Friday, October 18, 2019

In Times of Need, Use Crittenton Centers' Crisis Nursery

A single mother of two young children receives a call in the middle of the night about her father being involved in a major car accident. The hospital informs her that he needs immediate surgery and as next of kin she needs to sign off for the procedure. She knows she won’t be able to properly make decisions for her father while also taking care of her kids, stressing her out even further. The mother remembers hearing about a crisis center called Crittenton and looks it up online. It’s exactly what she needs. She is able to drop her children off with peace of mind that they’re safe and is able to take care of her father’s medical needs.
Raising a family is a rewarding part of life, however unexpected circumstances can create difficulties in both parents and children's lives. Crittenton Centers' Crisis Nursery is a resource for families in the community to aid in these difficult times; providing over 30,000 hours of crisis care annually. The service offers respite care, crisis counseling, and support to families facing domestic violence issues, those needing additional parenting help through parenting classes, and allows parents to prioritize their mental health. The Crisis Nursery prevents child neglect and abuse by providing children a safe and nurturing environment during their stay. It takes the stress off parents' backs by giving them a helping hand that can be trusted and doesn’t become a financial burden in their already complicated situations.
“The Crisis Nursery has helped my family survive through many unsuspected emergencies. I don't know what I would do without them."- Crisis Nursery Patient

Help isn’t limited to one time only but provides ongoing care to families in need of the service for free if a resident of Peoria, Tazewell, and Woodford counties. Emergencies can occur at any time and to ensure families always have assistance; the Crisis Nursery is open 24/7 365. Children are allowed to stay in the nursery for up to 72 hours depending on their situation.
The Crisis Nursery does it’s best at helping its community, but always welcomes further assistance with aiding families. You can make a difference by donating to the Crisis Nursery here! Crittenton Centers is extremely thankful for all contributions and support to the Crisis Center. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Learning Knows No Barriers at Crittenton

Learning Knows No Barriers at Crittenton With summer winding down and labor day well behind us, kids everywhere are getting reaccustomed to early mornings and long days full of learning. The education a child receives in their first five years of life form the stepping stones for a lifetime of learning. All children deserve a chance to learn in an environment that is safe, fun, and nurturing. This isn’t always the case, however. In some instances, life can create unique circumstances that make providing an education challenging. For one mother with 4-year-old twins, a challenge was finding a child care center able to cater to the learning needs of her children. It is common in early childhood to separate siblings to encourage independence. However, most child centers in the area do not provide multiple pre-k classrooms. Being a mom is already a stressful job, and having to worry about dropping your kids off at different child centers everyday creates additional stress. Thankfully, Crittenton was able to make things easier for this mother. With two pre-k rooms and space for both of her children, she is now able to make one trip bringing her twins to school. We are excited to be able to ease her stress while providing care for her children! Crittenton Centers’ Child Development Center (CDC) offers quality childcare and early education services in a family-focused environment. Our full-service daycare center offers a nurturing environment where children can learn and grow while they are given a much needed educational head start. In addition to offering ongoing developmental assessments and screenings and individualized lesson plans, our parent corner provides resources to help children continue learning even at home. Our program provides its educational services to children ages 6-weeks to 6-years-old from Peoria and surrounding communities.
Here at Crittenton, we are always working to protect and nurture children and families. Crittenton’s Child Development Center is able to provide support thanks to our donors and volunteers. To find out how you can help children in our community reach their full potential, visit us at

Friday, July 19, 2019

A Gift That Keeps On Giving

A Gift That Keeps On Giving

One thing that never fails to bring a smile to my face is the gift of giving. However, many people seem to believe that they have nothing to give. What is often overlooked is how we are all capable of charity. In fact, some of the most heartwarming stories I have had the pleasure of hearing about are those of children from our local community giving back.

That being said, what better than to see some of the greatest gifts in our lives, our own kids, giving back to the community?

Kenzie Hart’s 10th birthday was around the corner. She was excited like any other kid would be, but not for the party or the birthday presents. Instead, she asked for baby bottles, diapers, and other baby supplies. When she stopped into our Crisis Nursery to drop off her donation, it was clear to us that this was something Kenzie was passionate about.

(above: Kenzie Hart with birthday donations, 2016)

“It makes me feel really good when I do this,
I just really want to,”
Kenzie Hart

Though Kenzie didn’t want to brag, Janel Hart, her mother, was very proud to boast about her daughter’s gift of charity, and told us that she had come up with the idea herself.

“I like to think that as a family we have fostered her giving spirit and that we have led by example,” Janel shared.

“...when I see how happy it makes her to help others at such a young age, it makes me wonder about all the good things she will do in the future. I can see her devoting her life to helping others in some form when she is an adult.”
Janel Hart

This was not Kenzie’s first time helping out at Crittenton, and most certainly not her last. In fact, Janel was happy to share that Kenzie also collected donations for the center on her 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th birthdays. In addition to collecting birthday donations, Kenzie has worked Crittenton’s Stocking Stuffer Store with her mother and sister for the past three years.
(above: Kenzie Hart with birthday donations, 2017)

At Crittenton, we believe that children come first and that strong families build strong communities. As a family, the Harts have spoken to these beliefs by fostering such a bright and contagious giving spirit in their daughter. This family’s commitment to charity is a gift that will continue to keep on giving. In fact, Kenzie was happy to share that she has already inspired some of her friends to start collecting donations in lieu of traditional birthday gifts too!

Charity is a gift that we all have to share, and here at Crittenton we are truly thankful for all the individuals who help keep our Crisis Nursery, Child Development Center, and Educational and Support Services up and running. Our donors and volunteers help us continue to put to action the mission we were built on - to protect and nurture children and families.

To find out how you can get yourself and your children involved with Crittenton, visit us at