Happy 1st birthday branches!

Celebrate, Celebrate, Our twins 1st birthday!

There is nothing like celebrating you 1st birthday! Infant Crisis Services is celebrating our "1st birthday" as partners with Variety Care and INTEGRIS SW Medical Center. The idea of partnering was planted as Infant Crisis Services searched for ways to better serve our clients. With gas prices closing in near $4 a gallon and our statistics showing us that many of our clients come from zip codes in south and west metro locations, we began to research ways to ease the transportation burdens.

In August 2010, Infant Crisis Services made its partnership official and opened twin branch locations. The Variety Care NW 10th Street Branch, open Tuesdays, and INTEGRIS SW Medical Center Branch, open Thursday, has allowed families to access our program in their own neighborhood. A mother will often tell me, "I just live up the street, " or "I didn't have enough gas to make it all the way over to Lincoln, I am so glad you are right here." These expressions of thanks validate how imperative our branch locations have been for these communities. Families who might have to take a two and a half hour ride on the bus to get to our Lincoln site, may now only be a few blocks away.

Since the partnership began, Infant Crisis Services has served more than 800 babies at our branches. That's well over 38,000 diapers! A great benefit for our families is both Variety Care and INTEGRIS SW Medical have many other programs our families can utilize, such as quality medical and dental services for the whole family at Variety Care and nutrition classes, cancer support groups, GED and senior adult programs at INTEGRIS SW Medical Center, just to name a few. The cross referrals between all of our services is one of the way we work to reach the goal of self sufficiency for our families.

What I have enjoyed the most if getting to spend one-on-one time with our moms, dads, grandparents and most importantly BABIES! Families have the opportunity to open up and share struggles they are experiencing at home. Sometimes they just need a good listener or a supportive word that says, "you are doing a great job!" None of us are born with all the answers in parenting, but connecting families with resources that can help them parent better will so greatly impact their future as a family unit. Our twin branches have made our goal of serving families better much more possible. If you would like to support on of our branches in some way, give us a call.

Need an idea or suggestion? Our branch locations could really use recyclable tote bags, wipes, baby bottles, Sippy cups, or baby bath. You could host a drive for these items at your monthly staff meeting, weekly Sunday School class or Rotary club lunch. There are lots of quick and easy ways to support babies in need across the community. Give it a shot, the possibly are endless. :)

Judith Cope, Outreach Coordinator