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 on Saturday, March 7, at 5:30 p.m. at the Woodland Senior and Community Center.
Krustaceans for Kids is an extraordinary crab feed! Volunteer servers will keep your table well-stocked with buckets of delicious, crab, 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,” said Yolo Crisis Nursery board president JoEllen Welsch. “A successful crab feed again this year will really help keep 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 has 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 sumptuous all-you-can-eat food, as the ever-popular giant Raffle and the Live and Silent Auctions will return again with a great line-up of items including 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.
Last year’s event sold out well in advance, so don’t delay. Get your tickets today. Individual tickets are only $50, and several levels of sponsorship are still available starting at $1,000. They can be purchased now at www.yolocrisisnursery.org.
All Krustaceans for Kids Crab Feed proceeds goes 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 child and family the Yolo Crisis Nursery serves is different, but each one is in crisis with little or no support system and all in need of aid. The Nursery keeps 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, such as the case of Sara and her son, Alex.
Sara, a young, pregnant, single, working mom, was on the brink of losing her job because she did not have childcare for her toddler son, Alex. Both of them had suffered abuse. At 4 years of age, Alex had behavioral challenges as a result of the abuse and had been removed from multiple childcare centers.
Sara was proud to be newly on her own with Alex and with a new baby on the way. The thought of losing her job, home and ability to care for her young family was overwhelming and devastating to Sara. Thanks to help from the Yolo Crisis Nursery, Sara was able to keep both her job and home, while helping Alex with behavior modification therapy. We may call it a nursery, but it is oh, so much more.
Please join us on March 7 for all-you-can-eat crab and fun to help our most vulnerable, at-risk Yolo County children, like Alex, avert disaster. Interested in joining the Friends of The Yolo Crisis Nursery? Please email firstname.lastname@example.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, co-chairs of the eighth annual Krustacean for Kids Crab Feed benefiting the Yolo Crisis Nursery. The article first appeared in the Davis Enterprise on Sunday, January 26, 2020.
For many families, the holidays and New Year mean coming together and celebration. The biggest concern may be checking gifts off everyone’s list and, perhaps, avoiding politics at the dinner table. Yet this is also an important time to recognize families facing crisis in our community. These families are not only trying to make ends meet, they also wonder how they will provide care for their children.
Fortunately, the Yolo Crisis Nursery, a nonprofit dedicated to helping parents and children in crisis, can provide respite care and help for these families. Over nearly two decades, the Nursery has helped over 5,000 children and families in Yolo County. The Nursery understands how an emergency can upend a family and is here to help.
The Yolo Crisis Nursery’s work is best illustrated by its clients’ successes. “Frank,” a loving and hard-working father, was willing to share his remarkable story of how the Nursery helped him during his time of need. Frank suddenly found himself with his world turned upside down. “Mary,” his partner and mother of his 2-year old son “Jack,” went missing. Mary suffers from mental illness, and for reasons unknown, she did not come home.
Frank was devastated by Mary’s departure, as was his son. They were suddenly alone, with no support network. Prior to her departure, Frank worked full-time as a landscaper, while Mary cared for Jack. Their budget was tight, but they got by. Now with Mary gone, Frank was at a tipping point. With no one to care for Jack and no paid leave remaining at work, Frank was between a rock and a hard place — if he stayed at home to care for Jack, he would lose his job.
Thankfully, Frank was willing to ask for help, and a community member referred him to Yolo Crisis Nursery. Frank and Jack were welcomed into the Nursery, and the highly trained staff quickly went to work. Through the intake process, trauma-informed staff identified that Jack was autistic. They quickly coordinated additional medical screenings, check-ups, and initiated other critical services.
The Nursery also provided temporary childcare for Jack, who was nurtured, fed nutritious meals, and enjoyed an enriching curriculum through the onsite preschool. Jack thrived in the Yolo Crisis Nursery’s care, achieving many developmental milestones. Meanwhile, Frank was able to maintain his full-time job, while also working closely with Nursery’s staff to navigate his son’s diagnosis and his childcare crisis. With the Nursery’s help, Frank avoided losing his job and home. Most importantly, he avoided losing Jack.
Recognizing that Frank’s crisis was not temporary, the Nursery also connected him with community resources and helped him find long-term childcare. The Nursery also helped him develop a support network of other parents which help one another through challenges. One of the members of this group even looked after Jack when he had a fever while Frank had to work. Not knowing if or when Mary will return, Frank continues to work to build a better life for himself and his son.
