JoEllen Welsch – Davis Enterprise Letter to the Editor, published February 11, 2021
I have had the great honor and privilege of serving on the Yolo Crisis Nursery Board of Directors since January 2017. During my tenure, I have been continually impressed with the generosity of the Yolo County community in which I live, and since the onset of COVID, I am in absolute awe. In the past year, the Nursery has experienced a remarkable increased response to our outreach efforts to help us meet the surge in demand for our services. Our hearts are overflowing by the response and also for the unsolicited giving from a multitude of individuals, organizations, and institutions.
On an average day — pre-COVID — the children and families that we serve were already experiencing challenges involving domestic violence, mental and physical health emergencies, substance abuse and addiction, homelessness, sudden job loss, and other adversities. As you can imagine, every issue weighing on our client children and families has been exacerbated by the reverberating effects of the pandemic, and the number of referrals to the Nursery for critical assistance has substantially risen. Yolo Crisis Nursery is an essential provider for children and families whose situations went from urgent to potentially catastrophic with the arrival of COVID in our community.
Following strict safety mandates, the doors to the Nursery have remained open 24/7 to the infants and children who need us and to the families of essential workers with nowhere else to turn. COVID has taxed the Nursery’s staffing and resources like never before, but as our executive director, Heather Sleuter, frequently reminds me, “we figure it out” because we never say no and we never turn anyone away.
I am deeply proud of my compassionate community, and on behalf of our entire organization — our staff, volunteers, and Board of Directors—and from the children and families that we serve, thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
JoEllen Welsch President, Yolo Crisis Nursery Board of Directors
The Yolo Crisis Nursery began serving children ages birth to five years old and their families in 2001. Since then, the Nursery has continuously provided early intervention services in a safe environment to nurture healthy and resilient children, strengthen parents and preserve families.
From 2001 until early 2014, the nursery operated under a parent nonprofit agency. Yolo Crisis Nursery executive director Heather Sleuter recalls receiving the news that the nursery would close in 30 days and our parent agency would leave Yolo County. “We had just bundled up the last of 12 children to leave for the day with parents and guardians. Two children would spend the night with our staff as their parents got immediate help. I thought, what will happen to these children — and all the children who need the nursery’s care — if we close?”
The departure of our host agency from Yolo County in 2014 created a crisis. The nursery was facing closure. A group of volunteers who had been formed years earlier for fundraising assistance to the Nursery — The Friends of the Yolo Crisis Nursery — immediately began to search for a licensed host agency to take over the Yolo Crisis Nursery operations. For a variety of reasons, one was not found.
With the 30 days’ notice of closure, the majority of grants that had funded the nursery were terminated. There was no more agency, no more money and no more time. The clock was ticking. And then, the angels arrived and brought with them the miracles that are now legendary.
Heidy Kellison, president of the Friends, boldly negotiated a continuation of the Yolo Crisis Nursery operations with private funding while a nonprofit corporation was formed, licensed and became a public 501(c)(3) charity. The Yolo Crisis Nursery now had 90 days to remain open while securing funding for the interim operation of the nursery and a full fiscal year of funding for operations totaling almost $400,000. Heidy returned to Friends of the Yolo Crisis Nursery with a three-month clock, determination and enduring hope. She is my hero.
Yolo Crisis Nursery Inc., was formed with a board of directors consisting of Becky Heard, as chair, Kellison, Liz Malinoff, Trish Bosco and myself. On behalf of the new corporation, I submitted an application for 501 (c) (3) status, and Heather Sleuter, completed all of the licensing applications. Yolo County Children’s Alliance acted as the interim public charity on behalf of the new corporation.
With the 90 days quickly racing by, the newly formed board immediately hired Cam Stoufer to help replace the terminated grants with new funding streams. Cam’s efforts yielded immediate dividends and continued throughout her six years of service. While Cam applied for grant funding, the newly formed Board and the Friends of the Yolo Crisis Nursery were feverishly fundraising to save the nursery.
