The Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery helps 4,000 children every single year. Distressed families can drop off their kids with no questions asked and for free. And while that may seem like a big number, there are thousands more they can’t help. They simply don’t have enough resources.
“When we turn them away, we don’t know what’s going to happen,” said Program Director Ashley Boyd. “It’s devastating. It’s heartbreaking to know that we just can’t help everybody.”
Boyd describes every day as bitter sweet at the nursery.
“In august alone, we served 463 kids but we turned away 315 kids,” she said. “It takes so much for a parent to ask for help, and to be told no, I can’t imagine getting that courage again to ask one more time.”
On a typical day, the nursery only has between 16 to 20 spots.
“We look at the priority and the need,” she said “How many kids we can get in versus staff we have.”
If a child’s safety is at risk, they’re automatically in. Families facing homelessness are next. Staff work their way down from there. Often, nearly half don’t make the cut. But those who do, are exposed to an often unfamiliar territory of simply being a kid.
“They don’t have to worry about anything when they are here,” Boyd said.
A time filled with play, with fun, and most importantly love.
“They might not remember our names or who we were, but hopefully they will remember someone loved me at some point,” Boyd said.
You can help the nursery care for more families by donating during our telethon coming up this Saturday morning from 7:00 – 9:00.