April 2015 Philanthropy
It Takes a Village
"It Takes a Village is a gem, a gift to all new families... Mothers deserve it and families deserve it. We shouldn't do this alone." - Rythea
Motherhood is not meant to be done alone. It Takes A Village is here to help. For many, the early days (and years) of parenthood can be a lonely struggle. 1 out of 5 mothers (and about 50% of all mothers living in poverty) will experience postpartum depression and/or anxiety. Mothers living in the Hilltowns of Western Massachusetts face another set of unique challenges. These include rural isolation, family members living far away, extreme weather, long distances to travel, absence of public transportation, few childcare options, limited internet service, and an overall lack of social centers and parenting support for families.
All services offered by It Takes a Village are free of charge and available to any family regardless of income or background. Since 2009, the organization has supported hundreds of families with newborns and young children in the following ways:
- Weekly Home Visits by a trained volunteer for 12 weeks, up to baby’s first birthday
- Weekly Mothers Support Groups run by trained Motherwoman facilitators - a place for mothers to come together and feel heard, valued, understood, nurtured and energized
- The Village Closet filled with an abundance of donated hand-me-down clothes, baby gear, and mothering items available free to any family
- Postpartum Resource Kits to connect families to local care providers, support groups, parent/baby classes, as well as information about healing after childbirth and postpartum mood disorders
- A Lending Library of books on subjects such as pregnancy, breastfeeding, parent-child bonding, child development, and family wellness
Trained volunteers provide support including: baby care so mom can nap, meal preparation, laundry, dishes, playing with older children, and providing emotional support and companionship. Home visits by compassionate volunteers and facilitated support groups are essential features of a comprehensive plan for preventing postpartum emotional complications and promoting parent-infant attachment.
We currently serve 30 towns in the four counties of Western Massachusetts providing rural mothers with the compassionate support they need to give their children the best possible start in life. Supported mothers = healthy families = strong communities.
Become a family volunteer, donate items to the Village Closet, refer a family or individual for our services, distribute our brochures in the hilltowns, host a table at an outreach event, like on Facebook, or to make a tax deductible financial contribution in honor of a special woman this Mother's Day by supporting It Takes a Village. To learn more, visit us at our website or Facebook page.