The nursery also donated brand-new coats we received from Operation Warmth. This year, the nursery included adult-sized coats so our parents can stay warm all winter too.
One of our moms at the event escaped a domestic violence crisis in another state with her children and they had nothing but the clothes on their backs. She found multiple sets of clothes for her four young children and a coat for herself. Another mom at the clothing drive was facing recent financial struggles and handling the challenges of a new baby with significant medical issues. She found lots of baby clothes and new shoes for her 3-year-old twins.
The clothing drive provides more than just warmth in the winter, it is a helping hand to those who need support.
She was en route to the hospital in active labor with her third child. In desperate need of care for her 6- and 4-year-old sons, she had nowhere to turn for help.
Maryville’s Crisis Nursery Director Amy got on the phone and comforted her. Amy explained that she would meet her at the hospital and bring her two boys to the Crisis Nursery where care would be provided for three days. Amy and another Crisis Nursery family advocate arrived at West Suburban Hospital that morning and met with the young mother as she was about to undergo a cesarean section.
Our family advocate chatted with the boys to get to know them a little, and they her, so they could feel comfortable being left in the Crisis Nursery’s care. The young mother gave her sons a hug before she went in for surgery. The two boys stayed at the nursery for three days while their mother gave birth to a healthy baby girl. The new mother spent two days recovering in the hospital and one night at home with her new daughter before bringing her boys back home. Since then, our young mother has continued to use the nursery for her children’s care for follow-up medical appointments.
She no longer struggles to find last minute child care and her boys love spending time at the nursery!
A Sparkling Light (cont.)
The Strong Families Fund, made possible by a grant from The Fred B. Jones Special Fund at the Chicago Community Trust, allows the nursery to grant funds to families who have used our services over the past year.
Each family attends a mandatory budgeting seminar/information session and fills out an application. Diamonds applied for grant money to use toward her education. She was awarded the $350 registration fee to enroll in a Certified Nursing Assistant program.
Diamonds began using the nursery so that she could work two jobs to make ends meet and achieve her goal of going back to school. While attending all of her classes for her CNA program, Diamonds drove for Lyft, which offered flexibility. She also balanced taking care of her little girl and staying up late to complete all her homework on time. She thrived in her program and reported getting straight A’s on her assignments. She always paid her weekly tuition on time and applied for one more grant to go toward her tuition.
Diamonds will do whatever is necessary to make sure that her daughter is happy and well-cared for. She wants to further her education and go on to nursing school. We are here to help her achieve her goals!
The Strong Families Fund helps our parents succeed and grow in new and positive directions. Diamonds’s story is just one example of how the Crisis Nursery helps parents to dream big and achieve their goals toward long-term stability.