INDIANAPOLIS — Many families right now are struggling to make ends meet and struggling to put food on the table for their kids.
And, if you don’t have family nearby where do you turn for help?
Some turn to organizations like Safe Families for Children. Its goal is to "unify families and deflect children from being unnecessarily put into the foster care system."
For instance, Cory and Lauren Schneider’s family got a little bigger this summer.
“We're excited to have her in our lives for the rest of our lives,” said Lauren Schneider.
Through Safe Families for Children they’ve met Gabby, a spunky two-year-old who lights up any room.
Gabby’s mom doesn’t have family who lives nearby and couldn’t take care of her while she was on bed rest and then delivered a baby boy who had to stay in the NICU for several weeks. So, she reached out to safe families for help.
“Safe families is not just glorified babysitting it's not you know let me call you up come take my kid for a couple of days it's much more than that it's much deeper than that,” said Lauren Schneider.
Schneider said they act as extended family now for Gabby and her mom, there to help in times of need.
“It's not about taking baby from mom because mom's not doing something right, it's about coming alongside mom coming alongside baby or, or zero to 18 and saying you know we want to we want to love on you we want to care on you we want to stand next to you during a hard time.” said Schneider.
The Schneiders are what’s called a host family with safe families for children, but Lauren said if hosting isn’t something you can do she tells me there are dozens of ways you can help.
“You can provide babysitting, you can provide res-care, what we call respite care, you can provide meals, you can provide food, you can provide cleaning services - really anything," Schneider said. "You can be a family coach, so you can work with if you like to work with adults more. You can work with those moms and dads who might need a little extra help. So, there's just so many opportunities."
Now, besides Gabby and her mom, the Schneiders have gained a community of folks they now know won’t hesitate to help.
“We didn't have anything in our community has donated everything for us,” said Schneider.
“This experience has changed us, and even if Gabby doesn't remember us, which she might not, we will always remember her.”
If you would like to get involved with Safe Families for Children or need assistance click here for more information.