“Camila” and “Ramone” loved each other and adored their two children, “Mateo,” 3½, and “Mia,” 9 months. Life was good for this young family, and they had many plans and dreams for their future. However, those plans were destroyed one afternoon at a family barbecue when Ramone and his brother engaged in a fatal altercation. Sadly, Mateo and Mia witnessed the deadly dispute.

The family was overwhelmed with shock, grief, and anger. With Ramone in jail, Camila and the children’s lives were turned upside-down. Mateo and Mia were traumatized and, since Camila had no job, the family lost their home. Camila had nowhere to turn. Devastated and without resources, Camila was anxious and frightened. She was forced to start a new life raising her children — alone, this time.

Not a moment too soon, Camila, Mateo, and Mia found the Yolo Crisis Nursery. The nursery’s trauma-informed team immediately embraced Camila and her children with wrap-around services, including much-needed counseling. Camila was not alone anymore and began to build a new life for her family, while Mateo and Mia were in the expert hands of the nursery’s trauma-informed staff.

The Yolo Crisis Nursery staff worked with the counselors and Camila to support and help the children through this crisis, most especially Mateo, who could recall every detail of the fatal afternoon. Not only did the nursery help Camila find a job, daycare, and a new home, the team worked with Camila, the counselors, and the new daycare to ensure a seamless transition for Mateo and Mia.

Fast-forward eight months, the children are supported and Camila has earned a promotion at work. The family is doing well, but is still in recovery.

The Yolo Crisis Nursery is here with open doors, arms and hearts for children like Mateo and Mia because of the generous support from our community. On May 2, our big-hearted community will come together again for the Big Day of Giving. Please join us by making a donation to the Yolo Crisis Nursery. Your gift will help other children in crisis like Mateo and Mia. Children, knowingly or not, are at a crossroads in their young lives. Your gift has a profoundly positive impact at this critical juncture.

Big Day of Giving is also an opportunity to double your gift. Greg and Amy McNece of Davisville Management Company have generously offered to double all donations to the Yolo Crisis Nursery on May 2, dollar-for-dollar, up to $10,000.

“Amy and I are blessed to be a part of Yolo Crisis Nursery,” Greg McNece said. “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 help vulnerable children in the most critical moments.”

Are you interested in giving, but you will be out of town or busy on May 2? You can schedule your donation today. To learn more, please visit www.yolocrisisnursery.org.

If giving mom the gift of helping a child in crisis for Mother’s Day is more your style, simply make a donation in her name, and we will send her a card displaying the beautiful finger-painting pictured above with your personalized message. Best of all, it will arrive in plenty of time for Mother’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 our board of directors, I would like to thank Greg and Amy McNece of Davisville Management and all of our generous donors for your continued support. The Yolo Crisis Nursery board of directors is committed to the nursery’s mission and Big Day of Giving. As a small sign of our appreciation for the support we receive from our community, 100 percent of the nursery’s board of directors have made financial gifts to the nursery in support of this event.

All Big Day of Giving donations directly support our 100-percent community-funded respite care programs and intervention services. Donating to the nursery is not just investing in the future of the children we serve, it is investing in the future of our community. To learn more about the Yolo Crisis Nursery, to get involved or to donate, please visit www.yolocrisisnursery.org.

— Jennifer Thayer is a Yolo Crisis Nursery board member.

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