Faces of Hunger

With Christmas days away and snow in the forecast, Kay, a divorced mother of five, needed help and knew just where to call.  She made her second appointment for son, Tyson, at Infant Crisis Services.

“I needed warm clothing and a coat for Tyson because at the end of the day there isn’t enough money to buy him those luxury items,” said Kay.

The first time Kay received our services she used a receiving blanket as a diaper for baby Tyson.  She had just moved home from Missouri after losing her job and going through a divorce.   Kay has been looking for work, and cleans houses to make some money, but at the end of the day there still isn’t enough.

“I have a college education and I was a homeowner, I never thought in a million years I would be in this situation where I had to ask for help,” said Kay.

Kay knew she didn’t need to be embarrassed.  She knew Infant Crisis Services was a warm welcoming place with people who wouldn’t judge her situation.  The volunteers played with little Tyson who didn’t seem to have a care in the world as he bounced on the horses in the playroom.

Infant Crisis Services helped make the holidays easier for Kay and warmer for Tyson.  He received a new coat, warm clothing, food, diapers and a brand new Christmas toy, just what Kay had wished for.

Thank you for your support of Infant Crisis Services during the holiday season.  You helped make the holiday brighter for Tyson and lots of other little boys and girls.  You make a difference when it is needed the most.

Cheryl's Story

This is Cheryl.  A spunky three-year old who captured the hearts of staff and volunteers on the day this commoner became a princess.  That day Cheryl and her brother, Malachi, joined a new family, first-time foster parents, the McGree’s.  The children’s last foster family had left them battered and bruised.  In fact, five-month-old Malachi was left with a broken arm. 

While Mrs. McGree shopped for clothing for the children Mr. McGree slowly rocked Malachi.  You would have thought they had always been a family of four until Mrs. McGree walked up holding a dress that looked a size too small for Cheryl.

“We just picked them up from Sunbeam a few hours ago and I have no idea what size to get her,” said Mrs. McGree, a charming, sweet woman who was becoming a first time mom.

One of the staff members overheard this and asked if Cheryl would like to pick out a new dress.  With glee, Cheryl ran over to the clothing rack where she picked out a springy dress.  To make sure it fit they slipped it on over her clothing, but once she had the dress on Cheryl would not take it off and quickly took off the clothing underneath. 

When the staff member asked her if she liked her new dress she said “I look like a princess” and ran into the staff members arms to give her a huge hug.  The new family stayed for an hour receiving advice from staff and volunteers.  Everyone took turns holding Malachi and twirling Cheryl in her “new-to-her” dress.

When Mrs. McGree heard about the Cheryl’s response to her dress, Mrs. McGree said she had told Cheryl all about the royal wedding that morning.  Cheryl had become a princess that day, and it looked like she was going to have her own fairytale with a family who could protect her and love her.

We feel so blessed to have been a part of the McGree’s life for one day, and help them get the items they needed to start their new lives together...with their little princess.

Jaden's Story

Being at Infant Crisis Services each day is such a blessing. Every day provides new opportunities to help folks who are trying to provide for their little ones. By the end of our fiscal year we predict that we will provide to over 14,000 needy babies and toddlers with essentials such as formula, food and diapers. Many of the folks we serve are in a tough spot financially, but only temporarily. Jessica is one of those moms.

It was hard not to notice six-month old Jaden in the waiting room. He had a big grin on his face, huge crystal blue eyes and was wearing a hat plucked right from the Infant Crisis Services’ warmth tree. I sat down to play with him and started talking to him mom, Jessica, still dressed professionally from a recent job interview was obviously nervous and a little embarrassed to ask for our help.

The pair had recently relocated to Oklahoma City from Shawnee, following Jessica’s mother who was free child care for Jaden while Jessica worked to provide for her baby. However, since the move it had been hard to find work.

“With the extra help from Infant Crisis Services I can use the little money I have to put gas in the car to drive to job interviews,” said Jessica. “Formula is expensive and Jaden loves to eat; he eats about 8 ounces every four hours.”

