OCCU Day of Caring
Each year, Oregon Community Credit Union (OCCU) employees lend a helping hand in the community to many non-profits needing projects completed. Parenting Now! was one of the lucky organizations to receive support from 12 of OCCU’s finest – They were outstanding! They swooped in on President’s Day (a day off for them) and completed projects for our upcoming dinner auction event and our gigantic resource materials project. We could not have completed these projects without these amazing, capable volunteers – we simply don’t have the resources.
Our local community is so very lucky to have the support from Oregon Community Credit Union and their employees. Without the support and generosity of folks like these, our mission of ensuring all children are raised by nurturing, skilled parents would simply seem impossible. OCCU helps Parenting Now! reach deep into our community, touching the lives of thousands of families each year, by helping to lighten our load – Allowing Parent Educators and Home Visitors to be busy in the field where they make a direct impact on the lives of local families.
Thank you, OCCU, for being such a loyal friend to Parenting Now! – You are so appreciated and valued.
Spanish Speaking Volunteers
John Capper and Paul Laing are Juniors in the Spanish Immersion Program at Sheldon High School. The two friends generously volunteered three hours per week for 10 weeks with our Crecer Children’s Program. John and Paul were so well liked by our teachers, staff, parents, and children – we are so proud to have them on our team! Each week the boys brought a positive, infectious and playful vibe to the classroom that made the children feel at ease and the teachers looking forward to their help.
We love all our volunteers but have to admit, we get especially excited when young males want to help, too! Having both male and female volunteers helping in our Children’s Program creates a balanced and interesting classroom. John and Paul, thank you so much for your interest in our program – we’ve loved having you and hope you’ll return when your schedule allows.
University of Oregon Volunteer
Miranda McCarthy, a junior majoring in Family & Human Services at the University of Oregon, has been interning with Parenting Now! since the beginning of Fall term. So far, Miranda has worked as a
Parenting Educator Assistant for our Young Parents program, a childcare assistant in the ONEs group, and is a Baby Connection volunteer extraordinaire! Miranda is personable, genuinely interested in infants, young children and parenting, and has a wonderful, warm welcoming spirit that puts everyone at ease.
Pictured here is Miranda and sweet baby Ronan, who attends Baby Connection with him mom on Wednesday mornings.
Miranda will continue to work with Parenting Now! through Winter term as a Parenting Educator Assistant and also in our Children’s Program. All of us here at Parenting Now! are thrilled to be working with such a capable, mature and warm-hearted individual. Thank you, Miranda, for all you’re doing to help Parenting Now! in our mission that all children are raised by nurturing, skilled parents.
High School Volunteers
Maddy Opdahl and Kate Laing are two of Parenting Now’s wonderful volunteers! These girls, seniors at Sheldon High School, started volunteering with our Crecer program last year (2014/15) and have been an amazing support ever since!
Both Spanish speakers, Maddy and Kate quickly won the hearts of everyone around them, filling a special need for our agency’s Children’s Program. We are so grateful that these two friends found us because our Children’s Program benefits greatly from their positive energy, capable hands, and loving, generous spirits.
Along with volunteering for Crecer and the ONEs groups, Maddy and Kate have also volunteered for our annual Dinner Auction. With the help of stellar young community members like these two, Parenting Now! will continue to make a difference in the lives of local families.
Thanks Maddy and Kate, we appreciate all you do for us and the entire community!
Fabiola Marroquin: Alumni and Volunteer
Fabiola Marroquin first became involved with Parenting Now! after the birth of her first child. Her husband wasn’t sure he wanted to be a parent, leaving her to assume her new role as a parent alone.
Soon it was apparent that another factor was creating an imposing parenting challenge for Fabiola: She was experiencing perinatal mood reaction. Unable to bond with her son, scared of dark thoughts she was having, and afraid that he would be removed from her care, she reached out for help and connected with Healthy Start/Healthy Families at Parenting Now!
“It was 1,000 percent helpful,” Fabiola says when describing her time working with Joanna, a home visitor with HS/HF. Joanna also connected Fabiola to additional resources, such as a support group through the Relief Nursery. There she met other mothers, realized that the depression she experienced was something others experienced as well, and that she could find her way through it, creating a strong, loving connection with her son. She and her husband reconciled. They went on to have two more children.
