A Little Assist Goes a Long Way
How one local organization helps families with childcare needs
Melia was a young woman in the early 90’s and she needed a job. And work wasn’t dropping out of the sky in her small Alabama town. So she took a chance on the big city of Birmingham, moving away from everything she knew, including family and friends.
The gamble paid off, she found a good job. Then two years later she found herself expecting her first child. And like many first-time parents, the anxiety and high costs of child care weighed on her. She wasn’t sure what she was going to do.
In a stroke of luck, Melia was referred to a local nonprofit, Childcare Resources. Thanks to their Resource and Referral Program, Melia found childcare for her baby girl, Kiera.
“Recently, I called Childcare Resources and expressed my thankfulness,” Melia reflected. “I told the executive director, ‘You don’t know me, but more than 20 years ago your organization changed my life for the better. And I just wanted to say, thanks’.”
Childcare Resources makes quality care and education of children happen. They provide information, education and assistance to more than 4,600 clients annually.
“The program eliminated the worry of having to find and to pay the high cost of childcare after bringing a little one into the world,” says Melia.
Childcare Resources, an organization supported by State Farm, continued to help Melia as a new mom. Through their Supplemental Child Care Program, she received financial support that enabled her to attend college. She eventually graduated with a bachelor’s degree in accounting.
“The assistance and services I received gave me peace of mind. I was hard at work trying to make a better life for myself and my child. I’m not sure I could have done it without their support,” says Melia.
The Resource and Referral program is a free service. It guides families through the sometimes difficult process of locating quality childcare. The Supplemental Child Care program assists eligible parents by splitting the cost of childcare with the parents.
“It is an incredible honor to help parents like Melia, and getting to witness this every day,” says Joan Wright, Executive Director Childcare Resources. “To see how we affected a family 20 years later is amazing! We are so thankful Melia decided to pick up that phone and let us know the impact we made. Makes all of our hard work worth it!”
Melia is now a homeowner, a wife and mom to 23-year-old Kiera, a high school graduate. “Childcare Resources has no idea how much they helped me,” Melia explained. “I appreciate them for being there for me and my daughter when we needed them the most. My advice to single parents is to always remember hard work pays off and never give up.”