July 23, 2023 Posted by Steve Greenfield

Helping Families Find Independence

The Yolo Crisis Nursery is a valuable resource for families in need in Yolo County. The nursery provides safe stays for children through age 5, as well as wraparound services, to help vulnerable families find a path to stability and strength. 

The cost of living in Yolo County has been rising. At the nursery, we have seen an increase in the number of hard-working families facing complicated challenges due to increasing costs for essentials like rent, food, gas, and diapers.

I have been on the Board of Directors of the Yolo Crisis Nursery for four years. Over this time, I have seen first-hand the tremendous impact that the generosity of our community has on local families struggling to make ends meet and care for their families. 

Our executive director, Heather Sleuter, and her trauma-informed care team provide exceptional care for the children, as well as parental education, and wraparound services that help families address the root causes of their crisis. This model is tremendously successful at keeping families out of the child welfare system. Since opening in 2001, the nursery has served over 8,750 with a 98% success rate.

Last year, my wife Teri and I participated in the Yolo Crisis Nursery Adopt a Family program to sponsor a client family over the holidays. When we received our family’s wish list there were countless kitchen essentials in addition to toys and clothing. After speaking with Heather, we learned that this father was starting over, and his holiday wish was to outfit his kitchen to prepare healthy and nutritious meals to share with his family.  

My mother-in-law, Kathryn Thorpe, had recently passed away peacefully in her own home. Kathryn was a genuinely kind and generous person. To honor her, we tried to thoughtfully distribute and donate items to causes Kathryn valued throughout the community. When we saw this holiday wish list, we knew this Nursery dad and his family was the perfect new home for Kathryn’s kitchen — pots, pans, plates, cups, glasses, utensils, small kitchen appliances, and more. 

“It was both healing and heartwarming to know that my mom’s kitchen will help a family build a brighter future together,” said Teri Greenfield, Kathryn’s daughter. “I know my mom would be thrilled. We wish the family much love and happiness as they enjoy home cooked meals together.” 

This family is not alone. The increasing costs of essential items makes it hard for families with young children starting out or starting over. At the nursery last year, we distributed 5,212 care packages filled with food, clothing, diapers, wipes, and other childcare essentials. These in-kind gifts, as well as gift cards to Target, Walmart, or a supermarket, help provide a family in crisis with the essentials.  

If you believe all children deserve to grow up in a safe, stable, and loving home, please join us and get involved with the Yolo Crisis Nursery. There are so many ways to become involved, you could volunteer, make a financial contribution, apply to serve on the Board of Directors, or join the Friends of the Yolo Crisis Nursery. 

My involvement with the nursery has introduced me to an incredible group of people. Our board is an active and involved group of volunteers that provide guidance, governance, and oversight for Yolo Crisis Nursery’s mission, operations, and program effectiveness. We have a few open Board of Directors seats. If you are interested in serving, we invite you to learn more by emailing board@yolocrisisnursery.org

We all come with diverse backgrounds, professions, and experiences, but we are unified in our commitment to serve children ages birth to age five and their families. Please consider this my invitation for you to join us with your time, talents, or a financial contribution. I promise you will be glad you did. To learn more, please visit our website www.yolocrisisnursery.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.  

— Steve Greenfield is a member of the Yolo Crisis Nursery Board of Directors. This article originally appeared in the Davis Enterprise on Sunday, July 23, 2023.