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Celebrating the Spirit of PEPS

PEPS Group Leaders, Board Members, volunteers, guest speakers, sponsors, and supporters gathered virtually on Thursday, September 24 for a celebration to recognize our numerous volunteers and supporters. Guests were able to enjoy moments of connection and participated in a mindfulness session. We heard from PEPS Executive Director, Dana Guy, on recent developments at PEPS and from Sarina Behar Natkin, a local parenting coach with some advice for parents during the coronavirus.

We also honored two 2019-2020 Spirit of PEPS Award recipients. The Spirit of PEPS Award was created in 2011 in acknowledgement of outgoing Board member and volunteer, Cliff Meyer, and has been given out annually to those who go above and beyond in giving back to the PEPS community.

PEPS is pleased to present the 2019/2020 Spirit of PEPS Award recipients:

Marloes Koning

A man and woman are standing barefoot on a wet, sandy beach flanked by a young boy and girl on either side on a cloudy day. Small waves can be seen along the shore behind them and the boy is stroking the underside of a cream-colored dog’s chin.

Marloes first got involved with PEPS through participating in a PEPS Newborn Group. Having relocated to Seattle from the Netherlands with her husband, Marloes found herself living far away from the support of family and close friends upon the birth of her twins. She felt isolated and alone as a new parent. Shortly after the birth of her boy/girl twins, she joined a PEPS Group and was able to find a community of support and opportunities to build friendship and a community.

Based on her own PEPS Group experience, Marloes felt inspired to give back. Over the course of the past 10 years, Marloes has facilitated eight (8!!!) Newborn PEPS groups in the Issaquah and Sammamish areas. Throughout this time, Marloes has shown leadership and dedication in her role as a PEPS Leader. She has been an active participant in the racial equity learning and work that PEPS has put at the forefront of its programming and organizational culture, attending numerous Advanced Facilitation Trainings for Group Leaders on topics such as Mindfulness, Emotional Changes and Challenges, and Social and Racial Identity. Additionally, she has volunteered at local resource fairs, helping to bring awareness of PEPS programs to new communities. She strives to spread the PEPS mission and vision in the community and has been in attendance at major PEPS events like the annual Luncheon and Evening of Appreciation throughout the years. ​As a PEPS Group Leader, Marloes has enthusiastically supported our work to bring connection into new communities, even inspiring other parents to become PEPS Leaders. All while navigating learning how to facilitate discussions and foster connection among new parents in four PEPS Groups virtually!

When not juggling volunteering with PEPS alongside daily life at home with her husband, dog, cat, and 10-year-old twins, Marloes works as a certified postpartum doula. She also volunteers as the Participants Coordinator at Seattle Family of Multiples (SFOM), a local PEPS Network Partner, and continues to facilitate parent peer-support groups for both PEPS and SFOM. She is bilingual in Dutch and English and in her free time, loves to spend it in the great outdoors of the Pacific Northwest.

Thank you for helping to sharing your passion and commitment to new families, Marloes!

“I have a deep passion for supporting and empowering new families, and I feel honored for the opportunity to walk alongside them during the first few months with their new baby.” – Marloes Koning

Apex Foundation

Each year, we present a Spirit of PEPS Award to an outstanding volunteer, as well as to an outstanding financial supporter. We could not do what we do without those who fuel our work by generously investing their financial resources in PEPS. To all of our donors, funders, and sponsors: THANK YOU for believing in our mission and vision.

It is our honor to present the 2019-2020 Spirit of PEPS Award to The APEX Foundation.

We are so grateful to The Apex Foundation and its Trustees, Jolene and Bruce McCaw, who have so generously and loyally invested in our work for more than 18 years. Long-term partnerships such as these are critical for any organization. Not only have they offered financial support, but the team at The APEX Foundation has also holistically invested in our mission and vision, sharing their advice and guidance within this partnership. We truly value our authentic relationship, the honest meetings, and fruitful discussions.

The Apex Foundation has supported PEPS innovatively by not only funding our tried, proven and popular programs, but also in our organizational infrastructure, capacity, and the exploration of our new program for parents of adolescents and teens. We truly value the trust and openness this foundation and its team extends to exploring alongside us.

Just like PEPS, The Apex Foundation is centering parents and recognizes just how important it is to support families and caregivers in their critical and challenging roles. With their steadfast and unwavering support, the APEX Foundation truly makes an impact in our community.

THANK YOU, Aurelie, Erin, Craig, Bruce, and Jolene! We are so grateful for your loyal ambassadorship of our work and commitment to families in our area.

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