The Yolo Crisis Nursery is open today because of the generosity of Yolo County citizens, businesses and organizations, as well as our families and friends nationwide. All are connected by our shared belief that every child deserves to grow up in a safe, loving, and stable home. The redemption story of these times is for a different forum than this article, but the angles ranged from bakes sales to large monetary donations.
In those 90 days, contributions from family and friends, and the Yolo community of individuals, clubs, churches, and others, as well as grants, totaled $364,000! At the risk of forgetting someone, I will not attempt to enumerate the many contributors of time, talent and treasure. But, for the sake of deservedness, I must give credit to Yolo County Supervisor Jim Provenza for his advocacy during this perilous time. His commitment and passion for the mission and community need of the Yolo Crisis Nursery became the cornerstone of our successful fundraising efforts.
In 2015, the newly licensed, nonprofit corporation Yolo Crisis Nursery Inc. began standalone activity. Sleuter was named executive director and has continued in that capacity to this day. In our first full year as an independent nonprofit, we served 129 children. Last year, we served 692 children. We serve at-risk children ages birth to 5 years old and their families as an upstream investment in the future of our community.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought new challenges to the nursery. The Yolo Crisis Nursery is an essential service and has remained open during the stay-at-home orders. “Over six months into the pandemic, we have more families than ever in crisis. We are seeing increases in clients experiencing domestic violence, homelessness, and postpartum depression,” Sleuter said. “In addition, we are helping essential workers with young children and distributing record numbers of care packages in our community. The need has never been greater.”
As it has since 2001, the Nursery has remained open, serving a population under great stress. These families are hit hardest by the pandemic and are struggling with homelessness, unemployment, isolation, and uncertainty. I invite you to support the Nursery and the children they serve with your time, talents, or a donation. To learn more please visit www.yolocrisisnursery.org. We are community.
This article was written by Vic Bucher and originally appeared in the Davis Enterprise on Sunday, October 25, 2020.
So much has changed and yet some things remain the same.
As a member of the Yolo Crisis Nursery Board of Directors, an 18-year member and past president of the Davis Rotary Club, and a passionate advocate for children, I am seeing the potentially devastating challenges the COVID-19 pandemic is creating for young children and their families. COVID has changed the way the Yolo Crisis nursery works, but it has not changed the positive impact the nursery makes on children’s lives.
With so many in our community struggling, the services that charitable organizations — like the Yolo Crisis Nursery — provide are as critically necessary as ever, as demonstrated in Amanda’s story below.
Amanda is an essential worker and a single mother battling mental illness. Amanda and her 4-year-old daughter, Isabella, came to the nursery in April when they found themselves in an impossible situation. Amanda needed to go to work and childcare was scarce due to the shelter-in-place orders.
Without childcare, Amanda’s mental health was stretched to the limit, she risked losing her job, her home, and most importantly, Isabella. The nursery quickly assessed their needs and wrapped them both with compassionate care and services. Unbeknownst to Amanda until assessed by the trauma-trained Yolo Crisis Nursery staff through its intake and screening process, Isabella was identified to be deaf and on the autism spectrum.
Our amazing nursery staff worked with Amanda to help her understand Isabella’s diagnosis and connected her to the medical and social services her family needed. Together with Amanda and Isabella’s doctors, we built a treatment plan.
Isabella thrived at the nursery, as our staff worked with her on non-verbal communication skills and some behavior modifications. Isabella made huge improvements in her social functioning and communication skills while in the nursery’s care.
With the nursery’s help, in just three months, Isabella has a medical plan in place and is enrolled in a preschool with an individual education plan. Amanda is healthy, employed, stable, and is the best mom she can be for Isabella. The pandemic has changed our world, but thankfully, some things have not changed.