Although every family the Nursery serves is unique, they all have one thing in common — they are in crisis and in need of help. When families are in crisis, young children are the most vulnerable. The statistics are shocking. The Centers for Disease Control estimate that 1 in 7 children experienced abuse and neglect in 2018.
In a recent interview with PBS, California Surgeon General Dr. Nadine Burke Harris said, “the single greatest unaddressed public health threat that is facing our nation today is an issue of early adversity.” These trends make prevention — the very mission of the Yolo Crisis Nursery — critical.
The Yolo Crisis Nursery is here to help all families in crisis with children from birth to 5 years old. Services are voluntary and provided free of charge. The Nursery understands it takes courage for mothers and fathers to ask for help and that these parents are looking out for what is best for their children.
I am honored to be a member of the Yolo Crisis Nursery Board, and as a new father myself, I continue to be amazed by the work the Nursery’s dedicated staff does for families and children in need. The Yolo Crisis Nursery is funded by the generosity of our community.
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. If Frank’s story resonated with you, we encourage you to take a moment to learn more about the Nursery’s services and consider joining us to help prevent child abuse and neglect in Yolo County. To donate, to learn more or to join us, please visit www.yolocrisisnursery.org.
— This article was written by Eric Miller a member of the Board of Directors for Yolo Crisis Nursery. The article originally appeared in the Davis Enterprise on Sunday, December 22, 2019.
*For privacy reasons, we changed the client names for this column.
Heidy Kellison with Yolo Crisis Nursery supporters at a 2014 Yolo County Board of Supervisors Meeting.
I remember so well the day we got the news. It was in April, five years ago. The Yolo Crisis Nursery would close in 30 days. We had just bundled up the last of 12 children to leave for the day with parents and guardians who were working hard to create stable homes for their families. Two children would spend the night with our staff as their parents got immediate help to resolve the crises in their lives. I thought, “What will happen to these children — and all the children who need the nursery’s care — if we close?”
With the departure of our host agency from Yolo County in 2014, Yolo Crisis Nursery’s closure was looming, and a safe future for these young, vulnerable children was in jeopardy.
It took a village, but the nursery remained open, and in December we celebrate our fifth anniversary of incorporation as an independent nonprofit organization, Yolo Crisis Nursery, Inc. Looking back, it took all of us — everyone who donated or volunteered to hold babies, bought a crab feed ticket, built or painted a nursery playground structure or supported the nursery in any way. This milestone anniversary would not have been possible also without the support of the Friends of the Yolo Crisis Nursery and our community of caring businesses, foundations, service organizations, and the partnership with Yolo County.
In this season of thankfulness, we are so grateful for the work of local visionaries — Heidy Kellison and Becky Heard — whose leadership, determination, and generosity kept the nursery open to welcome children and families with a place of respite and service 24/7/365.
We sincerely thank the individuals, who served on the work group to create our nonprofit organization and to those on our inaugural Board of Directors. We are forever indebted to Karen Adams, Tricia Bosco, Vic Bucher, JD Denton, Jane Eadie, Becky Heard, Heidy Kellison, Liz Malinoff, Sherry Richter, Jamima Wolk and Judy Wolf. The gifts of your time and talents are still felt today.
We are also very grateful for the work of Yolo County Supervisor Jim Provenza and Gina Daleiden, whose early commitment to the nursery created a partnership with the county that has made a critical difference in improving the health and well-being of Yolo County’s children and families.
Since 2001, more than 5,000 children have been kept safe and their families healthy and whole, thanks to the nursery’s trauma-informed care and wraparound services for families in crisis. Our programs are further validated by the latest study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which confirms that what happens to you in childhood can affect your health for a lifetime. CDC data shows a link between childhood trauma and disease later in life, making prevention — the very mission of the Yolo Crisis Nursery — critical.
Every day we know the nursery is protecting our community’s young from the effects of trauma. Last year, the 474 children and 98% of the families we served did not enter the child welfare system.
As Executive Director, I often get asked, “How can you hold up given what you see every day?” Daily, I do see heartbreaking tears and sadness, fear and families struggling with homelessness, domestic violence, unemployment, health challenges, and more, all without a support system.
