Help Parents Help Parents This Holiday Season

How many times over the past few years have you thought, “What would I have done without my family, friends, and neighbors to get through these challenging times?” Maybe you’ve been taking turns watching each other’s kids on days when school is closed because everyone’s PTO is running low or passing along hand-me-downs to cut down on the clothing budget since the cost of food keeps rising. 


Think about the neighbors and family friends and teachers that have helped you along your parenting journey. All of us need and deserve strong communities to build healthy, stable, and thriving lives. Similarly, the work that FamilyWise does to support families and strengthen communities wouldn’t be possible without our dedicated partners: 


  • The families we partner with change the trajectory of their own lives by asking for help and by identifying and working towards their goals.  
  • Our community partners are creating safe, supportive environments for Minnesota families by grounding their services in trauma-informed and strengths-based approaches. 
  • Our staff team strengthens and expands support networks for families by connecting parents and children to tools and resources. 
  • Our donors are investing in FamilyWise programs to ensure that families have a place to turn when life’s inevitable challenges arise. 
  • Our volunteers support families by sharing their time and talent with FamilyWise.   


There are two FamilyWise initiatives underway this month that demonstrate just how amazing and impactful all of these partners are to our work:

Adopt a Family Holiday Gifting 

This week our staff are busy preparing for our Adopt-a-Family program. The program matches donors, including individuals, families, and corporate and community groups, with the holiday wish lists of families participating in FamilyWise programs. This year we anticipate around 400 people will have their wish lists fulfilled by our generous sponsors. The sponsors give not just gifts but hope. As one participant shared, “I can’t believe that someone who doesn’t even know me would want to make sure that my family and I had a great holiday.” In a few weeks, our staff and volunteers will coordinate gift drop-off and delivery to families – and you can imagine that with gifts for 400 people, it is no small task!


Radiothon to End Child Abuse 

On December 1st and 2nd we will be participating in the annual Radiothon to End Child Abuse, an event that raises over $100,000 in 24 hours to support statewide programs that strengthen families. The Radiothon is a partnership among Hubbard Broadcasting radio stations in Alexandria, Bemidji, Brainerd, and Wadena, and volunteers across 11 northcentral Minnesota counties. The event also raises awareness about the opportunity we all have to prevent child abuse by being a support to parents in our communities. Last year more than 800 community members heard the message and called in to donate. 


Parents Helping Parents 

Year-round, we partner with amazing volunteers that want to help parents. FamilyWise connects parents with each other in a variety of settings to develop relationships they can lean on when challenges arise. Circle of Parents offers peer support groups that allow parents to talk about their feelings and problem-solve together in a safe environment. Bright Beginnings provides parent education and mentorship for young parents working to build life skills and a safety net for their families. FamilyWise is parents helping parents: 


“Having a strong support network has had a positive impact on my life as a parent and on the lives of my children. After having my first son, I quickly realized that I did not always have the type of support I needed or wanted, so I spent time building more community and support into my life. Having people who offered the emotional support I needed made a big difference for me. I became involved with FamilyWise to be a part of another parent’s support network. Being a mentor to a young parent has been meaningful in many ways. I get to watch her learn and grow as a young woman and as a mother, and offer support as she works toward her goals.” – Bright Beginnings Mentor 


If being surrounded by community has made a positive difference in your own life and you want other families to experience that same sense of security, a gift to FamilyWise today will help more families strengthen their ties and become more resilient.  


Thank you for considering a contribution to FamilyWise this year. Together, we can create support networks that help parents be at their best for themselves, their children, and their communities.