Mom and daughter thriving in Oakdale

November 23, 2013 

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    •  Address: 1405 West F Street, Suite A, Oakdale, CA 95361

    •  Phone: (209) 847-5121

    •  Website:

    •  How we help those in need:

    School readiness: Classes for preschool ages 3 to 5, and after-school assistance with homework and specific subjects

    Parenting support groups: Prenatal education and support, parenting and child development classes and Kid-N-Around for interaction with children

    Insurance application assistance

    Food and clothing distribution

    Nutrition classes

    Water exercise classes

    Dance therapy classes

    English and citizenship classes

    Car seat information, inspection and low-cost distribution

    (All classes offered in both English and Spanish)

    •  Individuals and/or families assisted per month:

    We serve more than 400 families each month through our various programs. A typical client may come in for food assistance, then discover other programs we offer and begin coming to the prenatal class, the car seat class and nutrition class. Most people who come in for one type of assistance end up receiving much more.

    •  How a $10 donation helps:

    53 pounds of food from Second Harvest

    •  $25 donation:

    Diapers and formula for a new mother

    •  $50 donation:

    A new car seat

    •  $100 donation:

    School supplies and coats for children

    •  Volunteer update: We use volunteers at large events such as health fairs. We are fortunate to have high school volunteers. Students who first started with us as young children have come back to help out because they realize what a difference involvement with the Family Support Network has made in their lives.

    •  One last thing: The Family Support Network, a department of Oak Valley Hospital, began helping the community on a very small and limited basis in 1996. We now have our own 2,700- square-foot resource center that offers a classroom, children’s learn/play area, private offices and supply rooms. We also partner with the Oakdale Ministerial Association (OMA) in assisting community members in need, whether it’s food, a car seat or clothing. We have been at our site since 2000, and have a staff of nine, with more than half bilingual assisting Spanish-speaking members of the community.

    The FSN has been doing our work long enough now that the toddlers who once came to groups with their moms are now old enough to be facilitating their own groups of small children. We sponsor a Girl Scout troop and work closely with the Oakdale Joint Unified School District to ensure we are teaching the important skills children need to be ready to start school and be successful in their education.

    We can always use donations of nonperishable foods, office supplies, paper plates, napkins and cups.

Liliana Alatorre says she experienced “truly unconditional love” about three years ago, when she and her daughter spent their first Christmas in Oakdale.

She was at the Transition house, a part of Haven Women’s Center for domestic violence victims. She was attending a nutrition class at the Family Support Network office in Oakdale, and she signed up for a program designed to help less-fortunate families over the holidays.

“Then, about 10 people showed up at my door with a huge Christmas tree and gifts that had been donated,” Alatorre said in Spanish with a huge smile while recalling the moment. “These people didn’t even know me, and here they were. It was just me and my daughter, but we really felt like part of a bigger family that day.”

She and her daughter, Krishna Garcia Alatorre, are thriving in Oakdale, and a lot of it is because of the help she’s received from the Family Support Network. Krishna participated in the network’s kindergarten-preparation classes; she’s 6 years old now and doing well in first grade.

Her mom participated a parenting course and in classes to improve her English, which was just some of the help she received. Alatorre, 40, has since been diagnosed with breast cancer. She’s received treatment and now wants to give back, just like the Family Support Network helped her.

With help from the American Cancer Society, Alatorre is working to start a support group for Spanish-speaking women diagnosed with cancer. She also wants to raise awareness, informing the public that early detection of cancer can increase the chance of survival.

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