CALDWELL, Idaho — A group of Canyon County mothers is thrilled to be meeting together again after a year of hardships and safety concerns. Baby Haven is an education-based incentive program for pregnant mothers or parents who have children younger than two years old.
If this last year apart has taught them anything, it's how important they are to each other. We had the chance to be there as families walked through the doors of the Salvation Army once again.
"You become lonely without that human interaction and your support system is kinda lost, and I think people are now needing that support system and longing for that connection," said Major Stephanie Bridgeo of the Caldwell Salvation Army.
Because of COVID-19, the Caldwell parenting program has met entirely online. The Salvation Army shifted their bilingual education classes to YouTube and families sent in a weekly list of the physical needs for their babies.
"We've done a lot of home deliveries this year," said Bridgeo. "WE have put a lot of miles on our car just doing home deliveries, and you know what, at least we have seen people through the window or door. It's something."
The Baby Haven program started 14 years ago thanks to Community Baby Shower. Your donations all those years ago helped the Caldwell Salvation Army reach into its community and help its youngest members.
Major Stephanie expects to see an even greater need for their program as the Treasure Valley grows. To meet demand, they're already planning to keep some curriculum online, plus add evening classes taught in both English and Spanish.
"I think through the pandemic we have learned that everybody has different situations healthwise, transportation, financially. We need to be flexible enough to move on that. Even if it's inconvenient for us, we need to be making it convenient for our clients," said Bridgeo.
For this first day back, that meant throwing a party to mark the end of a difficult season and to celebrate being together again.
This year, you can buy or drop off new baby supplies at any Albertsons store in the Treasure Valley on June 9. But you don't have to wait until then, you can click here and donate now. You can also text the word BABY to 345345.
Albertsons will be matching the first $15,000 we raise, so join us in person on June 9 or online right now the help support the youngest members of our community.