Yet I also see the shy grin of a 2-year old feeling safe enough to say her first words, the giggles of a 4-year-old recognizing the characters of what has become his first favorite storybook, and the tearful relief of the mother or father who knows their children are safe at last while they begin their recovery from trauma. With our help, those parents will become strong enough to look for a new home, a new job, and a new life for their families. I see it every single day.
Our generous community — our village — is the reason we are here today celebrating our fifth anniversary, and with your continued support we will be here for many more. There are numerous opportunities to help our children and families. Dec. 3 is Giving Tuesday, a global giving movement that follows Thanksgiving and the widely recognized holiday shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Join us and join the movement on Dec. 3 by making a donation to the Yolo Crisis Nursery at www.yolocrisisnursery.org . If you would prefer to help a specific child or family this holiday with essential items and a holiday gift, please email me at email@example.com to adopt a child or family for the holidays, or stop by Third St. Jewelers in Davis or Minute Man Jewelry and Watch Repair at Arden Fair Mall to select an ornament from their giving trees.
Together with all who have given and all who will give to the nursery, we celebrate our anniversary with you — our village — and extend a deeply heartfelt “thank you.”
To make a gift or for more information, visit the Yolo Crisis Nursery website: www.yolocrisisnursery.org or reach us by mail: 1107 Kennedy Place, Suite 5, Davis, CA 95616. If you or someone you know needs our services, please call: 530-758-6680.
This article was written by Heather Sleuter the executive director of the Yolo Crisis Nursery and first appeared in the Davis Enterprise on Sunday, November 24, 2019.
There’s no doubt about it, the Yolo Crisis Nursery’s Barn Dance was the place to be last Saturday night. “Amazing night!” “The Moonshine Crazy band was epic!” “This will become a Davis favorite event!” “Who knew that Central Park could be transformed into such a magical place?” are just a few of the comments we’ve received so far.
Thank you so much to our generous and engaging Yolo County community for coming out for a fun-filled evening of live music, food, libations, and dancing under the stars. If you were unable to share in the merriment, not to worry, we’ll see you next fall at the barn dance where we can all come together as a community once again to support our area’s most vulnerable children and their families.
In Coretta Scott King’s words, “The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members”, and I am here to say, by that gauge, our Yolo County community far exceeds greatness. The Yolo Crisis Nursery Barn Dance would not have been possible without a multitude of selfless community volunteers, sponsors, donors and donations and it is my pleasure to thank them all on behalf of the Yolo Crisis Nursery and its Board of Directors.
I’d like to first express tremendous gratitude and kudos to the Friends of the Yolo Crisis Nursery and the Barn Dance’s tireless co-chairs, Sharon Schauer and Veronica Stanton. Credit for the inspiration, creativity, and success of the barn dance belongs with this talented, dedicated, and hard-working group of volunteers.
It was our honor to partner with Nugget Markets as the inaugural Barn Dance event sponsor. Nugget is well-known in our community not only for their excellent stores, but for generously giving back through their community-based philanthropy as well.
Speaking of supporters, it came as no surprise when Martha Bernauer of Lyon Real Estate and co-president of the Friends of the Yolo Crisis Nursery, eagerly responded “Yes!” when asked to sponsor the Barn Dance raffle prize. Martha took it a step further and enlisted Kim Eichorn and Chris Snow, also of Lyon Real Estate, to share in the honor. Thank you all!
Our deepest appreciation also goes to the Bacon Mania and Buckhorn BBQ food trucks for serving up delicious vittles and donating a portion of their proceeds back to the nursery, and to Clark Pacific for providing and delivering the many straw bales, Recology for delivering and donating the use of their garbage, recycling, and composting containers, Marc Hicks and his security team, and our many other volunteers comprised of members from Davis Soroptimists, Davis Rotary Clubs, the National Charity League, and Phi Delta Theta, not to mention the cooperation of the Davis Farmer’s Market in making sure the space was available when needed and, of course, the Davis Bicycle Hall of Fame for the use of their restrooms.
Every bit of support that’s provided to the Yolo Crisis Nursery directly benefits Yolo County children in crisis. Whether you purchase an event ticket or sponsorship, donate clothes, diapers or formula, or make a monetary donation, it’s all welcome and put to necessary use.
