GREAT FALLS — The non-profit 1,000 In Action in Great Falls has worked tirelessly for more than a year in making a difference for organizations. This year, they selected Toby’s House Crisis Nursery, an organization committed to providing safe refuge for children.
Toby’s House was created in honor of October "Toby" Perez, a two-year-old girl who died at the hands of her mother’s boyfriend in 2011. The crisis nursery provides short-term care for children voluntarily brought there by a parent or legal guardian.
Susie Zeak, the director of Toby’s House, says the $6,000 donation will help cover rent over the course of 2023.
Zeak said, “We wrote grants and had donations for all of our rent for all of the year. In November, our accountant said, 'Susie, we don’t have any grant money for your rent,' and I said, 'It’s ok. We’ll make it.’ And so this donation money is important for us.”
With the very same mission in preventing child abuse and neglect, the founding members of 1,000 in Action say a donation like this is essential.
Tasha Johnson explained, “In the research that our group has done with our advisory committee, child care and a safe place for children always comes up as a concern and an issue, and Toby’s House is doing such a phenomenal job of meeting the needs of our community, providing safe child care, and supporting families when they are in a crisis situation, so it seemed very logical that this is an important place for our funds to go."
But this isn’t the first time the two organizations have worked together. 1,000 In Action has long been committed to assisting non-profits in helping their respective missions, and Toby’s House is no exception.
Jennifer Gruber-Fisher said, “We met Toby’s House last year when we were looking at different organizations in Great Falls to donate to that were looking at doing preventive care for child abuse, and this one came up. We talked to Susie the director, and we did pay half their year's rent last year.”
December 2022 marked two years since Toby’s House opened its doors to families in need.
Zeak said, “We’re very proud of all of the families that we helped served. We have served more families in 2022 than we did our first year of being open, and we hope in our third year, we continue to grow and thrive, and help more families.”
There are many reasons why people utilize a crisis nursery for temporary child care or respite, including:
- There is not a safe place for a child to stay while resolving personal issues
- Someone is not capable of taking care of their child as they would like
- An important appointment but no one safe to leave a child with
- When stress and life’s problems are becoming too much to tolerate and could result in taking it out on a child or when someone feels they are losing control
- Medical emergencies where a care-giver needs immediate assistance with temporary childcare
- Mental health, substance abuse crisis
- Foster care parent respite
The services provided by Toby’s House Crisis Nursery are free and require no qualifications to use. To learn more about Toby's House, or to volunteer or donate, click here to visit the website, or click here to visit the Facebook page. You can also call 406-770-3191 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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