2012 Duck Race: Willamette Family

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EUGENE, Ore. — It’s 8 a.m. on a Friday and inside Willamette Family Treatment Services’ safe house, everyone’s just getting their day started. Mornings here begin with pajamas and a visit to Sesame Street.

“What the safe house is is a place for women, infants and children up to two years old to come live up to four to six months,” explained Melody Williamson, the safe house’s manager.

The children living there with their mothers range in age from 4 months to 18 months. Their moms are transitioning from inpatient treatment at Willamette Family back to the real world.

“When they come out of treatment, they’re more apt to relapse,” said Williamson. “But when they can come to a place that’s safe with their baby, it gives them that solid foundation.”

The foundation of the program, though, is the Great Rotary Duck Race.

“It’s extremely important; it’s the only funding we have. We don’t have staff here if we don’t have the Duck Race, we don’t have the safe house,” Williamson said. “We have help here at night, we have staff that will help them with their babies. Right now, we have a mom who’s going to have a baby on Oct. 2. She has a 16-month old right now. She’s going to need help. If she were out on her own, it’d be really hard.”

The road to recovery is hard no matter what, but the partnership between Willamette Family and the Duck Race makes it a little easier.

Said Williamson: “That’s huge. It gives them hope.”

If you’d like to buy a ticket for the Duck Race, click here to find out how.

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