As we enter the holiday season, we can’t help but feel fortunate to continue our work and impact the lives of pregnant women, infants and their families in Leon and Wakulla counties.
In the past year we have settled into the new “norm” of a pandemic, while continuing to provide services and support for thousands in need.
While the year is ending, our work is nowhere near done.
Our number one goal is reduce the infant mortality rate by offering support and education to not only mothers and babies, but to family members and loved ones.
Over the last year, we were able donate over 100 portable cribs to help ensure a safe sleep environment, provide over 50 car seats to families in need and start our new Sister Friends Tallahassee Birthing Project initiative to help close the racial disparities gap in birth outcomes for our local families.
For those considering supporting a local cause this holiday season, we encourage you to read the stories of women and families who have found hope and support through Healthy Start and our many programs, initiatives and events.
We hope these stories graciously shared by some of our local families will give you inspiration and encouragement to support our cause.
Lusanda is a Healthy Start Mother who needed our support during and after pregnancy. After becoming pregnant as a full-time student, Lusanda didn’t know if she could do it all. She felt like giving up, until she was introduced to Healthy Start through her OBGYN.
When she didn’t know what to do or felt overwhelmed, our team of care coordinators was there for her and her baby.
Not only did Lusanda have all the support she needed for a healthy pregnancy, she knew she was not alone and the journey into motherhood can be a positive experience.
Even with all she was balancing, Lusanda is now a FSU graduate and mother to a healthy and happy baby boy.
Hear Lusanda’s story, how Healthy Start has changed her life and why she recommends our services to any mother by watching her video here.
Katherine and her family participated in the 2021 Walk to Remember in honor of their son Hudson. Hudson came into this world unexpectedly on 4/25/2021.. 17 weeks early.
He spent the next 11 days fighting for his life in the NICU at TMH.
Katherine said, “Our little man was the strongest, most active and fiesty little guy you could ever imagine.We are so proud to be the parents of the little fighter our boy was until the very end.”
Hudson is loved and missed more than words can even begin to describe.
Infant and pregnancy loss is nothing short of heartbreaking. Here at Healthy Start, we are working year-round to lower infant mortality rates in our community and provide for and educate local families.
After Katherine lost Hudson, Healthy Start was there for support and provided a space for her and her family to share their story with others looking to heal.
Our next story comes from Brenda, a Healthy Start client: “My name is Brenda, and I have been receiving Healthy Start services for almost a year now. My experience has been very bittersweet. I went through the pain of losing my first born during the beginning of my third trimester. It was devastating, but little did I know that I was about to start a wonderful bond with my Healthy Start coach. That’s where Clarissa comes in. I never knew how much Healthy Start would help me. Clarissa was there for me from the very beginning. She made me feel heard, cared for, and understood. She has continued to provide me with so much comfort and has helped me significantly with my grieving. I have made a friend through Healthy Start that I’m so grateful for. When I said it was bittersweet it’s because we are reaching the end of our services. She stayed by my side for almost about a year and even fought to keep our case open longer! She always goes the extra mile for me and she’s always there for me when I need her, and I am truly grateful for her. Through Healthy Start services I have been able to move on with my life a little at a time and that’s help I couldn’t get anywhere else. I am eternally thankful for this wonderful program and I cannot wait to be a part of this again when I am ready to have another little one in the future. And to Clarissa my wonderful “therapist,” I cannot wait to do this together again!”
Helping to fund our coalition supports healthier lives for infants and families in Leon and Wakulla County. For more information or to contribute, we invite you to visit our donation page.