PEORIA, Ill. -- For Mother Andrea Hollins, dropping her children off at Crittenton Centers helps fill a void created after she got out of a bad relationship.
"I just left," said Hollins. "Didn't know where I was going. I was just going. And a counseling service referred me to them for my kids until I got stable."
In Hollins' words, families who come to Crittenton Centers with nothing, leave with everything.
The non-profit includes the 24 hour/ 7 day a week Crisis Nursery and the Child Development Center all for infants and kids up to 6 years old.
"My kids love it here," said Hollins. "At 3 o'clock, when I go and pick my kids up, they are not going to want to go home... They think this is-- they call it the playground."
And kids' parents are covered too, with free educational and support services, something Hollins says saved her family.
"Emotional support really is a major thing for me," said Hollins. "I think a lot of girls would be in trouble, because there's really no place you can visit when you're stressed out or... Visits with case workers., whatever. They help in a lot of ways, so if they weren't here I don't know. I don't even know how I would probably get through a lot of the things that I've gotten through."
All services are free, which is why Crittenton Centers relies heavily on donations, anything as little as baby formula.
"The milk is major," said Hollins. "That's a major help, because when your WIC coupons or whatever run out, you come here, you can get milk for your baby, because you can't just not feed your baby. So, I mean, every little bit helps."
...A little bit that goes a long way in helping these children and their families' greatest wishes come true.
You can help keep this service available to parents by donating to our Fill a Crib project.
All month long we are collecting donations of new baby and toddler items to be used by the Crittenton Crisis Nursery.
You can find a list of the needed items, as well as drop-off locations, by clicking the link above.