Great Falls Church Makes Large Donation to Toby’s House Crisis Nursery
GREAT FALLS – Toby’s House Crisis Nursery in Great Falls recently celebrated its first birthday. The nursery is named in honor of October “Toby” Perez. She was two years old when she was killed by her mother’s boyfriend in 2011. More than a decade later, the nursery set up in her honor works to help children in similar situations.
Toby’s House provides free, temporary care for children and families going through a crisis. “A crisis can be defined as anything, but sometimes life throws curveballs at you and Toby’s House is here to help you catch those curveballs and make sure no child is abused or neglected” , explained Susie Zeak, the manager of Toby’s House. .
Toby’s House has helped many families and parents in need. From care to essentials like formula or diapers, the program does it all.
“Generally, parents bring their children here when they have an appointment, and they don’t have someone they trust to watch over their child. We take care of families who might end up homeless and we are here so they can find an apartment or accommodation,” Susie said. “So Toby’s House is a safe place to bring your kids when you don’t have a safe option”
Recognizing all of the care Toby’s House provides for children in the community, the First Congregational United Church of Christ decided to help by donating $20,000 to the program.
“We love that Toby’s House is a child care service, we love that it’s preventative and we love that it’s non-judgmental. When parents are in need, it seems Toby’s House keeps its doors wide open,” said Reverend Lynne Spencer-Smith.
Providing good quality care and setting up a good quality free program can sometimes be very expensive.
Susie added: “They asked me what it took to keep Toby’s house open for a month and I pulled out a number for about eighteen thousand dollars a month.”
Lynne said: “We talked about wouldn’t it be great to fully fund Toby’s house for a month. And then we thought okay, eighteen thousand dollars – that’s a bit of an odd number, let’s just round it up to twenty.
The church and Reverend Lynne are excited to see the program grow and to see how the donation will have a positive impact on the community.
“One of the great things about the church is that no matter who you are or where you are, you are welcome here. I think that’s one of the things we’ve seen expressed in Toby’s house. There are no questions, if parents determine there is a need for child care for their children, the door is open, and they are welcome there and so it was a natural extension to donate of those funds,” Lynne said.
“It’s just going to be used to keep our doors open, keep our lights on, and continue to provide the best care for children, free of charge,” Zeak said.
To learn more, volunteer or make a donation, Click here to visit the site. You can also call 406-770-3191 or email [email protected]