Melanie volunteered her valuable time with Thriving Families / MotherWise from the very beginning of us offering programs in the community. She stood with us, serving as an advisor, offering helpful suggestions and even fundraising, as we set up our first board of directors. She knew didn't want to serve on the board herself -- she wanted to do the real work, she said.
With two new colleagues, Dr. Leisha Anderson and Dr. Marie Whiteside, she developed her own program, BabyWonder. She facilitated many, many groups of BabyWonder, in person and then virtually during the pandemic, teaching new mothers how to connect with and care for their newborns, easing their concerns about their babies' health and development and encouraging and empowering them in motherhood. It was a natural extension from the hundreds (thousands?) of families she supported during her career.
She also made sure mothers left with the resources they needed -- and always a book to read to their baby. She is a favorite among the mothers she worked with and all of our staff. Her presence at Thriving Families was strong, caring, supportive, and loving.
It is with heavy hearts that we say goodbye to Melanie. Thank you for considering making a gift to honor her contributions and lasting legacy.