The Yolo Crisis Nursery is here to help all families in crisis with children from birth to five years old, and our services are voluntary and provided free of charge. Asking for help is sometimes not easy for parents; it takes courage and love for your child. We understand that parents are doing their very best, but sometimes they need assistance to properly care for their children.
The Nursery is funded by the generosity of individuals, businesses, foundations, granting agencies, and local government. We could not help people like Amanda and Isabella without this ongoing support. Regrettably, we will not be able to gather in person for our annual Barn Dance fundraiser this fall.
While we may not be able to line dance, we can get in line to support Yolo County kids in crisis through the Travis Credit Union Foundation’s COVID-19 Relief Initiative. Every dollar donated up to $20,000 by September 30th will unlock a dollar-for-dollar matching gift for the Yolo Crisis Nursery from the Travis Credit Union Foundation.
This is a tremendous opportunity to double your donation and to help more children and families in crisis. To qualify for the matching gift, all donations must go through the Travis Credit Union Foundation.
Please visit www.tcufund.org/ways-to-give/ and select Yolo Crisis Nursery from the dropdown box to donate online or to learn more about how to donate in person or via check. Alternatively, you may also visit a local Travis Credit Union branch and specify that your foundation gift is to benefit the Yolo Crisis Nursery.
As the only crisis nursery in Yolo County, Yolo Crisis Nursery has always been an essential resource and place of hope for families, and it has been especially so for those dramatically impacted by COVID-19. I am extremely proud of the amazing work that our Executive Director, Heather Sleuter, and her team do day in and day out for children and families in Yolo County, no matter the circumstances.
It is my pleasure and honor to serve on the Yolo Crisis Nursery Board of Directors. The work we are doing as a board to advance our vision that every child grows up in a safe, loving, and stable home is rewarding in ways I could not have imagined.
If you believe that all children deserve to grow up in a safe, loving and stable home and would like to help young families like Amanda and Isabella, I invite you to join us at the Yolo Crisis Nursery.
We are always looking for people who are willing to lend their time and talent to join us. To learn more or to make a gift, please visit our website www.yolocrisisnursery.org. If you think you might be interested in joining the Yolo Crisis Nursery Board of Directors, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love the opportunity to get to know you.
— Kay Resler is a member of the board of directors for the Yolo Crisis Nursery. This article originally appeared in the Davis Enterprise on July 26, 2020.
Life has been turned upside-down for us all since mid-March. We are so thankful we had our eighth annual Krustaceans for Kids Crab Feed before then. The evening was the last social gathering for so many of us before sheltering in place to help flatten the curve.
As the State begins to reopen, we want to express our deep gratitude for two record-breaking events — Big Day of Giving and Krustaceans for Kids. The proceeds raised through these events are allowing the Nursery staff to serve more families in new and creative ways from the frontlines of the Coronavirus pandemic.
We are so grateful for all who sprinkled the Nursery with Love for the Big Day of Giving during the first week in May. Despite the challenging circumstances in all of our lives, our amazing community rallied to help the most vulnerable children and those hardest hit by the pandemic.
We extend a special thanks to Greg and Amy McNece and the Yolo Crisis Nursery Board of Directors for their matching gifts. We are so pleased to have exceeded those generous gifts. Thank you also to all who donated and participated in our Sprinkler Challenge — Yolo County kids felt all that love! The gifts made for Big Day of Giving have a profoundly positive impact at this critical juncture. Thank You!
This year’s Krustaceans for Kids Crab Feed was made possible by our generous sponsors, donors, volunteers, and guests, to whom this year we say a very special thank you! We cannot thank our volunteers enough, particularly the 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. 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.
Thank you also Lamppost Pizza, Upper Crust Bakery, Sudwerk Brewing, and Paradise Valley Estates for your delicious donations. And a very special thank you goes 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 Sponsors Jim and Lucinda Childress, Davisville Management Company, 2nd Street Storage, Aggie Square Apartments, Fountain Circle Townhomes and Almondwood Apartments for their ongoing generosity and support.
