Q. How did you hear about A Friend for You?
A. I heard about A Friend for You through Family Medicine, the nurse and social worker connected me to this resource because I asked them if they knew of any support groups or someone I could talk to.
Q. What about A Friend for You sounded interesting that you wanted to join?
A. I was having a hard time emotionally due to no in person support groups and feeling like I had no good friends to talk to. I wanted to meet someone through here that actually cared about me. I was looking for a friend and resources and support because I felt isolated and alone during my pregnancy since it was during COVID. I was interested and curious in what A Friend for You was all about and I wanted to be brave and call. My social worker and a nurse talked about how good the program is.
Q. Who was your Volunteer Friend, and how did your relationship with your friend develop?
A. My volunteer friend is Dasha. I called A Friend for You and spoke with a lady that connected me to Dasha. Dasha actually called me the next day and was so excited to meet me, she sounded super friendly over the phone and that made me braver to meet her. I get shy or have social anxiety but I felt like I could trust her. Dasha told me all about herself and she was so interested to learn about me too, so we got to know each other right away. I felt comfortable opening up the first day we met at a park. She listened to me and gave me a lot of advice and she cared, I felt valued. Dasha even invited me to her church and suggested our kids meet. She also texts me often to check on me how I am doing and she is nonjudgmental. Our kids met and they got along right away and they could play in the park for hours! Dasha talks about new places to go to in the future because she wants to be my friend for a long time. She is kind and a sweet person, I need more good people like her in my life that I can count on.
Q. Did Dasha connect you with any other resources/opportunities in the community?
A. She talked about sports we can put our kids in together. She mentioned her church as a community support that I could join too. She was able to get me cooked meals to my home when I had my newborn son and that helped me so much!
Q. What kinds of things have you and Dasha done together?
A. We went to the park together in Fort Collins and in Windsor area. We went to the centerra area and walked around. Dasha came to my home to see my baby and she said I could visit her too someday. We are talking about going to places like the zoo too when my son is a bit bigger (so its safer to go due to COVID and when I heal from c section). We still have many other places to go together!
Q. This has been an interesting time being pregnant. How has having Dasha during this time helped you?
A. I joined towards my end of pregnancy, I wish I joined sooner. I felt like I was stuck at home and I felt lonely and isolated. I didn’t know anyone pregnant or going through the same things as me. Ive always felt judged since I had my first son very young so with this pregnancy I wanted to make sure I had a support system so that I can be a better mother this time. However, this time COVID made it a bit harder too. It helped having Dasha to talk to because she’s understanding. At the time, there were no other in person groups to join and no mom support groups either. I felt like I was going to fail as a mother with now COVID as my barrier (before it was young single mother)…I was overwhelmed and stressed and overthinking. Even now I worry that my baby can catch COVID. I asked Dasha about vaccinations and her thoughts on if I should be vaccinated. I asked her about labor and how her labor experience was because I was so nervous for a c section again. I liked how Dasha could see me in person, I felt like I needed to go out even if its just the park. I also dont have a lot of friends because I just moved to Loveland so having Dasha was great so that I could feel like I had at least one person that cared about me. We have the same values and we both have two sons now, so it was good to connect with someone who I can relate to. Her boys are close to my first sons age. My husband works a lot so I didn’t want to become an antisocial person or have depression or post partum depression, so I reached out to her. I feel like having Dasha helped me not get post partum depression (through my pregnancy I was remembering my abusive ex relationship with my first sons dad and I was overthinking that this one could be like that too but its actually been going well). I am stronger now and it has helped me that I opened up to Dasha about that a bit.
Q. What did you think about the gifts A Friend for You sent during your pregnancy (the gifts that were mailed to you)?
A. These were amazing, they made my day! I felt important and valued and like someone remembered me! I don’t get things in the mail so it was a total surprise especially when it was random, it was exciting seeing who it was from and what the gifts were. And the gifts were very thoughtful and something that I hadn’t received before. I liked that someone thought of the cute self-care things, and water bottle that tracks pregnancy, and morning sickness candy, and tea. I definitely used all of those and it helped me feel better. It made me more excited for my baby and motivated that I should be more happy rather than nervous or worried about my c section/labor. It reminded me to do some self-care.