When her first child turned 3, Fabiola transitioned out of the HS/HF program, feeling well-supported and with a greater sense of confidence in her role as a parent. Last summer, Fabiola began attending Crecer, a Parenting Now! group for Spanish-speaking parents.
She was excited to be in the group, finding it “very helpful.” She valued the connections she made with other parents, and the encouragement and knowledge of the group’s parent educator, Ana Maria.
“Ana Maria has the thing that makes you feel like you can make it, too,” Fabiola explains. “She inspires me….She teaches so much about kids and nutrition and education. She tells you that you can do better everyday,” a sentiment that Fabiola embraces in her daily life and in her work at her church as a leader of youth.
Fabiola likes to tell the church youth that they “can make positive changes in people’s lives – even with little gestures like a smile” adding that, “Ana Maria also shows you that you can be a single parent and still go to school and achieve.”
Ana Maria told Fabiola about Lane Community College’s Women in Transitions program, and she is now involved.
As part of the program, she came back to Parenting Now! this winter as a volunteer with the Healthy Start Healthy Families program. When Fabiola began volunteering, she described how she valued her experiences with Healthy Start Healthy Families and Crecer, and how she wanted to give back to Parenting Now! by giving her time to a program that had played such an important role in her growth as a parent.
“I want to be a part of this,” she says. Fabiola values and admires the way Parenting Now! links families to additional services.“You are like a piece in a puzzle, connecting to other pieces,” she notes, emphasizing that Parenting Now! does not close itself off or shy away from referring families to other organizations.
And of the staff she says, “You guys care. To some people, work is just a position, just a job, but there is so much more connection when people really care.”
Fabiola exudes a bright enthusiasm, curiosity and dedication. She is a wonderful example of care in action, and a valued member of the Parenting Now! community.
Richard and Calleen Ribuca
“Some people say having children ties you down. My husband and I agree that it opens doors for new opportunities in life.” Birth To Three volunteers Richard and Calleen Ribuca actualize their beliefs despite the challenges of being a one-car family, full-time employment and parenting demands. In fact, these challenges unify the family in their efforts. “We work together,” Calleen shares. Indeed, the whole family contributes to the 150 volunteer hours they’ve accrued since last March. “There are always ways to help without having to be on site. Birth To Three brings projects to my home or we all pack up and come in on the weekend. Richard and I work while our kids play. On the rare occasion I have the car during the week; I will come in and bring Kai and Xander with me.”
Birth To Three provided the perfect match for the Ribuca’s who model service as a family lifestyle. “I was looking for a business that would let me have my 5-month-old son with me while I volunteered. Birth To Three gave me that chance. Birth To Three is so family friendly and there is always something different to do.”
Calleen cites the ability “to give back to my community without giving up time with my children,” as her favorite part of volunteering.
Let’s all be inspired by the Ribuca’s philosophy: “If you want to volunteer and you’re busy, just remember you are never too busy to make a difference. Anything is possible.”
Lindsay Ferreira’s “Can Do” Attitude is Appreciated
Lindsay Ferreira is a volunteer dynamo. During her high school years, she donated her time at Birth To Three every week and often, more than once a week. Lindsay helped keep the volunteer program strong through her willingness to learn new tasks, work independently and be an ambassador for Birth To Three. Her reliable, professional efforts helped the program continue despite budget cuts.
The Marist High School senior first volunteered with Birth To Three after a classroom presentation on the agency. She began in the Children’s Program, which was her favorite Birth To Three experience. Lindsay’s maturity and creativity with children impressed the Children’s Program coordinator, who hired her to provide skilled care to the children of parents attending groups. She still helps when she’s home on college vacations!
Lindsay also reorganized the volunteer contact software, triaged the holiday giftwrapping fundraiser, provided office support, worked on the Cirque de Famille fundraiser, helped on grounds beautification and recruited other Marist volunteers. Lindsay also volunteered for other organizations in Eugene.
In 2009, she provided 131 hours of volunteer work and was awarded Birth To Three’s Youth Distinguished Service Award. Lisa Balint-Juilfs, then her supervisor, said Lindsay is “organized, responsible, extremely professional, doesn’t forget any commitments and is a delight to work with.” Lindsay said she realizes how hard parenting is and that people have to learn the skills to parent.
Staff in Development, Volunteer, Communications, First 3 Years and Make Parenting a Pleasure said a big ‘thank you’ to Lindsay!