Living in Iowa, we come to expect the cold, snowy winters, and this year especially! At Young Parents Network we work with prenatal parents and those with children ages 0-5. Being pregnant and having young children can make any winter day a little more hectic for our participants. We offer social and emotional support at our weekly group sessions, and we also meet basic needs through our We Care Shop. Participants earn points by making healthy decisions for themselves and their children, and in turn can exchange those points for children and baby essential items.
This past week we had a young mom visit our We Care Shop for assistance with her baby boy. It was one of those subzero days with snow blowing all around, and this precious boy had on only a short sleeve onesie and a thin pair a pants under his blanket. As soon as they walked through the door, this little boy was picked up and dressed from head to toe with a sweater, socks, pants, mittens, and a hat. He wasn’t going to be cold any longer! His mother was guided around the shop to pick out other essential clothing, blankets, bottles, formula, and even a little snow suit to keep her son warm. After their immediate material needs were met, the mother met with our Mom’s Program Specialist to learn about our programs, resources, and how she could earn on-going use of our We Care Shop. She signed up for our Infant Moms Group! She will now receive a meal, education, resources, and much needed support each week she attends.
This is just an example of how Young Parents Network can turn meeting a one-time need into a long-term relationship. Our programs make a real and lasting impact, empowering generations of young parents and their children.