BEND, OR -- A unique support program is now available to Central Oregon's new parents looking for "in the moment" support. Heart to Heart founder Sarah Guilfoy says the idea came to her when she felt isolated staying home with her young son, and sometimes struggling, "It is a support line for parents and they can call, text, or email in with any question at all, and receive support." She says grandparents can call too, because no one knows everything there is to know about parenting.
"Heart to Heart is a nonprofit, which means it's all totally free," Guilfoy tells KBND News, "And, we are happy to support parents with any sort of questions at all regarding their children birth to five [years], and that's also parents that are not necessarily biological parents; even grandparents can call in. We welcome any and all calls." She wants parents to reach out and understand they're not alone, "It's not so much only advice, but also support and an empathetic listening ear, which is really key because a lot of parents really struggle with feeling just supported." She says it can be especially difficult, with the inevitable exhaustion that comes with parenting, for a mom or dad to feel confident, "I created this program with the idea that there is no really right way. Let's just support each other, let's create a community for each other." She adds, "In parenting, it's an ongoing learning process. We never, ever get used to parenting and think, 'Okay, I've got this one in the bag'."
Heart to Heart has partnered with Healthy Beginnings to offer the service, and Guilfoy is looking for volunteer advisors. All that's needed is experience as a parent, cell service, and three hours per week of availability. For more information or to apply, email Heart to Heart. Learn more about the program HERE.