If you’ve ever cared for a young child, you are familiar with the anxiety in trying to comfort an infant or toddler with a high fever at 3 a.m.

Your mind races with concern for the child, wondering when the fever will break and if they need to see a doctor, followed with the realization that you need to be at work in just a few hours. You know the dread of having to make a choice between your child and a job interview or medical appointment, cancelling a work meeting you organized or explaining your late arrival again to a boss because another babysitter bailed at the last minute.

As a single mom, I faced many of these decisions when my daughter was young. My daughter is now grown, and I am a proud grandmother of two beautiful girls. I am also retired and in the fortunate position of being able to help in caring for my grandchildren when these situations arise. Our family is very fortunate, unlike many moms and dads in our community who do not have a safety net and need to make difficult choices as parents of young children.

Even worse, numerous families in our community face very serious, sometimes life-threatening, circumstances due to severe health challenges, job loss, homelessness or domestic violence.

As a parent and grandparent, I understand what a safety net of love and support can do for young children and their parents. That is why I assist the talented staff and dedicated Board of Directors and volunteers of the Yolo Crisis Nursery to raise support for the nursery’s mission: to provide early intervention services in a safe environment to nurture healthy and resilient children, strengthen parents and preserve families.

Yolo Crisis Nursery offers a combination of trauma-informed emergency and respite childcare with wrap-around services for parents. This model is unique in California. In fact, the nursery is one of only four crisis nurseries in the entire state. The nursery is unique not only for the services offered, but also because it is a home and a place of hope and help for Yolo County families. The nursery has had great success in protecting local children and preserving their families.

Last year, 97 percent of families receiving nursery services:

  • Completed a referral to support services.
  • Reported a reduction in stress after using our services.
  • Did not become a part of the child welfare system.

The success of the nursery is vital to keeping our Yolo County kids safe, with 64 percent of clients reporting being at risk of domestic abuse and 54 percent of the children experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

Giving Tuesday
Following Thanksgiving and the widely recognized holiday shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday is Giving Tuesday on Nov. 27. It is a global day of giving that harnesses the collective power of individuals, communities and organizations to encourage philanthropy and to celebrate generosity.

Won’t you join me in kicking off the giving season by donating to the Yolo Crisis Nursery on Giving Tuesday? The holidays are a wonderful time to give back to our community, especially to our children whose families are experiencing extreme stress, trauma or crisis. Your donation will help to keep this vitally important work serving Yolo County’s young children and their families alive.

Our gifts provide critical support so that a local mom or dad will never have to make a difficult choice or leave a young child in an unsafe situation. Together we will realize Yolo Crisis Nursery’s vision of every child in Yolo County growing up in a safe, loving and stable home.

If you or someone you know needs emergency or respite childcare, contact Yolo Crisis Nursery at 530-758-6680. Nursery services are available 24/7, 365 days a year.

Gifts to the Yolo Crisis Nursery can be made on the nursery’s website: www.yolocrisisnursery.org or by mail to Yolo Crisis Nursery, 1107 Kennedy Place, Suite 5, Davis, CA 95616. The Yolo Crisis Nursery is here because of the generous support of our community. We thank you!

— Cam Stoufer has been the Fund Development Director of the Yolo Crisis Nursery since 2014. Reach her at cstoufer@yolocrisisnursery.org.

This article is by Cam Stoufer and originally appeared in the Davis Enterprise on November 25, 2018.

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