Local advocate for children and families needs your help to hit $100K fundraising goal
The numbers don’t lie.
Child abuse increases in times of crisis and stress. Babies and toddlers normally cry and scream, and parents are supposed to have the emotional bandwidth to maintain a calm center and not take out their frustrations on their children.
In a crisis, this bandwidth diminishes.
Families that already face the stress of extreme poverty, food insecurity, mental and physical illnesses, and domestic violence are being pushed to the brink during the current COVID-19 pandemic. Parents have been laid off, essential supplies are difficult to find and afford, and increased isolation is taking its toll on parent mental health.
The goal of MountainStar Family Relief Nursery is to prevent child abuse and neglect in situations like this through community support and therapeutic services. They are the only organization in Deschutes, Jefferson, and Crook Counties providing therapeutic classrooms, parenting education services, and family support targeted at protecting babies and toddlers who are at significant risk for abuse and neglect.
As an organization focused on preventing child abuse and helping families to succeed, MountainStar is extremely concerned about how the COVID-19 crisis is affecting the children and families they serve throughout Central Oregon. The therapeutic services, support, and safety infrastructure they provide to help vulnerable children and families succeed are needed now more than ever and will continue to be needed in the months ahead.
MOUNTAINSTAR’S RESPONSE TO COVID-19
While MountainStar has temporarily closed its therapeutic classrooms, its staff is staying connected with the families of high-risk babies and toddlers. They check in with parents by phone and offer reassurance and support. They conduct “home visits” through car windows with families who are on their front stoops. They drop off food boxes, diapers, and activity bags full of playdough and art supplies. They are inventing new ways to provide relief to stressed families, including live-streaming book readings/story hour and holding our family engagement program nights virtually.
Because of COVID-19, MountainStar has had to cancel three of its main fundraising events that were scheduled to be held this. They also have seen a decrease in private donor revenue through their spring appeal letter, mailed in early April during Child Abuse Prevention Month.
To increase awareness and consolidate their message across the tri-counties, MountainStar has launched its Keeps Kids Safe Campaign with a $100,000 fundraising goal. MountainStar is within $20,000 of reaching this fundraising goal that’s instrumental in helping them serve Central Oregon families.
We know our community takes protecting its children seriously. MountainStar needs help to guarantee their doors stay open for families who desperately need support in these difficult times.
MountainStar Family Relief Nursery milestones for 2018-19
- 290 children served
- 1,219 total family members served
- 98% of children receiving Therapeutic Early Childhood Program services remained free from confirmed cases of abuse and neglect
- 99% of children did not require foster care or another out-of-home placement
- 90%of children routinely visited a primary care physician (well-child visits)
- 80% of children either met or exceeded the benchmark for social/emotional development
- The risk of abuse and neglect is decreased by 70% within the first six months of a family participating in a relief nursery program
- 95% of families in a relief nursery program for at least one year do not have further contact with the Department of Human Services or Child Welfare