MISSOULA - April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and a Missoula art gallery is highlighting how Watson Children's Shelter helps families.
The Watson Children's Shelter’s exhibit at the Dana Gallery is set to open to the public on the night of Friday, April 7, 2023.
This exhibit will feature silhouette pictures of families along with quotes highlighting how the shelter's Healthy Foundations Program sets families on a good path.
The program works with pregnant families experiencing life challenges.
They assist the families by creating a safe space to welcome a baby and then helping navigate the families through all the steps of early parenthood.
“The program really assists these families walking through challenges that they’re going through right now and to create that safe space for that baby when they come home from the hospital. Walking them through each of the stages of their lives; newborn, infant, toddler, we stay with this family up to three-to-five years of that child’s life. So, walking them through all of the steps and just creating that family bond. It’s those early years that are the most important." - Watson Children's Shelter Development Director Angie Doucette
Doucette also told MTN News that Watson Children's Shelter creates opportunities for families to have quality experiences together.
She recalled one story where a family was saving up money for a high chair for their baby. The shelter thought that while the high chair was important, the family deserved to get to experience something together.
After bringing in donations from the community, Watson Children's purchased a stroller so the family could spend time outside to boost their connection. The family saved enough for the highchair and with the help of the shelter their lives were enriched even more.
The Watson Children's Shelter's exhibit will be available for viewing for the entire month at the Dana Gallery to educate the community on their programs and child abuse prevention.
The Dana Gallery is located at 246 North Higgins Avenue in Missoula. Check out their website for additional information.