Creating Bright Futures

When Makenzey found out she was pregnant in the spring of 2020, she felt nervous and overwhelmed at the thought of being a first-time mom. She didn’t know what to expect, but she wanted to create the best life for her child.

“Being a new mom was really scary for me. I had no idea what I was doing,” Makenzey says. “I needed to learn the basics.”

While she was pregnant, Makenzey enrolled in a local service that provides free housing to expecting moms. Through the organization, she learned about LSI’s People Place.

People Place provides critical education, resources, and support groups for parents of young children in our community. Thanks to your support of LSI, our team is able to build on a parent’s strengths and help them prepare the best home environment for their child.

Makenzey wanted to learn everything she could about her first child, so she decided to get started with People Place programming. While COVID-19 safety guidelines were in place, she was still able to receive care and encouragement – virtually – from her LSI Parent Educator, Hannah. At the start of their partnership, Hannah focused on helping Makenzey prepare for a healthy birth and transition into motherhood.

When Makenzey welcomed her daughter, Maleigha, in July, she started looking ahead to more of her personal goals. She was determined to find a job and save enough money to move into her own apartment. She began working soon after Maleigha was born and by November, she had saved enough money to find a home for her new family.

Through it all, Hannah has provided virtual check-ins with Makenzey, introducing her to important resources, educational materials, and age-appropriate toys and activities to ensure Maleigha is hitting all her developmental milestones. And as Makenzey looks forward to her next goal, building her career, Hannah is ready to provide words of encouragement or a shoulder to lean on.

“My favorite part about working with this family is seeing Makenzey’s confidence grow,” Hannah says. “When she first started, she was nervous to be a mom and nervous that she might mess something up. Now, she still asks development-based questions, but you can see the pride and confidence she has in being a mom. Their bond has been an amazing thing to witness.”

You are creating bright futures for Iowa families, thanks to your support of LSI’s People Place. We know there are more parents in our community who are looking for the same education and empowerment Makenzey has found through her work with Hannah. You can help us ensure they have access to People Place services, too. Please consider making a gift today.

Maleigha will be celebrating her first birthday soon. Makenzey and Hannah are now working on transitioning her to eating solid foods, and she has started standing on her own. Makenzey says her daughter’s sassy and playful personality is already starting to show – she scrunches her nose whenever she is grumpy, and it makes Makenzey laugh to see her daughter start crawling away when she knows she’s about to be caught doing something she shouldn’t.

Makenzey can’t wait for the day when Maleigha is old enough for her to paint her daughter’s nails and do her hair. She feels more confident as they build a happy, healthy home and as her bond with Maleigha continues to grow stronger, Hannah and the People Place team are ready to be there every step of the way.

“Especially when you’re a first-time mom, you’ll have a lot of questions. I don’t have a ton of support right now, but Hannah helped me and answered every question I had about being a mom,” Makenzey says. “People Place has been a really helpful service.”

We are so grateful for your partnership as we build futures full of hope for children and parents. Please consider making a gift to People Place and lift up even more central Iowa families.

P.S. LSI Early Childhood Services provided 18,757 virtual home visits for Iowa families in 2020. None of this work would be possible without you!

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