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Help Me Grow – Long Island Rises to COVID Challenge: Doubles Number of At-risk Infants, Toddlers, Families Aided in 2020

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2nd annual report highlights expansion to new communities, successful connection to services for vulnerable families during COVID, and distribution of 300,000 diapers while emphasizing developmental promotion.

LONG ISLAND, N.Y. - eTradeWire -- Help Me Grow – Long Island (HMG-LI), a regional partnership promoting early childhood development, rose to the unprecedented challenges of COVID in 2020, doubling the number of vulnerable families aided and expanding services to 36 new communities across the island.

The new report provides a snapshot into challenges families faced in providing for and supporting their young children prenatal to age 5 in the past year and proposes recommendations to the Long Island community for moving forward together.

Families contacted Help Me Grow – Long Island for several major reasons:
  • Basic needs such as diapers and food became their No. 1 concern during COVID and remain critical needs today.
  • Parents needed additional support when COVID made navigating developmental support services more difficult.
  • Three times as many families contacted HMG-LI after family members, friends, and neighbors recommended it as a valuable resource during COVID.
Help Me Grow – Long Island served 900+ children from 100+ Long Island communities:
  • Distributing diapers, wipes, and formula to families that could not afford them due to COVID impact,
  • Connecting 90% of families to resources despite many service providers closing or shifting priorities,
  • Promoting young children's development by administering over 2000 developmental and social emotional screens,
  • Encouraging healthy development and resilience via BRIGHT BY TEXT - a national evidence-based text messaging platform, reaching 1100 families across LI with national and local resources.
Families and partners say the following about Help Me Grow – Long Island:

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"Every time I followed [HMG Specialist's] direction, something grew... A seed was planted, and it was growing every time I followed [her] direction. It's simple as that."
-HMG-LI Grandparent Caregiver

"During a time of uncertainty, Help Me Grow – Long Island continually supported our referred families needing access to resources for basic needs. We are deeply grateful for their coordinated efforts, especially throughout the pandemic."
-Amparo Abel-Bey, Northwell Health Solutions

"Help Me Grow – Long Island has played such an important role during COVID – helping ensure that basic needs were met for struggling young families when many  in-person support systems were shut down. I'm so excited to see this captured in the annual report and am eager to see what comes next as HMG-LI continues to spread its roots in our community."
-Dr. Victoria Chen, Cohen Children's Medical Center

"Our partnership with Help Me Grow- Long Island has empowered childcare providers to successfully complete developmental screenings and also engage parents in promoting their children's growth and development."
-Karin Sperb, QUALITYstarsNY

Find the HMG-LI 2nd Annual Report here.

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About Help Me Grow – Long Island: HMG-LI is a FREE resource connecting families and providers to community resources and child development information in Nassau and Suffolk counties, to promote optimal development of Long Island's young children. HMG-LI provides free, virtual, ongoing support to families, and trains providers to use developmental screens.

About Docs for Tots: HMG-LI is overseen by Docs for Tots, a non-profit led by pediatricians to promote practices, policies, and investments that enable young children to thrive. Our focus is on the youngest children and their families, from prenatal to age five.

Contact
Robin Halloran
***@docsfortots.org


Source: Docs for Tots
Filed Under: Family

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