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In circumstances like those in which Gadi’s parents found themselves after the birth of their darling boy, community often becomes more important to many of us than ever before. Gadi was born premature at 31 weeks. After spending 4.5 weeks in the NICU, he was sent home with his parents Sylvia and Aron, the doctors assuring them that everything was fine. While they were thrilled to have their baby home, Sylvia and Aron noticed that something was not quite right with his development. Gadi’s pediatrician explained that Gadi’s issues were due to being born early and told his parents everything would get easier, but that simply was not happening. Sylvia says, “After taking him for an early intervention evaluation and to several specialists, we finally got some answers.”
When their son Gadi was diagnosed with cerebral palsy (CP) at seven months old, Sylvia remembers feeling “very lost and alone. It was not easy for us to ask for or take any help, but when I finally made the call I was glad I did. Chai Lifeline made us feel like we belonged and gave us the support we needed.”
Photos care of @lifewithgadi IG
We all need a little help sometimes. The Southern Marin Mothers’ Club (SMMC), run entirely by 70+ enthusiastic mom and dad volunteers, recognizes this. The club supports its members while engaging in meaningful philanthropic work to benefit local nonprofits that support parents, children, and families. For their 2018-2019 fundraising term, SMMC formed a partnership with Novato-based Gilead House, whose mission is one all SMMC members can get behind: housing homeless single mothers and their children.
Photos care of Gilead House
Holly and her family had just moved to Marin when their eldest child, Ellie, was 15 months old. Holly was newly pregnant with her second child and wanted to find a safe, easy place to take Ellie to play outside. She joined Pixie Park on the recommendation of a neighbor and was hooked. The lovely enclosed playground was a lifesaver because Holly didn't have to worry about Ellie running away or into the street - so much so that even when she was nine months pregnant Holly continued to feel comfortable bringing Ellie there.
Photos care of Julia Zave Photography
When you see POW! and WOW! what comes to mind? Caped community-defending superheroes? If so, then you’re on the right track when considering the non-profit foundation POW! WOW!. Drawing a link to masked crime fighters is not how POW! WOW!’s name originated, though. POW! = the impact that art has on people and WOW! = the reaction people have when seeing art. Together, POW WOW = a Native American term describing a gathering celebrating culture, music, and art. People gathering to create and celebrate art and culture? Sounds like community-promoting superhero work to us, and it makes us want to shout, “POW! WOW!”