Faces of Success: Lisa Jones
A recent report from the U.S. government estimates that it costs $242,000 for parents to raise a child from birth until age 18. That amount applies to middle-income parents and doesn’t factor in the cost of college tuition. This statistic would overwhelm most parents.
“There’s a sense of relief when we are able to help address the needs of our new parents,” said Pearl-Cohn Family Resource Center Director Michael Copeland. “The help we provide allows them to focus on school.”
Pearl-Cohn Family Resource Center offers a closet stocked full of essential baby supplies and additional resources — like parenting classes — to help new families provide a healthy start for their babies.
“Our parents have so many needs and barriers to overcome. The parenting classes and supply donations from our community partnerships help us break some of them down,” said Copeland.
Events like Titan Up for Tots Baby Shower Days of Action are critical to meeting the needs of new parents in the Pearl-Cohn community. Titan Up for Tots Baby Shower Days of Action is a partnership between the Tennessee Titans and United Way of Metropolitan Nashville that allows United Way corporate partners and volunteers to donate and sort essential baby supplies for Nashville’s at-risk mothers. Last year, Titans players, cheerleaders and staff packed 1,500 bags filled with items like diapers, wipes, onesies and blankets for Nashville mothers and their babies. Bags from this year’s event will be distributed at United Way Family Resource Centers.
“This powerful partnership between the Tennessee Titans and United Way of Metropolitan Nashville helps create solutions to health barriers for hundreds of Nashville’s most vulnerable mothers and their babies,” said United Way of Metropolitan Nashville President & CEO Eric Dewey. “These solutions establish a foundation for healthy lifestyles and reduce the risk of future health problems for children in this community.”
“The outpouring of generosity means more than you can imagine; it helps me do my job,” said Copeland. “We run low on supplies. There are still needs every summer, and we are able to address some of them, thanks to Titan Up for Tots.”
Research indicates that a healthy start leads to fewer health problems in children later in life. Copeland stresses the importance of good health, including proper hygiene, to all new parents.
“Sometimes you hear stories about babies wearing the same diapers because their parents can’t afford to purchase new ones. If you teach proper hygiene early, babies develop a routine. That routine can factor into future academic success which leads to better jobs and improved social skills.”
New mothers like Lisa Jones* who rely on the supplies and services provided by Pearl-Cohn Family Resource Center are extremely appreciative of the support they receive.
“As a single parent and a student, raising a child can be extremely stressful. When people in this community donate items like diapers and wipes to help my son, it means my family doesn’t have to struggle.”
United Way thanks the Tennessee Titans, our corporate partners and volunteers for their generosity and partnership during Titan Up for Tots Baby Shower Days of Action. Together, we help eliminate some of the struggles that single mothers and at-risk new parents face on a daily basis. This partnership helps make the job of raising a child a little less stressful and also improves the health outcomes of Nashville’s children.
*Names were changed to protect the confidentiality of the client