Jessica’s situation is like many other families we serve at Infant Crisis Services. The economy may be starting to turn around, but many people are still having trouble finding work. We are grateful to be a part of their life for a short while. Jessica is doing the right things to provide for a better future for her and Jaden. We are doing our part to make their journey a little easier. Most importantly YOU…our donors and supporters make it all possible. Each day is blessing…. thanks for standing beside us in the fight against childhood poverty.

Colton's Story

At first glance, Colton looks like a typical one-year-old. He sways and toddels side to side almost falling over as he learns how to use his legs.  But Colton is not one; he is a three year old boy who just learned how to walk.

Colton was born with mild hearing loss in his right ear.  But gradually other problems began to occur.  His left eyelid started to droop making it difficult for him to see, he doesn’t know how to talk and is on medicine for high blood pressure.  Doctors are baffled by his health.

Stacey also has two other children to take care of as well as the bills from Colton’s visits to the speech therapist, ear, nose and throat doctors, psychologist and eye surgeons.  She turned to Infant Crisis Services for assistance with diapers, formula and food for Colton and her daughter, Cherokee. 

“When we come to Infant Crisis Services for a second the burden of everything else is lifted off our shoulders,” said Stacey, Colton’s mom.  “When I am here I am not worrying, I am not stressed, I am grateful.”

Stacey watches Colton with the ease of an expert caregiver, while everyone else in the playroom at Infant Crisis Services is jumping up the second he tumbles over.  She quickly pulls up the window shades in an interview room before he can get his hands on them.  Colton is her full-time job and she takes it very seriously. 

“He is all boy,” she said.  “He eats twice as much as a grown man, which sometimes includes dirt, leaves and paper.”

Little Colton is mimicking everyone’s laugh, smiling for the camera and playing with his new favorite toy, a stuffed fish.  For thirty minutes at Infant Crisis Services, Stacy forgot about the bills, forgot about the doctors and was just thankful for what she was receiving.

Bella-Anne's Story

As her name suggests, Bella-Anne is a true southern belle. She is breathtakingly beautiful from her round, rosy cheeks to her pristinely pedicured plum-colored toe nails. Within minutes of her arrival at Infant Crisis Services with her parents, Brandon and SanDee, she captured the attention of volunteers and staff alike. With so many pairs of arms taking turns rocking a crying Bella-Anne, SanDee had a moment to pick out donated clothing in the playroom.

SanDee, a student at Oklahoma City Community College with aspirations of becoming a bilingual nurse, said she understood the important role Infant Crisis Services plays in the community even before she became a mommy. She learned about our organization three years ago from her aunt and uncle who relocated to Oklahoma City after losing their home in Nebraska.

“At the time, they had four kids under the age of 5. They came to Infant Crisis Services to get a little bit of help,” SanDee recalls.

It was that same kind of help that warmed SanDee’s heart when she received assistance from Infant Crisis Services after giving birth to Bella-Anne last November. Finances had grown tight after Brandon was laid off from his construction job. SanDee and Brandon turned to Infant Crisis Services for some extra help.  The family was given formula and diapers, wipes, baby clothes, baby bath, shampoo and other newborn essentials – everything she needed, but couldn’t afford.

“If it wasn’t for Infant Crisis Services, Bella-Anne wouldn’t have diapers or formula,” SanDee said. 

With the new baby to care for, SanDee and Brandon have learned asking for help in no way diminishes their dignity. Soon their daughter will outgrow her pink onesies and it will be their turn to donate them back to Infant Crisis Services to help another needy baby.

Infant Crisis Services is grateful for the opportunity to help parents at their greatest time of need for their babies.  Our core values of respect, kindness, compassion and love go a long way to keep the dignity of our families intact.  It is the same treatment we would hope to receive if facing the same situations.  Thanks Bella-Anne, Brandon and SanDee for allowing us to be a part of your life even if only for a brief time.