J’AI , LARA and TROY
J’ai is a single mom who has a fledgling cosmetology business. She was just getting her business started in March of 2020 when the COVID 19 pandemic struck. In addition to losing most of her business, she became the home teacher for her 2nd grade son, Troy, and found out that she was pregnant. Despite her additional parental responsibilities, she was able to maintain a few customers and stayed afloat selling some beauty products to faithful customers as she awaited the arrival of her baby daughter.
After the baby was born and the economy started to open up again, J’ai really needed to re-start her business to get her family back on solid financial ground. But that meant enrolling baby Lara in a day care program for several days a week. Although she was eligible for financial help with the cost of the day care, she couldn’t afford the $125 cost of a Child Safety Seat to transport Lara.
Fortunately, the day care provider is one of KidSafe’s collaborating partners. KidSafe was able to provide a brand new 3-in-1 car seat that will keep Lara buckled up and safe as she grows.
J’ai and her little family are doing well. Her business has grown slowly but steadily and Troy is back in school and loving it. Lara is thriving at day care and rides proudly in her “special seat”.
In early 2017, several child and family centered agencies approached LSSNF to develop an affordable child safety seat program because they noticed that many families were not using child safety restraints because the cost was prohibitive. These agencies cited numerous requests they had received by families in need of child safety seats and expressed a strong interest in making sure that this vital family/community need was met. The KidSafe program was Lutheran Social Services of North Florida’s response to this request.
KidSafe SAVES LIVES
Nationally, motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death to children age 3-14. In 2018, 636 children under 12 died as occupants in automobile crashes. At least 33% were not wearing a child safety restraint. Almost half of Black and Hispanic children who died in these crashes were not buckled up. All the experts agree that the proper use of child safety restraints could reduce these fatalities by at least 50%. By making adaptable safety seats available to families with low incomes, KidSafe plays an important role in helping to reduce child injuries and death in the local communities of the Big Bend area of North Florida.
KidSafe DEVELOPS PARTNERSHIPS
The KidSafe program, works collaboratively with partner agencies, distributing new high quality child safety seats to families being served by the agency. The partner agency verifies the financial need of the family and requests a safety seat. The family pays a program fee of $15. This nominal fee demonstrates that the family has taken some personal responsibility for the safety of their child.
The current KidSafe collaborating partners are: The Pregnancy Help and Information Center, Brehon Family Services, Early Learning Coalition of the Big Bend Region, The Kearney Center, Kids Incorporated of the Big Bend, the Big Bend Homeless Coalition, ECHO, the FSU Young Parent Program, The Women’s Center, Bond Community Health Center and Hang Tough Foundation.
KidSafe SUPPORTERS MAKE IT ALL POSSIBLE
All donations support low income families with young children by making child safety seats accessible to them. Your donation today may save a child’s life tomorrow.