COTTAGE GROVE, Ore. — Inside the playroom at the Family Relief Nursery, the toys are all smiles. The room is bright, colorful and happy. It’s a stark contrast to the backstory of the children who come through here; there are more of them than ever and their stories are getting darker.
“We assess 43 risk factors,” explained Heather Murphy, the nursery’s executive director. “We have one little boy in our program right now with 36 risk factors. When you’re thinking that those things include mental illness, domestic violence and many other things, 36 is significant — and hard to believe.”
As staff here sees an increase in need, they’re faced with the challenge of having less money. The recession didn’t just hit the Family Relief Nursery’s clients; its donors and grant-givers were affected too.
“We would have had to look at closing an age group or a classroom or a program without support from Duck Race,” said Murphy.
Money from this year’s event will help the Therapeutic Early Childhood Program.
“It includes home visiting and center-based therapeutic early-childhood classes,” Murphy said. “It is the program that we look at most closely for outcomes and we take into that program based on risk factors.”
The nursery is seeing such demand right now, that class has a waiting list. To keep serving families, it needs your help, which is as simple as buying a ticket for the Great Rotary Duck Race.
“You’re contributing to a full set of services for a child going through our program at a time when they need them so critically,” said Murphy. “Those kids are sitting next to your kids or grandkids at at school. They’re succeeding. That’s what it’s all about.”
If you’d like to buy a ticket for the Duck Race and support the Family Relief Nursery, click here.