MILWAUKEE — Larria Benford is mother to three beautiful children.
“Aviana is 6, Faith is 3 and Legend is 1,” she says.
As cute as her kids are, Larria says three youngsters can be a handful. Which is why she started coming to La Causa’s Crisis Nursery almost three years ago.
“I heard about them through the suicide hotline,” Larria says. “I was going through some challenges with support, and I really didn’t have a big support system.”
Staff at La Causa stepped up to become that support system. They were able to take care of Aviana, Faith and Legend for up to three days at a time.
“It just helped to be able to have a break and have that break knowing that your kids are well taken care of,” Larria says. “Because I know they can go here for a day, and I can take care of things for me and have that time for myself.”
Karl Schoendorf says that’s the idea behind the Crisis Nursery. He says stress is one of the biggest drivers of neglect and abuse.
“We want to be a resource for families so they don’t get to that breaking point,” he says.
You can’t give from an empty cup and giving parents a chance to take care of themselves – even for just a few hours – makes a big difference.
“You see a totally different side from parents, there’s just a total flip and that really is nice,” Schoendorf says.
But to give parents that breather, La Causa needs a lot of stuff.
“Diapers and bottles and formula and bibs and rattles and pacifiers,” Schoendorf says. “All that good stuff that kids would use in a house.”
And La Causa gets a lot of its supplies through donations.
“The gifts that we receive here we end up passing right through to our families,” Schoendorf says.
You can support organizations like La Causa and many others by giving to the Community Baby Shower. TMJ4 is partnering with WaterStone Bank to gather donations for families in crisis.
Drop your donations off at any WaterStone Bank branch location, or donate online by following this link.