Safe Families for Children

Milwaukee

Better Together

A Volunteer Testimony from Jessica Frost

I had the great privilege of starting a Family Friendship with Abby (names changed to protect identity) just before Christmas of last year. After taking a short, unpaid maternity leave, she needed to return to work. She reached out to Safe Families for help caring for her four week old little boy, Theo.

Developing a Friendship

After I responded to the request for help, Safe Families staff, Abby, and I figured out a hybrid-hosting arrangement so that she could work each day yet still care for Theo every night. I picked him up each morning and, with some great help from my ministry team, drove him back home each evening. It worked best for my schedule to drive her to work after I picked him up, and I quickly realized that those 20 minutes in the car were a real blessing as it gave us time to connect and develop our friendship. It gave her space to honestly share her daily struggles with me.

Abby is such an amazing woman and committed mom. I have loved getting to hear her story and give her another layer of love
and support.

As I befriended Abby, needs came up. Firstly, Abby needed furniture for her apartment. I gave a call out to my circle of friends and to my Mercy Hill Church Safe Families ministry team and, before long, we had all sorts of great things to help her get established. This enabled her to take the next steps toward a better life for her and her baby.

Long-term Support

After a couple of weeks, Theo was old enough to start daycare, and we worked out an arrangement so that I could still keep him one day a week and maintain contact with Abby. She has since started a
better job and is now hoping to achieve her GED.

Even now, more than four months since getting paired as her family friend, I continue to help her with Theo and to support her as crazy things come up—like flat tires and shifting schedules.

Because I expanded my family to include Abby and Theo, we all benefited, and even my church team felt blessed to serve them too. The friendship between Abby and I paints a beautiful picture to the world of how Safe Families works in real life situations. Our story teaches us that we are better together.