Yolo Crisis Nursery: A Father’s Love

Yolo Crisis Nursery: A Father’s Love

Every child deserves a safe and loving place to be and the Yolo Crisis Nursery provides just that. The Yolo Crisis Nursery has made a positive change in the lives of over 5,000 children and families since opening our doors in 2001. We work to prevent child abuse and neglect while helping parents resolve the crises that brought them to the Nursery. This is often best understood through our clients’ stories. Today I will share Tom’s.

Tom was happily married and the proud father of Logan (4) and Alyssa (2) with a baby boy on the way when suddenly, one of the most joyous days turned tragic for Tom and his family. Due to unforeseen complications, Tom’s wife died unexpectedly during the birth of their youngest son, Oliver. Now a heartbroken and grieving widower, this loving father of three was left to wonder how he could make it through even one day, let alone the future months and years.

With no family or support network nearby, Tom was overwhelmed. He had always worked while his wife was the primary caregiver for the children. Suddenly he was alone and in need of assistance. Thankfully, the Yolo Crisis Nursery was there to help. The Nursery’s trauma-trained caregivers looked after Logan, Alyssa, and Oliver while Tom took the necessary time to make arrangements and plan for the future as a solo parent of three young children.

While in our care, the children received an abundance of love and support, as well as healthy meals, playtime and the rest their growing bodies needed. The Nursery embraced Tom and the kids with our wrap-around services. We connected Tom with the help he needed to parent and lead his family through their shared loss, including referrals for daycare, developmental screenings, counseling, and a grief support group.

While nothing will remove the pain or loss, I feel fortunate that we have the Nursery in our community to help children and families in crisis. The Yolo Crisis Nursery’s services are always voluntary and free of charge to parents and caregivers and are 100% funded by the generosity of our community.

Although every family the Nursery serves is unique, they all have one thing in common — they are in crisis and in need of help. A family crisis can arise for many reasons such as the loss of a parent, domestic violence, substance abuse, mental health issues, sudden job loss or homelessness, and countless other challenges. The Yolo Crisis Nursery is here to help all families in crisis with children from birth to 5 years old.

When families are in crisis, young children are the most vulnerable. Child abuse and neglect is recognized by the Centers for Disease Control as a significant public health problem in the United States with an estimated one in four children experiencing abuse or neglect at some point in their lives. As a loving husband and adoring father myself, Tom’s story and these stark statistics really resonate with me.

With a young daughter of my own, I cannot begin to imagine being in Tom’s shoes. What would I do if I was suddenly thrust into this difficult situation? Luckily, the Yolo Crisis Nursery exists and is available to help those in need. I admire Tom’s courage and love for his family. Asking for help is never easy. We are fortunate to have a Crisis Nursery in our community. If you are in crisis or know a family who needs assistance, please call 530-758-6680 or visit www.yolocrisisnursery.org. We are here to help anytime day or night.

This year, join me in recognizing all of the amazing Dads in your life on Father’s Day with a gift in their honor to the Yolo Crisis Nursery. We will mail him a card displaying a beautiful finger-painting picture with your personalized message inside. Best of all, it will arrive in plenty of time for Father’s Day. Simply go to  www.yolocrisisnursery.org/cards/, make a minimum donation of $25, include a personal message, and we’ll take care of the rest.

On behalf of the Board of Directors and staff, the Friends of the Yolo Crisis Nursery, and the families who rely on the Nursery, we extend a heartfelt thank you to our amazing community for your continued support. To donate, to learn more or join us, please visit www.yolocrisisnursery.org.


  • This article was written by Steve Willhoff, Treasurer of Yolo Crisis Nursery and appeared in the Daivs Enterprise on May, 26, 2019.
Yolo Crisis Nursery: Give Today to Help Them Grow

Yolo Crisis Nursery: Give Today to Help Them Grow

“Camila” and “Ramone” loved each other and adored their two children, “Mateo,” 3½, and “Mia,” 9 months. Life was good for this young family, and they had many plans and dreams for their future. However, those plans were destroyed one afternoon at a family barbecue when Ramone and his brother engaged in a fatal altercation. Sadly, Mateo and Mia witnessed the deadly dispute.

