FCA, a leading health and human services not-for-profit organization on Long Island, recently held a baby shower for new mothers and mothers-to-be as part of its Parents and Children Together program.
About 20 mothers, and some fathers, including clients from FCA’s Lynn Vanderhall Nursery Co-op, its Immigrant Resource Center, and students from Hempstead High School, attended.
In addition to receiving gift baskets of baby care supplies, the young women were able to ask questions while learning about breastfeeding and baby care from Yasmin Santiago, Community Health Educator at Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield.
They also were treated to a free photo session, courtesy of Michelle GT Photo Studios. FCA organized the special event with help from Lidi Flores of Empire BlueCross BlueShield HealthPlus.
Erica Schifano, assistant VP of family support at FCA, explained the importance of the PACT program in underserved communities.
“Our case managers provide in-person cultural and educational enrichment opportunities to young people, ages 10-21, who are at risk of unprotected sexual activity and early pregnancy and provide support and educational activities to parenting and pregnant teens. Babies are always welcome to attend.”
PACT works directly with Hempstead High School, offering prevention workshops and individual counseling. The program is also available for young women in all of Nassau County.
“Many young people don’t understand how to navigate parenthood and need support,” Schifano continued. “We work with the whole family, including parents and their children. We take an open-minded, culturally sensitive approach to support our community’s needs and choices.
PACT events like this one help to organically create a community among our young moms. They support each other, sometimes watching each other’s children. These positive results demonstrate the power of the program.”