical records, written policies, hired talented staff and trusted that we would someday not break out into a cold sweat on payroll week. Michline started manning our front desk in July, answering phones, scheduling, checking on authorizations, and being our pint sized energetic all around wonderful face of WonderLab. Brianna is our full time occupational therapist and resident unicorn. She specializes in sensory processing treatment and feeding disorders and makes us all appear organized. She is also creative, is a capital "F" Foodie and brings us pie. We have met incredible families and, oh the kids! They pay us back with their success (and sometimes with sticky finger high fives and hugs)! They make every day an adventure and our hearts expand with each new child we meet. To the families that attend WonderLab, thank you for trusting us with your precious kiddos.
In May we were given an award from Loma Linda University Health at their annual Women's Conference. We were named the Community Benefit Honoree's for 2016 (which also came with a nice monetary award to help us with start up expenses). We gave a thank you speech to the 2000 attendees and also hosted a breakout session talking about how service can enhance your life.
IEHP took out their wallets and gave us a grant when we signed on to see their clients. The grant is to help purchase equipment which is needed in the treatment of children with Autism. In order to install this equipment we need to move into our own space (Crosswalk church didn't need swings and suspension equipment in their children's ministry classrooms).
Which brings us to our upcoming move! We will be packing up our toys and going home... across the street to 10431 Commerce Street. We will share the 6000 sf space with our friends at Inland Children's Therapy who have been in cooperation with us from day one. It's super exciting (and expensive and terrifying) to be able to design our space, and to have some doors. Oh! The doors we will have! Treating multiple children at the same time in the same large room has started getting a little crazy - especially for our clients with sensory sensitivity. We look forward to creating a space that will catalyze development by capturing the imagination of children. They will be so busy playing they won't even realize how hard they are working. And did I mention it has an indoor pool? Yep, we are donning our goggles and jumping in, the water's great...for exercise! Move date TBD, but hopefully in April, 2017.
Next on our extensive to-do list is creating an aquatic therapy program, teaming up with Go Baby Go, learning to write grants, hiring more staff, and, and, and.... I actually need to start researching grant writing.
So, that's our year in a nutshell. If you are ever in our neck of the woods, stop by and say "hello". Until then, thank you so much for your prayers, positive thoughts, good juju, advice, and support (monetary and otherwise)! God bless.