Carrie Hellwig-Christopher, Board Member
I joined the Board in late 2014 specifically because I believe so strongly in the mission and know the value of the organization. My family participated in the First Three Years programs for INFANTs, ONEs, and TWOs, and from that we experienced firsthand the benefits Parenting Now! is providing to our local community.
What’s your favorite thing about being on the board?
As with any sort of community involvement, one of the primary things I get out of my involvement is the pleasure of giving back. As a member of the Strategy Committee, I have had the added benefit of becoming more deeply involved with analysis and strategic planning for the organization. I have also enjoyed seeing firsthand the good that the staff and group facilitators are doing.
Can you talk about your experience of being in a Parenting Now! group?
My husband and I were relatively new to Eugene. We moved here from out of state, so we didn’t have a family support system in place when we had our son. Coming to the Incredible Infants classes gave us access to a group of families who were facing the same new challenges as we were. The program helped us understand that the issues we were facing were not unique to us. There is no doubt that going through one or more of the First Three Years programs makes you a better, and more confident, parent. Our son is now five, and our group continues to meet (outside of Parenting Now!) at least quarterly.
What would you like prospective parents to know about Parenting Now! that you think they may not realize or know?
The broad range of services Parenting Now! offers. Many people in our community think of Parenting Now! as only offering the standard group parenting classes, but there is so much more! Wednesdays PN! hosts a well baby clinic; throughout the year they provide home visits for families identified as being in crisis through the Healthy Families! program; PN! offers programming in Spanish; and, even has workshops for grandparents. Another important fact, often overlooked, is that Parenting Now!’s mission supports the prevention of child abuse by providing parents with skills to reduce stress and foster positive parent-child interactions during those critical formative years.