|Baby Bear Hugs keeps parents sane|
|Written by Holyoke Enterprise|
“Baby Bear Hugs keeps me sane!”
This is a quotation from a mother who recently participated in the Baby Bear Hugs program. She went on to say that her children aren’t perfect and she learned that they don’t have to be perfect. She has become more understanding of her children through the information and support provided by Baby Bear Hugs visitors. “I wouldn’t be the person I am today without Baby Bear Hugs!”
Baby Bear Hugs changes the lives of families and children by providing parenting education, support and connection to community resources for all families with children prenatally through 3 years old.
Baby Bear Hugs is a private non-profit organization (NOT affiliated with the government) and is located in nine counties in eastern Colorado: Elbert, Kiowa, Lincoln, Logan, Morgan, Phillips, Sedgwick, Washington and Yuma.
Paraprofessional and volunteer visitors deliver resources, information and support to the home of the family or meet at another acceptable location.
The programs of Baby Bear Hugs include the Programs of Colorado Bright Beginnings, Ongoing Visits, Nurturing Parenting Classes, Ages and Stages screenings and Healthy Living. Most of the services listed above are delivered through regularly scheduled monthly visits where the visitor brings resources, information and support often incorporating nurturing parenting or healthy living.
The programs of Colorado Bright Beginnings are one-time visits focusing on the new baby, language development at 1 year and positive behavior at 2 years. (Go to www.brightbeginningsco.org for more information.)
Baby Bear Hugs has a staff of 25 people, 20 of whom are part time. Every county has a coordinator. Baby Bear Hugs is governed by a board of directors who represent the counties served. In addition there are advisory committees that help and support the organization in each county.
All together there are over 85 volunteers who directly lend their support to the program.
All of the services provided through Baby Bear Hugs are currently free to the families. Funding comes from many varied sources. The pie is divided into three very unequal pieces. State prevention grants make up the smallest piece of pie at 15 percent. Family foundations make up the largest piece, which is about 50 percent. But the most crucial piece is the remaining 35 percent.
This piece consists of local funds and includes fundraisers, supportive memberships, local foundations, contracts with local providers and donations. Baby Bear Hugs values and needs their local funders. Otherwise they could not offer parents the support and encouragement they need.
For more information or to donate visit www.babybearhugs.org or call 970-848-5274 for more information.
Help more parents be able to experience: “I learned to let my child be independent and try new things according to her developmental age. I stopped stressing out so easily.”