The family was overwhelmed with shock, grief, and anger. With Ramone in jail, Camila and the children’s lives were turned upside-down. Mateo and Mia were traumatized and, since Camila had no job, the family lost their home. Camila had nowhere to turn. Devastated and without resources, Camila was anxious and frightened. She was forced to start a new life raising her children — alone, this time.

Not a moment too soon, Camila, Mateo, and Mia found the Yolo Crisis Nursery. The nursery’s trauma-informed team immediately embraced Camila and her children with wrap-around services, including much-needed counseling. Camila was not alone anymore and began to build a new life for her family, while Mateo and Mia were in the expert hands of the nursery’s trauma-informed staff.

The Yolo Crisis Nursery staff worked with the counselors and Camila to support and help the children through this crisis, most especially Mateo, who could recall every detail of the fatal afternoon. Not only did the nursery help Camila find a job, daycare, and a new home, the team worked with Camila, the counselors, and the new daycare to ensure a seamless transition for Mateo and Mia.

Fast-forward eight months, the children are supported and Camila has earned a promotion at work. The family is doing well, but is still in recovery.

The Yolo Crisis Nursery is here with open doors, arms and hearts for children like Mateo and Mia because of the generous support from our community. On May 2, our big-hearted community will come together again for the Big Day of Giving. Please join us by making a donation to the Yolo Crisis Nursery. Your gift will help other children in crisis like Mateo and Mia. Children, knowingly or not, are at a crossroads in their young lives. Your gift has a profoundly positive impact at this critical juncture.

Big Day of Giving is also an opportunity to double your gift. Greg and Amy McNece of Davisville Management Company have generously offered to double all donations to the Yolo Crisis Nursery on May 2, dollar-for-dollar, up to $10,000.

“Amy and I are blessed to be a part of Yolo Crisis Nursery,” Greg McNece said. “As we consider community needs, we understand that the work of the nursery is both urgent and important. The organization provides desperately needed stability, support, and love to help vulnerable children in the most critical moments.”

Are you interested in giving, but you will be out of town or busy on May 2? You can schedule your donation today. To learn more, please visit www.yolocrisisnursery.org.

If giving mom the gift of helping a child in crisis for Mother’s Day is more your style, simply make a donation in her name, and we will send her a card displaying the beautiful finger-painting pictured above with your personalized message. Best of all, it will arrive in plenty of time for Mother’s Day. Simply go to www.yolocrisisnursery.org/cards/, make a minimum donation of $25, include a personal message, and we’ll take care of the rest!

On behalf of our board of directors, I would like to thank Greg and Amy McNece of Davisville Management and all of our generous donors for your continued support. The Yolo Crisis Nursery board of directors is committed to the nursery’s mission and Big Day of Giving. As a small sign of our appreciation for the support we receive from our community, 100 percent of the nursery’s board of directors have made financial gifts to the nursery in support of this event.

All Big Day of Giving donations directly support our 100-percent community-funded respite care programs and intervention services. Donating to the nursery is not just investing in the future of the children we serve, it is investing in the future of our community. To learn more about the Yolo Crisis Nursery, to get involved or to donate, please visit www.yolocrisisnursery.org.

— Jennifer Thayer is a Yolo Crisis Nursery board member.

Yolo Crisis Nursery: Oh What a Night!

Yolo Crisis Nursery: Oh What a Night!

The Krustaceans for Kids Crab Feed was a record breaker this year — raising more than $91,500 for the Yolo Crisis Nursery!

This exceeded our wildest dreams and was made possible by our generous sponsors, donors, volunteers and guests, to whom we say thank you, thank you, thank you. All money raised goes directly to supporting our community-funded respite care programs for Yolo County children and families in crisis.