Sincere thanks to our generous Dungeness Crab Sponsors: Dignity Health, Kaiser Permanente, and Harris and Mary Liu of the Woodland McDonald’s.
To our wonderful Blue Crab Sponsors: Martha Bernauer & Maren Heise, Brooks Painting & Higgins Team Good Home Group, Brown Construction Inc., Marguerite Callahan, Carbahal & Company, Coldwell Banker Select Davis & Woodland, Davis Firefighters Local 3494, Davis Oddfellows & Davis Rebekah Lodge, F Street Dispensary, Steve & Teri Greenfield, Heidy & Peter Kellison, Morse Custom Homes & Remodeling, NakanoKennedySimpson, Recology, Kay Resler, Shottenkirk Honda, Sharon Schauer & Brodie Hamilton, Stromberg Redway Friends, Swim America – Davis, Stewart & Ann Teal, Union Bank, and Welsch Family & Friends – Thank you.
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, and CK Hicks.
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 was a critical piece to our success.
Our local small businesses have always rallied to support those in need in our community, and we encourage our community to shop local to support those businesses in their time of need. If you are interested in helping vulnerable children and families in Yolo County, I hope you’ll consider joining us. Please email email@example.com to learn more about how you can help the Yolo Crisis Nursery. Visit our website, www.yolocrisisnursery.org, to learn more or join us with a donation or by volunteering.
— This article was written by Steve Willhoff, Yolo Crisis Nursery Treasurer. The article first appeared in the Davis Enterprise on May 24, 2020.
Safety, compassion, community, commitment, respect, and hope are the values that Yolo Crisis Nursery embraces 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
Every child we serve receives 100% of our dedication to maintaining those values, along with our further commitment to embrace their parents in our wrap-around services to help preserve their family so that they can grow up in a safe, loving, and stable home.
When parents and caregivers experience high levels of stress without resources, support or relief to help manage their crises, child abuse, and neglect increases. In this unprecedented period of uncertainty due to COVID-19, there are more families than ever experiencing extreme stress.
When parents aren’t able to work, poverty and homelessness will increase, leading to prolonged toxic stress on families that will result in increased domestic violence, substance abuse, child abuse, psychiatric issues, and other serious situations. In these uncertain times, the Yolo Crisis Nursery will focus on the safety of our community’s most vulnerable children as well as the safety of our staff.
We will keep providing services to help children whose safety is at the highest risk within the guidelines of national and local health officials. We are monitoring the CDC guidelines and are in contact with state, local and county health officials regularly to ensure our staff, children, and their families are kept as safe as possible.
Yolo County’s recent shelter-at-home mandate will help reduce the risk of further spread of the virus and save lives. We understand that COVID-19 is causing concern and upheaval for us as individuals and for our community. We are feeling this and our community’s children feel it too. Children may be agitated or confused as they are undoubtedly unsettled by the drastic changes to their normal routines and unavoidable ominous news that surrounds us all.
Now more than ever, it is important that we recognize and guide those in our community who might need extra assistance to the help they need. Yolo County is filled with generous and compassionate people and together we all do make a difference. Together we can weather this crisis with grace, dignity, and minimize the suffering for our community.
During this time, the Yolo Crisis Nursery is developing online resources, and information to help families stay strong and resilient. If you have not already liked the Friends of the Yolo Crisis Nursery page on Facebook, please join our community for the latest updates.
We are working to bring in child and family specialists as well as other experts. We plan to cover key topics like how to discuss the virus with children, parental self-care, as well as ideas to keep children engaged and learning during this challenging time. Please like us on Facebook and stay tuned!
We invite you to join us, please visit www.yolocrisisnursery.org to learn more about the nursery, or to make a donation. Thank you Yolo County, we are stronger together.
— This was written by Heather Sleuter is the executive director of the Yolo Crisis Nursery and first appeared in Davis Enterprise on March 22, 2020.
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.