April 22, 2018

With fundraising, focus remains on families

A single mother’s story tells why the work to build community support for the Yolo Crisis Nursery is important and never ending.

Patricia, a single mother of three, needed help.

Keeping up with three lively kids, aged one, six, and seven, had overwhelmed her. The stress and responsibilities built up until she started having suicidal thoughts and felt as if she wanted to give up her children.

She called the Yolo Crisis Nursery. Staff encouraged her to come in and bring the children. The nursery was ready to help.

A trained case worker met with Patricia to do an intake and assessment while nursery staff arranged for a member of her family to temporarily care for all three children. Patricia agreed to submit to a psychiatric assessment at a medical facility. Meanwhile, the one-year-old was placed in overnight care at the Yolo Crisis Nursery while the two older siblings stayed with family members temporarily. Patricia sensed immediate relief from the show of support to reduce the anxiety, stress, and suicidal thoughts.

As a result of the referral to the medical facility, Patricia got the treatment and medication she needed. She was soon successfully and safely reunited with all of her children and, with the support of the nursery, was able to maintain a stable household. She regularly used the Nursery’s respite care services during her follow-up medical appointments. Also, with the nursery’s support, Patricia subsequently applied to a local college and started classes.

Today, the family is together and looking forward to the future. The kids are happy to be with their mom, a strong woman who loved them enough to find the courage to seek help, even when everything looked so dark. Fortunately for this young family, the Yolo Crisis Nursery was there to make it happen.

“The evidence is clear that preventing children from being separated from parents is best, if at all possible. We are proud that 98% of families served by the nursery do not enter the child welfare system,” said Executive Director Heather Sleuter. “I’m grateful that our supporters make it possible for us to be here for this family and others like them.”

You can help make sure the Nursery will continue to be there for moms like Patricia and other families in crisis by joining the community to support the Yolo Crisis Nursery on the annual Big Day of Giving, set this year for Thursday, May 3rd. Donations given on this day directly support the Nursery’s early intervention services to nurture healthy and resilient children, strengthen parents and preserve families.

But that’s not all. When you make your Big Day of Giving donation you can double the bang for each buck, thanks to the generous folks at Davisville Management Company. Owners Greg and Amy McNece have agreed to offer a matching challenge again this year, matching Big Day of Giving contributions dollar-for-dollar up to a total of $10,000.

“Amy and I are blessed to be a part of Yolo Crisis Nursery,” said Greg McNece. “As we consider community needs, we understand that the work of the Nursery is both urgent and important. The organization provides desperately needed stability, support and love to vulnerable children in the most critical moments.”

If May 3rd is a busy day on your calendar, you can schedule your donation anytime, starting right now. Each participating nonprofit has a unique web address to “schedule” a credit card donation that will be processed on May 3rd. A link to the nursery donation web address is posted on the home page at www.yolocrisisnursery.org.

And finally, a big thank you goes to the hardworking Friends of Yolo Crisis Nursery, a couple of hundred volunteers, our sponsors, donors, and guests! The Nursery’s most recent fundraiser, the 6th annual “Krustaceans for Kids” Crab Feed on March 24, was a rousing success. A record amount of $74,841 was raised, demonstrating once again the strong community support for Nursery’s programs.

Some fun facts from this year’s Crab Feed:

  • Attendees: 550
  • Pounds of crab served: 1,400
  • Pounds of pasta served: 60
  • Gallons of pasta sauce served: 30
  • Cases of wine served: 5 of red, 6.5 of white
  • Kegs of beer served: 2.5
  • Free bottles of spring water served: countless
  • Rolls served: 720

Special thanks go to the many generous event sponsors, headlined by “Premier” sponsor Sutter Health. This event is months in the planning and the Nursery thanks the planning committee and all the volunteers, particularly event co-chairs Nancy Storm and Martha Bernauer.

“We are profoundly grateful to Martha, Nancy and their team for their tireless efforts on behalf of the Nursery,” said Jane Eadie, President of Yolo Crisis Nursery. “Their dedication and leadership has resulted in the Crab Feed doubling in both size and revenue, providing much needed funding to support children and families in need.”

Plans are already under way for 2019 Crab Feed. Consider joining the fun by lending your time and talents to the organizing committee by emailing friends@yolocrisisnursery.org. You’ll do lots of very satisfying volunteer work, rewarded with lots of warm and fuzzy feelings.

This column appeared in the Davis Enterprise on April 22, 2018

Photo caption: Excellent care is provided by Connie Cordero, one of Yolo Crisis Nursery’s staff members.

Photo credit: Kelly Barr