Stronger Together

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 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, 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.

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.

Under the best of circumstances, when cancer strikes, the entire family is thrown into crisis. And when that family is already struggling to make ends meet, it is devastating.

Not knowing where to turn, distressed and desperate, Jason called the Yolo Crisis Nursery. Jason’s wife was the caregiver for their children and had been diagnosed with cancer. There were not enough hours in the day for Jason to work for his essential paycheck, get his wife to her life-saving treatments and properly care for their two young children. Money was tight and he simply could not miss any more work. Jason could not do it all himself — he needed help.

The Yolo Crisis Nursery was there for Jason and his family. We welcomed the children into respite care and helped Jason find long-term care for the children. We referred him to community resources to help navigate this challenging time. Mom is now in remission and the family is together, thriving, healthy and so very happy.

In the month of October, we’ve seen splashes of pink everywhere for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The women battling cancer, whether breast cancer or other forms, are mothers and daughters. While literally fighting for their lives, most cancer patients are unable to care for their families and children. The extreme stress children experience when their parent has cancer can leave a lasting impact on them, even into adulthood. Thankfully, the Yolo Crisis Nursery is just a call away for families without a support network. The staff at the Yolo Crisis Nursery are all trauma-trained to minimize the impact on children experiencing family unrest and stress.

Every child and family the nursery serves is unique, but they all are in crisis and need help. The nursery is an oasis for children up to age 5 when their family is in turmoil. We lovingly care for the children and support their parents as they work to resolve the emergency that brought them to our door. Our services are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, free of charge, and completely voluntary.

Although currently a member of the board of directors, I started with and have been a part of the Yolo Crisis Nursery for over 15 years. Many of the families we serve are facing dilemmas that few of us can even imagine. To Yolo County families with young children like Jason’s, the nursery’s services are life-altering. I have always believed that an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.

The Nursery is here today in large part because of the hard work, dedication, and generosity of the Friends of Yolo Crisis Nursery. This is a community group that actively fundraises year round to help the nursery remain open. For the last 6 years, the Friends of the Yolo Crisis Nursery have hosted the Krustaceans for Kids Crab Feed, with last year’s event raising nearly $80,000! If you share our belief that all children deserve a safe and loving home, please consider joining our group. The friends meet the second Tuesday of every month at 5:30 pm. To learn more, please email friends@yolocrisisnursery.org and be sure to save the date – March 16, 2019 – for this year’s Crab Feed.

There are many ways to get involved with the nursery: volunteering at the Nursery, donating your time and talents to our board of directors, joining the Friends of the Yolo Crisis Nursery, making a financial donation, donating supplies from the nursery’s wish list or just by shopping at Amazon and Nugget Markets.

Amazon and Nugget Markets will both donate a percentage of the purchases you make to the Yolo Crisis Nursery. Just visit Amazon Smile (http://smile.amazon.com), choose Yolo Crisis Nursery as your selected charity and Amazon will donate 0.5 percent of each purchase you make to the nursery.

At Nugget Markets, if you have a scrip card, simply add the Yolo Crisis Nursery as a beneficiary. If you do not yet have a scripts card, please email mleach@yolocrisisnursery.org to learn more. Once you have set up your scrip card, simply present it at checkout and Nugget will donate a percentage of your total monthly spending to the Yolo Crisis Nursery. These donations truly add up and help the nursery care for the Yolo kids in crisis.

We are grateful for your support. The Yolo Crisis Nursery could not survive without the generosity of our community. Please visit www.yolocrisisnursery.org to learn more, get involved, and give to the Yolo Crisis Nursery

This article is by Becky Heard, a member of the Yolo Crisis Nursery Board of Directors and originally appeared in the Davis Enterprise on October 28, 2018.