Local mom goes from charity participant to one of its employees

Family Advocates works to prevent child abuse
Posted at 11:48 AM, Jun 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-12 16:56:54-04

Community Baby Shower has had the privilege of assisting local families for 13 years, and in honor of our 13th year, we are telling the stories of those families who benefit when you donate to Community Baby Shower.

Jessica Person is like any mom; if you ask her about her baby she gushes.

"I love him so much, with all of my heart," Person said.

Person joined a parenting group at Family Advocates during her son's first year to help her build connections and learn how to become the best mother possible.

"Anything I learn I do it for him because he needs a better life than what I grew up with," Person said.

The group is part of Family Advocates' prevention programs. The nonprofit also runs the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program. The CASA program trains volunteers to be the voice for foster children in court.

With the Treasure Valley's growth, Family Advocates has experienced a rise in child protection cases, and Executive Director Jaime Hansen says more needs to be done.

"Yeah, we can pay for kids to get representation and advocacy now which is needed, but what if we pumped some dollars into prevention and we could keep families together and healthy and strong so that the kids don't ever have to experience abuse or neglect," Hansen said. "Wouldn't that be ideal? "

Community Baby Shower helps stock the shelves at Family Advocates with diapers and wipes. This year, they need larger-sized diapers and pull-ups.

The reason is heartbreaking.

"Not to get too graphic, but when a child has experienced sex assault from six months to three years, potty training and talking about your body parts become a really different hurdle for them to navigate," Hansen said.

Family Advocates believes in the benefits of parenting education groups like the one Person became a part of. They believe the groups help families through tough times and prevent abuse.

Person was so successful in the program, Family Advocates hired her as an adult facilitator. She now helps other parents through the curriculum.

"I think that's the whole goal of being a parent, you want your child to have better than what you had," Person said.

That goal is one Jessica and many other parents are accomplishing thanks to Family Advocates and your generous donations.

If you'd like to donate to Community Baby Shower, you can do so at donation bins around the Treasure Valley, or use #IdahoBabies on social media.