Fun facts about the seventh annual “Krustaceans for Kids” Crab Feed:

* Number of event sponsors: 41
* Number of guests: 526
* Pounds of crab served: 1,450
* Pounds of pasta: 60
* Breadsticks and rolls served: 1,328
* Cases of wine: 14
* Kegs of beer: 3
* Volunteers working the event: 100-plus

We are deeply grateful to our community for turning out in such force, demonstrating once again their unified support for the nursery’s programs to prevent child abuse, nurture healthy and resilient children, strengthen parents, and preserve families. Thank you to everyone involved with the event for their commitment to the nursery and to Yolo County’s most vulnerable children and their families.

It takes a village, and I cannot thank our volunteers enough, particularly event co-chairs Nancy Storm and Martha Bernauer. The year-after-year growth of this sell-out event would not be possible without their leadership and tireless efforts. The Krustaceans for Kids Crab Feed is produced entirely by a small group of volunteers. Thank you to the amazing Crab Feed Committee: Judi Berry, Marge Callahan, Linda Dullum, Lynn Evert, Maren Heise, Rita Lundin, Liz Malinoff, Sharon Schauer, Patti Sparks, Veronica Stanton, Lynette Temple, and Connie Zuercher. To the entire Friends of the Yolo Crisis Nursery team: You are making the world a better place for the children of Yolo County and you have our heartfelt appreciation.

To the ever-entertaining John Chuck, thank you for leading us in the fun and fundraising last weekend. Thank you also to Lamppost Pizza, Upper Crust Bakery, Sudwerk Brewing, and Paradise Valley Estates for your delicious donations. And a very special thank you to our volunteer servers from the National Charity League and Woodland High School National Honors students.

We would like to recognize and thank our returning Premier Sponsor Sutter Health and King Crab Sponsor Jim and Lucinda Childress for their ongoing generosity and support.

Sincere thanks to our generous Dungeness Crab Sponsors: 2nd Street Storage, Aggie Square Apartments, Almondwood Apartments, Dignity Health, Fountain Circle Townhomes, Kaiser Permanente and Diane Makley.

To our wonderful Blue Crab Sponsors: Martha Bernauer, Lyon Real Estate, Ron Brown Construction, Carbahal & Company, Coldwell Banker Select, Davis Ace Hardware, Nicole Davis, Edward Jones, Davis Oddfellows and Davis Rebekah Lodge, Eadie Family, Kim Eichorn, Carole Franti, Howard Real Estate Services, Heidy and Peter Kellison, Van Dermyden Maddux, Morse Custom Homes and Remodelling, David Nakano, Recology, Kay Resler, Schottenkirk Honda, Sola Bee Farms, The Perfect Window, Stewart & Ann Teal, Union Bank, and Steve and Evon Willhoff — thank you.

Bretton Woods, Brooks Painting, Davis Fire Fighters Local 3494, Nugget Markets, Purves & Associates, Sharon Schauer, John Sleuter, Swim America, Lois Wolk, and Helen Thomson — many thanks for your Snow Crab sponsorship.

On behalf of the Board of Directors and Friends of the Yolo Crisis Nursery, we would also like to thank our amazing volunteer kitchen crew, bartenders, security team, The Bridge Church, Collegiate Studios, CK Hicks and Sue Barnes.

And last but not least, thank you to the numerous businesses, community groups and individuals who donated items for our auction and raffle. Your generosity is a critical piece to our unprecedented success this year.

If you are interested in helping the most vulnerable children and families in Yolo County, please consider joining the fun and fundraising for the Yolo Crisis Nursery by lending your time and talents to the Friends of the Yolo Crisis Nursery. Simply email friends@yolocrisisnursery.org or join us on the second Tuesday of every month at 5:30 p.m. at the Carlton Senior Living Center. The rewards are priceless, not to mention the laughter and warm community you’ll encounter in the Friends’ group.

The Friends of the Yolo Crisis Nursery’s next event is the inaugural Yolo Crisis Nursery Barn Dance on Oct. 19 — save the date and get ready to kick up your heels for kids!

Visit our website, www.yolocrisisnursery.org, or subscribe to our e-newsletter to learn more about our upcoming events or to learn more about the Nursery. We hope to see you soon!

— Jane Eadie is the president of the Yolo Crisis Nursery.

