Welcome to Family Strong's blog space!

The space for words, answers to questions, shared visions, and whatever else we can creatively fit on these pages.

Hello All!

I thought for the first blog we would start with a quick introduction and explanation as to what we are hoping this space will be used for. My name is Marissa and I am a local registered nurse. I work at Logan Health - Eureka clinic and have been a community member since childhood. My family purchased land in the area when I was a wee first grader and we were able to actually make the move when I was twelve. I became involved in 4-H, toastmasters (when we still had a club in Eureka), the animal shelter, and the local homeschool organization as I switched from a public schooler to a homeschooler with the move.

As a young person, I grew a deep love and appreciation for our beautiful valley and community and still today that love and appreciation is what leads me to helping others and helping our community improve and thrive. The idea of a young children's group started back in 2019 through the Communities That Care gatherings. It didn't take off (due to covid in early 2020) until Fall of 2021; but we were able to do it! We were able to grow a great collaborative with county wide and local organizations that held the same value and love for our community's littles citizens - our 0 to 5 year olds. For me personally, this is important work (and play) because I, like many of you, have a little one of my own. Actually, I have three children but only one is still within the 0 - 5 range and thus joins for the gatherings. I am blessed to have the opportunity of observing how this experience has positively impacted my son. I have watched him become more outgoing, playful with kids his own age, and even more verbally expressive. It's been a treasured experience for me.

When we first brainstormed the idea of Family Strong - this gathering of young child and their caregivers - we had so many ideas of what this could be, how it could evolve, and what needs it could meet in the lives of our fellow citizens. We really wanted to provide a safe, fun space for the littles to be able to socialize and learn. A place where parents, grandparents, foster parents, or any other caregiver for the littles could come together and gain support, resources, and build friendships. A place where after 2 years of isolation, feeling like you're going at it alone, and living in uncertainty, we could come together to build a strong foundation, share tips and ideas, and learn from each other once again. A place where the mere essences of community thrives and grows.

Sitting here today, looking back to the beginning when Family Strong was just a concept without a name to now when it is an ever changing, growing, and developing community program, I can truly say I am so thankful for the opportunities we have in this peaceful, beautiful, and raw corner of Northwest Montana that we are so lucky to call home. Here's to many more blogs, many more gatherings, and many many more strong, able, and resilient children growing through Family Strong and the amazing community here in Eureka, Montana!

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