You won’t want to miss our next event, the Krustaceans for Kids Crab Feed on March 7. Mark your calendar now and sign up for our newsletter at www.yolocrisisnursery.org. Individual crab feed tickets will go on sale in early January, 2020. Information on sponsorships is available now for the crab feed by contacting Becky Heard (firstname.lastname@example.org).
I invite everyone who reads this to go onto our website at www.yolocrisisnursery.org and discover its one-of-a kind programs and early intervention services provided in a safe environment to nurture healthy and resilient children, strengthen parents and preserve families. That’s what I did nearly three years ago in response to an Enterprise article. I could not be more proud or honored to know that I’m helping the nursery in its vision that every child in Yolo County grows up in a safe, loving and stable home.
Whether it’s holding babies at the nursery, joining the Friends of the Yolo Crisis Nursery, applying for the Board of Directors, or making a donation, there is a way for you to touch these children’s lives as well.
— This article was written by JoEllen Welsch is the president-elect of Yolo Crisis Nursery and first appeared in the Davis Enterprise on Sunday, October 27, 2019.
It is often said that every choice in life matters. As a long-time member of the Davis community and a pediatrician with a career focused on serving people in vulnerable and underserved communities, I never imagined the impact that a simple act of dropping off holiday donations for children in crisis could have on my own life.
When I stepped inside the Yolo Crisis Nursery, I was immediately struck by the staff’s attentive, respectful, and affectionate care. I looked into the eyes of those young children, and my life was forever changed. I saw fear and pain mixed with a child’s ever-trusting and resilient nature. If ever there is a time to intervene with warmth and kindness, it is during that immediate time of crisis.
I have seen much in my more than 25 years as a board-certified physician working with disadvantaged communities. One of the most impressive aspects of the Yolo Crisis Nursery is the culture of professionalism and commitment to excellence in the service of our clients. Every family at the Nursery is different, but all – adults and children alike — are treated with respect and compassion.
Since opening its doors in 2001, the Nursery has helped thousands of young children and families experiencing crisis—potentially avoiding the trauma of child abuse or neglect. The impact of the Nursery is often best understood through our client’s stories and successes. I want to share a recent success.
Lucas struggled to get up the two steps to enter the Nursery’s front door the first time he arrived. He was just two years old, had a heart condition and was morbidly obese – weighing more than three times the average two-year-old. Lucas’ medical conditions were the result of poor nutrition and neglect. As a physician, seeing this in a child just two years of age was heartbreaking and shocking. 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 wrap-around services embraced his family with parenting education and connections to services to help them build a healthy lifestyle for their family. After just two months, Lucas is able to climb the stairs into the Nursery’s front door with ease. He has lost 20 pounds, and is able to interact and play with the other children. The journey has just begun for Lucas and his family, but they 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.
Children 5 years old and younger are the most likely to be victims of abuse, yet fortunately, they are usually quite resilient if intervention is swift and nurturing. Targeted, critically time-sensitive support can make all the difference.
I have been a supporter of the Yolo Crisis Nursery ever since that chilly December day several years ago, and I am proud to be completing my third year as a member of the Board of Directors.
You can also support the Nursery and its critical mission. An easy way to take that first step is to join us on Saturday, October 19, at 6 pm at Central Park in Davis as we kick up our heels for kids at our inaugural Barn Dance. The Barn Dance will be hosted by the Friends of the Yolo Crisis Nursery and is sponsored by Nugget Markets. This amazing event will bring our community together for a night of entertainment, dancing, and fun, all to benefit the Yolo Crisis Nursery.
If an evening of good old-fashioned fun is not reason enough to come to the Barn Dance, come for Lucas and the thousands of children in crisis that the Yolo Crisis Nursery has helped since its opening. I invite you to get your Barn Dance Tickets today — they are just $25, and include one beverage ticket. Tickets can be purchased now at www.yolocrisisnursery.org.
If you cannot come to the Barn Dance, there are many other ways to support the Nursery: volunteer to hold babies, make a financial contribution, or join the Friends of the Yolo Crisis Nursery. To donate, get involved, or to learn more about how you can help, please visit www.yolocrisisnursery.org. Find out, like I did, how this impactful organization changes lives.
— This article originally appeared in the Davis Enterprise on Sunday, September 22, 2019, and was written by Samrina Marshall. Samrina is a pediatrician and a board member for the Yolo Crisis Nursery.