Yolo Crisis Nursery: Fostering Love

Yolo Crisis Nursery: Fostering Love

Foster families have a critical role in our community. They not only care for children in crisis, but they foster love among us. It takes a very special family to love and welcome a child of any age at any time, day or night.

The Yolo Crisis Nursery is a resource to help foster families care for their children. The goal of our Foster and Kinship program is to support foster children and their families to ensure a smooth transition for everyone. Through this program, Yolo Crisis Nursery offers daycare for the first 30 days of a foster placement.

Wendy has worked with the Yolo Crisis Nursery for nine years as a foster parent. She has fostered five children for varying lengths of time, from as little as five days to adopting two of her foster children into her forever family. Wendy picked up her oldest child, James, at the hospital when he was just 2 days old and had to return to work just five days later. Without the help of the Yolo Crisis Nursery, Wendy would not have been able to return to work, since many daycare facilities are not licensed to care for infants younger than 8 weeks old.

“The Nursery has been invaluable. Not only did they care for James, but the wraparound services aided me as a parent with everything from navigating paperwork to checking in on my emotional well-being,” Wendy said. “With foster children, there isn’t a nine- or 10-month ramp-up where you can plan. Most times you get a call on a Friday and are back to work Monday.”

“James’ adoption was a long and emotional process that took nearly four years. The Nursery was there to support James and our family every step of the way,” Wendy said. “I was overjoyed when James’ adoption was finalized and he became my first forever child.”

When Lia was born, Wendy received a call from the hospital that there was a 2-day-old newborn girl who needed a home. “We immediately took her into our hearts and family,” Wendy said. “Lia had some challenges ahead of her. She was born tox-positive for methamphetamine. Due to drug exposure in the womb, Lia was very lethargic in her first five months of life, so much so that we had to wake her up to even eat. The Yolo Crisis Nursery was a critical part of Lia’s care plan.”

“The nursery staff was amazing,” Wendy continued. “They took the time to get to know Lia and knew exactly what she needed. At just 10 months of age, Lia was thriving and began meeting all her major milestones. Then, just a week shy of her first birthday, the court ordered that Lia be reunited with her birth father. The families met in a park and Wendy reluctantly handed Lia back to her birth father. This was a major emotional challenge for Wendy and her family, especially Lia’s older brother, James.

Three months to the day after Wendy said goodbye to Lia, she got a call that Lia was in the ICU. Lia was just 15 months old. Her injuries were severe and classified by the courts, law enforcement and Child Protective Services as non-accidental — they were the result of abuse. The doctors told Wendy that Lia may never fully recover from her injuries and would likely require round-the-clock nursing care for the rest of her life.

It turns out Lia is a fighter and had other plans, though. “The staff from the Yolo Crisis Nursery were some of Lia’s first visitors in the hospital,” Wendy said. When Lia returned to the Nursery after her traumatic injuries, their trauma-trained caregivers were able to help her through seizures and follow the care plan designed by Lia’s doctors and parents.

“Three days after her third birthday, we were able to adopt Lia and she officially and forever became a part of my family,” Wendy said. Less than a month later, crisis struck again when Wendy was suddenly single. This is incredibly difficult and emotional time for any family, but especially Wendy’s given the challenges James and Lia had recently endured.

“The Nursery provided amazing care and support for us during this time of crisis,” Wendy said. “I could not have made it through the last few years without the support and commitment of the Yolo Crisis Nursery. They are our extended family.”

Wendy is optimistic about the future and unreservedly adores her amazing kids more with every passing day. Both James and Lia are flourishing thanks to the loving support they received from their foster family, the Nursery and the community.

To help children in crisis like Lia and James, please consider making a donation to the Yolo Crisis Nursery or attending our upcoming annual Krustaceans for Kids Crab Feed benefit on March 16. Tickets are going fast and will sell out soon! We expect a large and festive crowd, who will enjoy all-you-can-eat crab and pasta, a no-host bar, silent auction, giant raffle, dessert auction and live auction with our auctioneer, Dr. John Chuck. Get your tickets and sponsorships today at www.yolocrisisnursery.org.

