This article was written by Rheia Schall, a sophomore in the journalism class here at U-32.
Everyone remembers the first 1st year of having a newborn child, whether it was someone in your family or you personally who had it. Good Beginnings is here to help families with the care of newborn babies.
Good Beginnings is a non-profit organization that supports families in Central Vermont through postpartum. Good Beginnings is located in Montpelier and has been supporting families since 1991. Each year Good Beginnings helps hundreds of families throughout Central Vermont.
Good Beginnings accepts all families no matter their circumstances. Once a week a volunteer from the local community would come to your home to support you in taking care of your newborn. ”They’re there to either help with the baby or just to socialize and check in with you,” said Jessy Riley, a community member who has utilized Good Beginnings resources.
Jessy found out about Good Beginnings through a friend who was involved in the volunteering program. ”Initially I hadn’t heard much about the program but once I knew that Kate Powell was a part of it, It made me want to try it,” said Jessy. (Kate Powell is a volunteer for Good Beginnings).
Each week Kate volunteers her time to support a certain family. Each volunteer goes back to their picked family that either the mother/family has selected or Good Beginnings has assigned them. This gives families a chance to get to know the same volunteer over 12 weeks. Each family meets with the volunteer 12 times within that time.
Many families and kids struggle to deal with younger siblings and newborns. “ [It] sucks because I have to do everything for [my brother],” said Addie Croteau, a sophomore at U-32. With parents and kids having packed school and work schedules, taking care of another kid impacts some families. “It’s hard. Patience is hard because you’re tired, and it’s overwhelming. You’re trying to figure out how to be a parent,” said JB Hilferty, a parent of two kids here at U-32.
Those extra minutes trying to find time for yourself with a newborn can be difficult. “A short period of time to yourself is important because being a mom in general, even with an older child, you don’t get a lot of time to yourself, but when you have an infant, you have zero time to yourself,” said Jessy. Good Beginnings was able to help Jessy have some of her own time and still be in touch with her baby. Jessy said,” I do believe that all the people [in the] Good Beginnings program and volunteers are lovely.”
Good Beginnings is open to all families in the community.
Contact Good Beginnings at email@example.com or at (802)-595-7935.