Help for New Parents on the Way - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Help for New Parents on the Way

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KENNEWICK, Wash - New parents across the area will be getting help over the coming months.  Today marks the launch of United Way's "Our Babies Can't Wait" initiative.

The United Way of Benton and Franklin Counties' goal with the initiative is to lay the foundation for young kids to go on and have a successful lives. 

Everyone from nurses to police chiefs gathered at the United Way building Tuesday morning in Kennewick, giving testimony of how a healthy early childhood leads to good things.  Others shared their own personal stories.

"I was couch jumping for awhile until there was nobody else left to take me in. You kind of wear out your welcome when you have a small child," said 20-year-old Jessica Hodges of Pasco.

Hodges told her heartfelt story of not knowing what was available to her when she gave birth to her daughter at 17.  After hodges grew up in foster care she was forced to support herself once she became pregnant at 16.

"I didn't have the natural support some people do have when they become a first time parent," explained Hodges.

In this new initiative, nurses with the public health department will be calling all the new moms and dads in the area and offering free appointments to learn more about early childcare.  Tons of information will also be available through handouts.

"It really drives home the importance of making sure that everyone in our community, whether they are new moms or older moms, they all need help and assistance," said Beverly Weber, President of the United Way of Benton and Franklin Counties.  

The initiative is going to be concentrated in East Kennewick first.  You will find informational handouts at schools, libraries and other public places.

Eventually "Our Babies Can't Wait" will be growing to other parts of the area.