— This article originally appeared in the Davis Enterprise on February 24, 2019 and was written by Heather Sleuter, Executive Director of the Yolo Crisis Nursery.

Yolo Crisis Nursery: Crab Feed Fundraiser Set for March 16

Yolo Crisis Nursery: Crab Feed Fundraiser Set for March 16

Jane Eadie, president of the Yolo Crisis Nursery Board of Directors, joins Martha Bernauer and Nancy Storm, co-presidents of the Friends of the Yolo Crisis Nursery

It is crab season in California and that means the Annual “Krustaceans for Kids” Crab Feed benefitting the Yolo Crisis Nursery is just around the corner! The fun, food, and yes, fundraising is set to begin at 6 p.m. Saturday, March 16, at the Woodland Senior and Community Center, 2001 East St.

Krustaceans for Kids is an extraordinary crab feed! Volunteer servers will keep your table well-stocked with buckets of delicious, fresh crab with melted butter and cocktail sauce; pasta with red sauce; Caesar salad; and delicious bread. It is all-you-can-eat, so come hungry. Beer, wine and soft drinks will also be available throughout the event at conveniently located no-host bars.

“We’ve had a sell-out crowd for the past few years. Over 500 people attended last year’s Krustaceans for Kids and over $74,000 was raised for the Nursery,” said Yolo Crisis Nursery Board President Jane Eadie. “A successful crab feed this year will go a long way towards keeping the nursery financially healthy so that we can continue to serve Yolo County’s at-risk children and their families.”

The Friends of the Yolo Crisis Nursery have successfully produced this event since 2013, and we are working hard to make sure this year’s crab feed is the best yet. The fun doesn’t end with all-you-can-eat food, as the Silent Auction and ever-popular Giant Raffle are back, as well as the Live Auction with a great lineup of items that begins with a tasty array of homemade desserts.

We are thrilled to have Sutter Health returning as our Premier Sponsor. This type of dedicated support from our community is critical in helping us achieve our vision that every child in Yolo County grows up in a safe, loving, and stable home.

Individual tickets are only $50, and several levels of sponsorship are still available starting at just $500. They can be purchased now at www.yolocrisisnursery.org. Last year’s event sold out well in advance, so don’t delay. Get your tickets today!

All Krustacean for Kids Crab Feed proceeds go to the Yolo Crisis Nursery. The Nursery is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, for children and families in turmoil. Our services are free of charge, and we do not turn away any children. The Nursery’s emergency respite care program is funded by the generosity of our community.

Every family the Yolo Crisis Nursery serves is different, but each one is in crisis and all in need of aid with little or no support systems. The Nursery keeps their young, vulnerable children safe and helps the parents resolve their immediate crises. The Nursery continues to work with and follow families for one year to ensure that they successfully transition out of crisis, the children remain safe, and the family stays whole.

Why we do it

Recently, we received a call from one of our clients to say thank you. Jennifer and her young son James were shaken to the core by a brutal domestic violence attack. They were working hard at starting over when their past came back to haunt them in the middle of the night. Jennifer and James escaped that night with their lives, but both were traumatized.

Little James could recall every horrifying detail of the attack, and Jennifer sank into a deep depression. Our nursery team worked with James in our trauma-trained respite care and preschool program, while Jennifer was being treated for depression and attending to the necessary legal issues.

Jennifer and James are doing much better now. James is thriving in preschool and Jennifer is employed and just purchased a home. Jennifer and James are proof that we cannot erase the past, but with help, we can work to make the future as bright as possible. This is the reason we do what we do and why the Crab Feed, our major fundraising event, is so important.

Join us on March 16 for all-you-can-eat crab and fun to help our most vulnerable, at-risk Yolo County children, like James, avert disaster. Interested in joining the Friends of The Yolo Crisis Nursery? Please email friends@yolocrisisnursery.org. To learn more about the Nursery or to donate, please visit www.yolocrisisnursery.org.

— This article was written by Martha Bernauer and Nancy Storm are co-Presidents of the Friends of the Yolo Crisis Nursery and appeared in the Davis Enterprise on January, 27th 2019

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