When Shaniqua Wheeler gave birth to her son Amari five months ago, life changed in an instant.
“When they say babies take over, babies take over,” Wheeler said.
Her son Cameron, who’s five years old, became a big brother and she and her husband got another son.
“I was just so excited to be starting over again,” Wheeler said.
She prepared for a newborn as best she could both mentally and financially.
“It all came back to me,” Wheeler said. “Getting ready for the bottles and the diapers and the nighttime feedings.”
Wheeler, who works part-time as a CNA, does a lot of couponing and searches for deals. But, money is tight and formula and diapers are expensive. Sometimes she can't help but worry.
“Will I be able to nourish my child, will he have everything he needs. It`s very scary,” Wheeler said.
Beatriz Torres is a Family Educator with Imprints Cares and during home visits, she sees that struggle often.
“Instead of worrying about child development, they`re worrying about what am I going to feed my baby today or tomorrow,” said Torres.
Torres’ goal is to provide families tools to help their children develop and thrive in the first three years of life, the most critical in development.
And connecting struggling families with critical community resources -- including FOX8 Community Baby Shower donations -- helps parents refocus on what matters.
“It feels good knowing that people care,” Wheeler said. “Amari has been such a joy in my life. He's kept me on my feet, kept me so energized. He's helping me grow and I'm helping him grow.”