At-risk families in North Sarasota will continue to receive free, professional support and education thanks to donations from the “An Evening for Healthy Start” Fundraiser and $40,000 Bank of America Client Foundation Grant.
The Healthy Start Coalition of Sarasota County’s recent “An Evening for Healthy Start” fundraiser was a huge success with over $37,000 raised.
These funds will go to support Healthy Start direct services with a portion used to cover the remaining funding gap in a vital community program, Save My Life.
“The generous support from our community has allowed us to fully fund the Save My Life Program until a renewal grant can be requested again in August,” explains Healthy Start Executive Director, Shon Ewens.
In August 2018 the Save My Life Program was awarded a $40,000 grant from the Bank of America Client Foundation, Virginia White Clark Fund, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee. While this generous grant has enabled the program to continue, there were still gaps remaining that were a concern.
Save My Life Program Was Created to Fill a Need
Created in 2006 in response to the alarming racial disparities in maternal and infant health outcomes, the Save My Life Program was designed to address the significantly higher rates of poor birth and health outcomes, such as low birth weight, prematurity, and fetal and infant death experienced by African-Americans.
The Save My Life Program offers culturally relevant education provided in group settings or home visits about a variety of health and pregnancy-related topics. The Program provides the tools and information women need to have healthy pregnancies, birth healthy babies, and become healthier themselves.
Save My Life Provides Valuable Tools to Empower Women
Classes are offered free-of-charge at various locations throughout the Newtown and North Sarasota areas and cover topics such as childbirth education, breastfeeding, nutrition, safe sleep, preconception and interconception health, smoking cessation, and more. Save My Life also offers free one-on-one breastfeeding support after the birth of the baby, increasing the likelihood that nursing will continue allowing babies to get the right balance of nutrients, immune protection, and bonding to help them get a healthy start.
A Collaborative Effort
Through the Safe Sleep Sarasota Initiative, supported by grants from the Florida Winefest Foundation and the Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County’s Healthy Babies Initiative, program participants receive a free “Safe Sleep Survival Kit”, including a bassinet or pack n’ play, upon completing the program.
“The Save My Life Program relies entirely on funding from donations and grants like the Bank of American Client Foundation to ensure that these important services are available to the families that need them,” adds Shon Ewens. “Without community support, grants, and donations the program wouldn’t exist.”
The Save My Life Program reaches about a hundred pregnant women, new mothers, and women of childbearing age each year. For more information about the program visit www.healthystartsarasota.org/save-my-life.