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.