May 28, 2023

Sharing thanks and gratitude 

Thank you to our generous community. The month of May has brought spring flowers and two successful Yolo Crisis Nursery events – The Big Day of Giving and the inaugural Yolo Crisis Nursery Run for the Roses fundraiser. These events raised critical funds and awareness to help children and families experiencing crises in Yolo County. 

The Big Day of Giving (BDOG) is a regional day of generosity held every year on the first Thursday in May. Thank you to all who donated on the Big Day of Giving this year. Your generosity will make our community stronger. Nearly 200 donors came together to make this year the most successful BDOG yet for the Nursery! We are so grateful for each and every donor, especially our matching gift donors Andrew and Thea Minsk, an anonymous donor, Brian and Stephanie Rubinstein, the Rubinstein Family Foundation, and Michael and Mary Patricia Whelan-Miille. 

Our inaugural Run for the Roses Kentucky Derby fundraiser welcomed many new and familiar sponsors, guests, and supporters to Windmill Vineyards in Woodland. The weather cleared just in time and the event was a huge success. We hope you will join us next year for this one-of-a-kind event the first weekend in May. Sponsors are key to a successful event and we would like to give a special thanks to our sponsors Windmill Vineyards, Muller Ag – Tom and Colin Muller, Ag Seeds Unlimited, Grow West, Eaton Drilling Co., LLC, Clark Pacific, Ginny Parks Real Estate, Ken Aoki Farms, Parks Water Resources, Styled Madera Events, WECO, Woodland Haven Preschool, Embellish Décor & Gifts, and Jennifer L. Ward, Edward Jones.

The funds raised at these two events will go to support Yolo Crisis Nursery early intervention safe stay program and wraparound services. Targeted, critically time-sensitive support can make all the difference for a child. The nursery has helped over 8,000 children and their families, but our impact is best illustrated by the success of our clients such as Lucas.

Meet Lucas — a two-year-old who struggled to get up the two steps to enter the nursery’s front door the first time he arrived. He had a heart condition and was morbidly obese – weighing more than three times the average two-year-old. Lucas’ medical conditions were severe and the result of poor nutrition and neglect. 

After 20-plus years of working with children, the nursery staff were heartbroken and shocked to see this in such a young child. Lucas and his family came to the nursery through a referral from a medical provider. The nursery was a key piece of a safety plan for Lucas to focus on his physical, emotional, and developmental needs.

Lucas began attending our specialized preschool, and the nursery’s wraparound services embraced his family with parenting education and connections to services to help them develop healthy nutrition and lifestyle for their family. 

In just two months, Lucas was able to climb the stairs into the nursery’s front door with ease. He had lost 20 pounds and was able to interact and play with the other children. Life is a journey and Lucas and his family are all becoming healthier and stronger together. 

The Yolo Crisis Nursery helps children and families when they need it most, in times of crisis. The services the nursery offers change lives, and in many cases can be the difference between life and death. To all the Yolo Crisis Nursery loyal supporters and generous donors, your commitment is changing children’s lives and making our community stronger. On behalf of all of us at the Nursery and the children and families we serve – THANK YOU!  

To learn more about the Yolo Crisis Nursery or to join us as a volunteer or donor, please visit

— Heather Sletuer is the executive director of Yolo Crisis Nursery.