May 16, 2022
Coming Full Circle: Weedor Worwee's Journey with EveryStep
The journey from South Africa to the United States is a long one — the typical airline flight is over 18 hours. Weedor Worwee made that journey, arriving in Iowa in May of 2016. Just as she was settling into a job and learning her way around a grocery store, she discovered she was embarking on another journey.
A journey that would last nine months.
“I came to Iowa in May and then in September I found out I was having a baby for the very first time,” remembers Weedor. “I was happy, but also scared because it was my first [pregnancy] and I didn’t know a lot of people in Iowa. The first time I went to the primary clinic and found out I was pregnant I cried because I had waited so long [for a baby].” Weedor was 41 years old and that concerned her doctor.
“When he looked at my age on my chart, he told me he didn’t know if I was going to be able to carry this pregnancy. I went to another appointment in two weeks and he gave me information about Visiting Nurse Services of Iowa (now EveryStep),” says Weedor. “My very first visit with the nurse, she told me she was going to be coming every other week to see me and other people were going to call me to enroll me in some programs.”
One of those programs was EveryStep’s Stork’s Nest, an educational incentive program. Stork's Nest participants earn points for healthy behaviors such as keeping medical appointments, WIC participation, breastfeeding and school attendance. The points can be redeemed at the Stork's Nest store for needed baby items such as diapers, clothing, strollers, cribs and car seats.
Stork’s Nest provided everything Weedor needed, including friendly staff that helped ease her fears. “I needed someone to talk to,” says Weedor. “Leslie (Taft, EveryStep Stork’s Nest program manager) helped me a great deal and we talked for an hour the first time I went there. She encouraged me to come to prenatal class every Thursday. I did not know how to drive, but [EveryStep] would come to my house to pick me up and take me back home.”
By attending classes, going to her prenatal appointments and other incentive activities, Weedor was able to use the Stork’s Nest points she earned to “buy” a crib, car seat and much more.
Weedor was ready when her healthy baby, Joy, was born in the hospital with no complications, even though she had initially been told she was a high-risk pregnancy. She was able to return home, with baby Joy, within three days of delivery.
Today, Joy is a healthy preschooler who is outgoing and happy. Weedor attended Des Moines Area Community College and is now working as a certified nurse aide at a local clinic. “I want to give back,” says Weedor, who hopes to one day work for EveryStep.
“I tell everyone the story – especially Africans – I always tell them about EveryStep because I got help and I want to be a blessing to other people as they were to me. I just want people to know EveryStep will be there for you every step of the way — it’s not just their name. I just want to thank all of those who give to EveryStep, whether it is products or money, and I want them to know whatever they give to EveryStep is being used for the intended purposes.”
If you or someone you know is struggling to find the support they need, please contact EveryStep at 515-558-9946 or complete the commitment-free, confidential “Find Care” form on EveryStep’s website at www.everystep.org/find-care. EveryStep staff will follow up with a phone call to answer your questions and provide assistance.
To help stock EveryStep’s Stork’s Nest, donate at everystep.org/donate, or contact the Stork’s Nest for their donation item wish list, 515-558-9950.