After just over a year and a half, the Crisis Nursery of Effingham County opens its doors Friday morning. The facility is housed in the remodeled Silk Purse building at 924 N. Merchant in Effingham and will operate in Partnership with HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital. The building was donated by the Family Life Center last April.
Since then, the Crisis Nursery Staff, volunteers, and Executive Director Megan Rewers, have been hard at work converting the former thrift store into a fully functional child care center with the capacity for overnight stays. The center is on-call 24/7 to receive children, birth to age six, whose parents or guardians are having a crisis. Crisis situations could include a death in the family, medical emergencies, or domestic abuse situations.
“Our mission is to prevent and protect children from trauma, abuse, and neglect,” Rewers said to combined crowd of employees, volunteers, and media Thursday evening. It was then that a tearful Rewers announced, that having passed state inspection, the nursery would be opening Friday morning. “This project began as a discussion and idea presented to a small group of community leaders on September 17 of 2015” Rewers said. “From there, our community has rallied together to bring this mission and place to life.” Much of the remodeling work, and many of the toys and supplies, were donated to the Nursery thought local businesses and organizations.
Rewers, an Effingham native, said that the feeling of finally being able to open the facility was “indescribable.” She said the process of getting the center open started small, but grew to take on a life of its own. “We met the right people at the right time, and found the right outlets, and was able to bring it all together.”
Crisis Nursery Board member Jill Dust said that there is already demand in the area for the Nursery’s services. “They’ve already had calls,” Dust said. “I just think it’s an amazing thing for our community.”
The center has 17 part-time and full-time employees, plus volunteers, that can care for up to six children at a time. Any parents in need can contact the Nursery by calling 217-342-3000. Families can also simply go there in an emergency, but Rewers said that calling was ideal so that they could get prepared.
Rewers discusses how it feels to open the Crisis Nursery’s doors.