Five months ago Norkeita Goins' life was like this:
"Always busy, runnin around, worrying about how I'm gonna do something or get something done," remembers Norkeita. She was working a night shift at Wal–Mart because she couldn't find affordable day care. But now thanks to United Way, she says she's, "less stressed out and more relaxed."
Low-income working parents often find it tough to provide for their families if they don't have someone to care for their children while they are at work. United Way understands this downward spiral and offers a child–care scholarship to stop it.
"Day care is very expensive," said Jon Nafziger from United Way. "For many families they need that help to keep working."
For Norkeita, daycare without United Way's help would cost her $320 a week. Not something she could afford with her night job, but with monetary assistance for daycare she was able to get a day job that pays more and allows her to be a better mom.
"I can spend more time with my children. It feels good to know that while I am at work, my kids are getting taken care of," said Norkeita.
By being able to work and provide for their children, moms like Norkeita improve not just their financial well being but also their mental well being.
"I've seen great changes in Mrs. Goins. I've seen mothers come in with low self–esteem and they come in not being able to afford child care and in two weeks you see a smile on their face because they can go to work and know that everything is okay," recalled Frances Burton, director of Creative Childcare. Burton stressed that no one should be without affordable child care.
Unfortunately, United Way programs such as the Child Care Scholarship are in danger because of lack of contributions. If you want to help people like Norkeita, you can donate to:
806 East High Street
Or visit their Web site at www.unitedwaytja.org