The power of collective giving and collective caring

By Beth Briggs

The Women Givers of Northeast North Carolina presented one of three grant awards to Denauvo Robinson, director of Parents As Teachers, a program of the Albemarle Smart Start Partnership for Children.

The program addresses emergency needs of families with no other source of assistance.

In thanking the members, Robinson shared a story about one of the program participants.

A toddler was drinking from a bottle filled with orange liquid. Noting the bright color, he asked the child’s mother what was in the bottle.

Robinson, surprised to learn it was orange soda, asked why the mother would give the baby something with no nutritional value.

The mother replied, “I can buy a liter of orange soda for a dollar but milk costs $3.59 gallon.”

The Women Givers of Northeast North Carolina’s collective gift provides mothers in the region with resources to buy milk and food for their babies, pay a heating bill or receive parenting support.

But the Women Givers receive a gift, too. They have the satisfaction of knowing their investment directly impacts and alleviates some the heartache of poverty in North Eastern North Carolina.

Earlier in November, the Women’s Network of Wake County made a gift to BEST Care Kids, a child mental health initiative of Learning Together.

This multi-faceted program focuses on very young children in foster care and their biological mothers who have lost custody of their children.

The grant supports a visitation house for therapeutic sessions with the biological mother and her child.

Every day, women face tremendous pressures to make good decisions on behalf of their children.

Mothering is hard work, but limited resources or mental-health challenges place additional burdens on some families.

There are adequate resources in this country to ensure that every family has enough food, a place to live and mental-health services to support them during times of stress.

Unfortunately, misplaced allocations of those resources are hurting families and children.

The Women Givers of Northeast North Carolina and The Women’s Network, a Wake County fund, are changing the lives of women and children in their counties.

Collectively they learn about issues facing women and children and find ways to get involved using their time, their talents, their voices, their hearts and their financial and human resources.

In communities across North Carolina, women and children are in crisis.  Fortunately, women across the state are stepping up, combining their collective power of time, talent and treasure to address and seek solutions.

It takes a few good women willing to use their power to pass on the gifts that have been given to them.

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