AUSTIN, Texas -- A collective of women in Central Texas are pooling resources to see how they can impact Austin.
Elicia Guerrero said her 6-year-old son, Arrion has never seen her struggle. But before, he was born, it was a different story. At 18-years-old, Guerrero was pregnant, alone, and scared.
“They’re going to grow, and I’m going to feed them and I have to be there and support and you know go through the initial birth itself, I was terrified,” Guerrero said.
Everything changed when Guerrero found “Any Baby Can.” The non-profit based in Austin provides support services to more than 6,000 children and families each year. The group offered Guerrero guidance about parenting and referrals for healthcare and job training. The now 27-year-old is putting herself through school and said Arrion is happy and healthy.
“I’ve definitely grown so much and I did a really awesome job and so yeah I definitely changed completely from the life I had before and I’m just grateful that God put her there,” Guerrero said.
The nurse-family partnership program is about to reach more women. “Any Baby Can” an $80,000 grant from “Impact Austin” on Wednesday at a ceremony at Austin City Hall. "Impact Austin" is a public charity comprised of 403 women dedicated to lifelong giving.
“It’s a wonderful prevention program that helps reduce abuse and neglect in our community, as well as helps families get on the right track and break that cycle of poverty,” said Andy Miller, president of "Any Baby Can."
“We know that all of these organizations are going to make the lives of youth and families in central Texas better,” said Lisa Apfelberg, the acting executive director of "Impact Austin." "We’re really looking at which organizations are groundbreaking and innovative and doing great work and really those are the ones we want to support."
"Any Baby Can" was one of five local groups to win the Impact Austin award. Other grantees include The Contemporary Austin, Interfaith Action of Central Texas, Any Baby Can, The SAFE Alliance, and Seedling Foundation. It will help kids living on the streets or in foster care, refugees, arts students and families of incarcerated adults.