I get to drive a brightly colored van around the city to provide families in need with safe places for their infants to sleep and with the latest safe sleep information to help lower the infant mortality rate in Philadelphia. (A baby should always sleep in an empty crib, on its back, in a smoke-free environment!) .
Before our clients can receive a crib from our program, they must be assessed. A bulk of my office days are spent speaking with clients and assessing their needs. This process takes a lot of patience at times, especially if the clients are in a difficult mood or if English is not their primary language. I have some clients that are so happy to have someone to talk to, who isn‘t rude, that I have spent up to 45 minutes on the phone just hearing about their life story. Lesson to be learned: Kindness goes a long way, people. You never know what that small gesture can do for someone’s day.
Once clients are accepted into the program they are schedule to receive their portable cribs. Look at all those cribs!
Time to load them up! Done with a smile of course J
Ta-da 29 more cribs to go!
A majority of our clients received their portable cribs during a safe sleep workshop. Only in special circumstances are they given home visits, where I‘ve probably had the kindest clients–usually from another country, treat me with so much warmth and kindness.
During the workshop we discuss where babies commonly sleep and which of those places are actually safe for babies. The clients get the latest information on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and how they can lower their child’s risk of passing away from SIDS, or accidental death related to sleep environments. This is very sensitive information and a lot of times we have clients in the room that have had an infant(s) which has passed away or know of people who have lost a child to SIDS. We have had clients share their stories during workshop and it really hits the message home for all in attendance.
My time at Maternity Care Coalition has been a great experience that has made a meaningful impact on my life. I can just hope that I’ve made some sort of impact in the lives of the people I’ve been in contact with this year.
And with that I leave you with a quote that rings true to my year of service:
“Do the kind of things that come from the heart, When you do, you won’t be dissatisfied, you won’t be envious, you won’t be longing for somebody else’s things. On the contrary, you’ll be overwhelmed with what comes back.” -Morrie Schwartz
-Glamarys Acevedo, Maternity Care Coalition