Q. What did you think about the post-pregnancy meals and gift package?
A. These were so delicious and I even asked for the recipes! These helped me so much when I couldn’t get out of bed to make meals due to healing from c section. I was so sleepy and had many emotions and was trying to get a routine down, and I also have my son home with me because its summer time so no school (that kept me really busy at home too)…so the meals were super helpful with saving me time! We all shared a meal at the end of the day and we were able to talk about how the day was so this was a great moment as a family with good food. It a nice smart idea thanks so much! I am also not a good cook so this made me curious to look into recipes like these.
Q. Is there anything else you would like to share? (this can be about A Friend for You or Dasha?
A. I am glad a program like this exists because sometimes us women feel alone and we need someone who cares to listen to what we are going through. I heard that if we have at least one person in our lives that cares, that person can make a difference. Especially during Covid, with higher rates of depression and suicide, it’s important that every person has a positive support or someone who can check on them or give resources. At the time, i couldn’t find anything in person to join and telehealth wasn’t working for me, so having her in person to talk to helped me so much. I learned how to ask for help and be braver about my social anxiety.
Q. Would you recommend someone who is pregnant to get connected with A Friend for You?
A. yes for sure! Great for prevention and for having a friend and a resource and support! She is there for me even if I were to text or call at night, she answers my questions I have about my baby and pregnancy. I can share my story and count on her.
“I am glad a program like this exists because sometimes us women feel alone and we need someone who cares to listen to what we are going through. I heard that if we have at least one person in our lives that cares, that person can make a difference.”
Q. How long have you been involved with A Friend for You?
A. I have joined in November 2020.
Q. What about the A Friend for You drew you to get involved?
A. When I first read about A Friend for You in a community magazine, I knew it’s something I wanted to do right away. I believe that children are a blessing from God, that their lives matter, but as a mom myself I also know that it can be hard to go through pregnancy and to raise children, it can feel very lonely, sometimes overwhelming and even depressing. So I wanted to join this organization to be a friend and have a friend so we can support each other through this season of life.
Q. How many women have you “friended?”
A. I just have one friend, Yaricza.
Q. What things have you and Yaricza done together?
A. We have gone on playground dates and walked in the park. I also visited her once when her baby son was born. We also message each other and plan to do more fun activities together with kids this coming year.
Q. What would you like to share about Yaricza?
A. First I want to say that I feel very blessed to have her as my friend. I feel like we connected right away from our fist conversation over the phone. She has the sweetest personality! We easily opened up to each other and we both just wanted to be friends and I think that’s the best part. Yaricza has a lot on her shoulders between work, family, her son’s recreational activities, but she still finds time to invest in the friendship. And through all these things that I can see her kind heart.
Q. What kind of growth have you seen in Yaricza?
A. Yaricza loves her children and her family, I can see that she wants the best for them. She is very courageous, I have seen it when her birth plan didn’t go the way she wanted, she didn’t complain about it, she just had the courage to do what doctors were advising her to do and she wanted the best for her baby. She is also very caring and thoughtful, I can see that when she speaks to her children, the way she takes care of her puppy, and when she just talks to me and my kids, and I really like that about her. I am looking forward to get to know her more and grow together.
Q. What do you specifically enjoy about being a Volunteer Friend?
A. I feel very thankful for the opportunity to connect to other women, specifically Yaricza. If it wasn’t for A Friend for You we probably wouldn’t have never met. I like all the support the organization provides to us as volunteers and our pregnant friends. I also like that they are generous with gifts that I could take to Yaricza to brighten her day.
Q. What would you say to someone who is interested in volunteering with A Friend for You?
A. I would say you should do it and don’t even think about it because it will be a blessing to you.
Q. Do you believe that A Friend for You is a worthwhile organization? If so, why?
A. Definitely, there is nothing more important than having relationships with people. God didn’t create us to be alone. We need each other to go through life, and I feel like women especially crave that connection as we can relate to each other.