April 5, 2023
Stork's Nest Eases Financial Challenges for Refugee and Immigrant Parents
EveryStep board member Bill Warner, Jr. is competing against other board members in EveryStep's Amazing FundRacer May 18. Competitors are vying to raise the most donations to EveryStep through their individual teams. See the button below to donate directly through Bill's team, and read on about his recent visit to EveryStep's Stork's Nest.
Babies bring a lot of joy - and a lot of expenses. New parents can expect to pay around $120 per month for diapers and wipes, $200 for a stroller, $375 for a crib and mattress, and $150 for a car seat. And that’s just the beginning.
These costs can be challenging for any new parent, but they can be overwhelming for refugees and immigrants, or others with language, social or economic barriers. When there seems to be no help in sight, EveryStep is there.
Along with nursing care and support, EveryStep offers the Stork’s Nest, an educational incentive program for new and expecting moms who live in Polk County and meet income guidelines. Because Polk and Dallas counties are home to diverse populations, the demographic makeup of Stork’s Nest program participants is also diverse. In 2022, the ethnic demographics of those served included 29% Hispanic/Latino, 18% African, 13% Burmese and 11% Asian. All participants were considered low-income.
EveryStep Board of Trustees chair and Merchants Bonding Company vice president of operations and corporate secretary Bill Warner, Jr. recently toured EveryStep’s Stork’s Nest store, which provides vital baby supplies to program participants. “I’m very proud to be part of an organization that offers a program supporting such a crucial time in a family’s life. Many of the participants are refugees, which means not only are they having a child in a foreign country, but they are also often without an extended family support system. Having a program like Stork’s Nest helps expectant mothers get a great start to parenthood.”
Bill says he was surprised by the range of product offerings from cribs to diapers to toys, which are “purchased” with points participants earn by engaging in healthy behaviors like attending prenatal classes or WIC appointments. In 2022, more than 800,000 points were earned and redeemed for 108 cribs, 242 car seats and other items.
Bill was impressed by how the program pairs the delivery of parenting education with tangible resources like car seats and diapers. “The Stork’s Nest is also an important way to integrate families into their community by helping to bridge the gap between their cultural norms and those here in Iowa. The opportunities available through this program’s assistance are priceless.”
Bill became familiar with EveryStep in 2000, when his father, Bill Warner, Sr., received home hospice services from EveryStep (then HCI Care Services) and later, both of his grandparents were served at EveryStep Hospice’s Kavanagh House. “At that time, I became a financial supporter of the organization. When I was approached about serving on the board, I absolutely had no hesitations and enthusiastically agreed.
“Over the last six years of serving on the board, I have grown to have a greater appreciation of EveryStep’s work. I continue to be amazed at all the different needs of our community and the programs that meet those needs. I think it’s such a great organization and am very honored to be a part of it. EveryStep truly walks with you though every step.”
The help EveryStep provides through the Stork’s Nest is just one example of what EveryStep’s staff and programs do every day, all across Iowa. As a nonprofit, EveryStep relies on gifts and donations to ensure this work continues.
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.