“Sometimes without MotherHouse Crisis Nursery I think I would be lost.”

Charanda is a mother who uses MotherHouse Crisis Nursery while she gets treatment for polymyositis, a disease that causes painful muscle inflammation, severely restricting her ability bend over, rise from a seated position, and even walk. Her treatment occurs every two weeks and she has been going for the past eight years.

“Having my son go to the MotherHouse Crisis nursery allows me to go to treatment,” Charanda said, “it’s reassuring knowing the nursery is there watching over him and that they won’t back out last second.”

MotherHouse Crisis Nursery is a donor-supported Children’s Home & Aid program that provides emergency childcare for children 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in the Rockford area. (A second crisis nursery operates in Bloomington.) In addition to providing emergency childcare for up to 72 hours, MotherHouse connects families with community resources that can help stabilize the family’s situation.

MotherHouse crisis nursery is a lifesaver for parents like Charanda who need medical treatment and cannot always rely on babysitters or family.

Stephanie Caltagerone has been with Children’s Home & Aid for 10 years and is a Family Support Services Program Supervisor overseeing the MotherHouse Crisis Nursery. In her multiple years being at Motherhouse, she has seen the impact her program has had on these families.

“One of our moms talked about how other people have their mothers, their sisters, their friends to help,” Stephanie Caltagerone commented. “The families who use MotherHouse usually don’t have those resources. But they do have Motherhouse.

In the wake of the pandemic, the importance of MotherHouse has increased dramatically. Families have needed their services and other resources more than ever.

“Since March 17th, we have given over $67,000 in supplies to families in the Rockford area, including diapers, groceries and infant formula” Stephanie said. “Unfortunately, there is still a high demand for supplies that we are struggling to meet. It’s been a difficult year.”

Covid-19 has devasted the country and many parents are struggling with unemployment and other economic hardship.  Typically, during the holidays, MotherHouse clients request assistance to provide Christmas toys for their children. But this year is different.

“Families are asking for help with clothing, food, and essential supplies,” Stephanie said, “Of course every parent wants their little one to have a toy to open on Christmas morning, but the demand for basic resources is extremely high.”

Fortunately, there is a way we can help and change these families holiday celebrations. This holiday season, you can visit MotherHouse’s Amazon Wish List to buy gifts and other necessary items to bring a smile to a child and their family.

As we continue to support families in the recovery from the difficulties of COVID-19, MotherHouse will be there to offer a helping hand to families in need. Thank you to donors who make this crucial resource available!