nvdaily.com link to home page

Traffic | Weather | Mobile Edition
      Archives | Subscribe | Special Sections

Local News arrow Health arrow Katie Demeria arrow Woodstock

| 0

Healthy Families offers support to local mothers

Kaelynn, 4, sits between Healthy Families support worker Laurie Robinson, left, and her mother Sam Maier, 19, of Woodstock, right, at the Healthy Families event that celebrated children like Kaelynn who graduated out of the program. Katie Demeria/Daily (Buy photo)

By Katie Demeria

WOODSTOCK -- Jennifer Orndorff, 27, of Strasburg, works with children every day at a day care. But when her son was born, she still needed help.

Sam Maier, 19, of Woodstock, became pregnant when she was 14 and had to depend on her mother. Their relationship suffered.

Healthy Families of Shenandoah County is a free program for those in need that stepped in to assist both Orndorff and Maier when they needed the help. Both women said they do not know where they would be without the service.

The family support service celebrated Orndorff and Maier on Thursday afternoon at the Grace Baptist Church in Woodstock. Orndorff's son Aiden, 4, and Maier's daughter Kaelynn, 4, were both graduating out of the program, which supports families until the children are around 5 years old.

Aiden was not able to attend because he was sick at home with his grandmother. Kaelynn, though, was there -- and she sat happily talking with her family's support worker Laurie Robinson.

"Laurie is part of the family now," Maier said. "She and I are like best friends."

Robinson said she has seen a complete turnaround since she started working with Maier four years before, pointing out that Maier now has her driver's license.

Many of those developments, Maier said, were thanks to Robinson's involvement.

The two made goals together and Robinson worked to help Maier achieve them, along with general education on how to care for her daughter.

"She helped me learn how to do it on my own, how to be independent, and what's right and what's wrong," Maier said.

Maier is now married and recently gave birth to her third child. She is a full time mom and her relationship with her own mother has drastically improved.

Despite her newfound stability, she said she hopes to continue working with Healthy Families with her other children.

"I don't think I could ever stop leaning on Laurie," she said.

Orndorff's support worker Jackie Funkhouser offered similar support -- but was needed in different ways.

Orndorff was 22 when she gave birth to Aiden. She said she had a healthy pregnancy, but since then Aiden, though a happy and bubbly baby, has battled various health problems.

"He has autism and mild cerebral palsy," she said. "I'm so proud of my son. He's gone through so much."

Funkhouser has been a vital part of Orndorff's life over the past several years, she said. She and Aiden live with her mother, who also frequently battles health problems.

"Between working and taking care of my mom and Aiden, I don't have the chance to get to a support group," she said. "So having Jackie, having someone to talk to, that's life saving."

She needed Funkhouser to provide information and extra supplies when possible. But she said she even leaned on Funkhouser as someone to talk with about her problems.

Funkhouser gave Orndorff the resources to regularly monitor Aiden's progress as he grew older, Orndorff said.

"That's helped us out a lot, knowing where he is," she continued. "He's my whole world, he's made me a better person, and I just want the best for him."

She said Funkhouser has been part of her and Aiden's life since he was one week old and she is very thankful for her involvement

"She and Aiden are really close, too," Orndorff said. "She's part of our family."

Those interested in learning more about Healthy Families can call the program at 540-459-8558.

Contact staff writer Katie Demeria at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or kdemeria@nvdaily.com

Keep up to date on local news

Sign up here to receive Northern Virginia Daily news delivered to your email box each morning and when breaking news occurs.


Comments that are posted represent the opinion of the commenter and not the Northern Virginia Daily/nvdaily.com. View our comments/submisssions policy. Report abuse by clicking the X next to the comment.

Local News Sections

Affordable Care Act Agency on Aging Agriculture Alex Bridges Apple Blossom Festival Aviation Basye Berryville Boyce Breaking News Business Charities Civil War Clarification Clarke County Colleges Corrections Courthouse Notes: Permits, Transactions Courts & Legal News Crime & Public Safety Economy and Jobs Edinburg Education Edward N. Bell Election 2012 Election 2013 Entertainment Environment Fairs & Festivals Fire & Rescue Fishers Hill Fort Valley Frederick County Front Royal George Washington National Forest Guest Column Hard Times Health History Holidays Homes In The Spotlight Jeff Nations Joe Beck Josette Keelor Katie Demeria Kim Walter Ledger Livestock Local Markets Maurertown Media Middletown Military & Veterans Moms Mount Jackson New Market Page County Pets & Animals Politics Progress 2013 Progress 2014 Quicksburg Religion Rockingham County RSW Jail Ryan Cornell School News Shenandoah County Shenandoah Farms Volunteer Fire Department Star Tannery State Stephens City Steven A. Boyce Strasburg Toms Brook Traffic & Transportation Utilities Valley 911 Warren County Weather West Virginia Winchester Woodstock Year in Review

News | Sports | Business | Lifestyle | Obituaries | Opinion | Multimedia| Entertainment | Classifieds
Contact Us | NIE | Place a Classified | Privacy Policy | Comments/Submissions Policy | Subscribe

Copyright © The Northern Virginia Daily | nvdaily.com | 152 N. Holliday St., Strasburg, Va. 22657 | (800) 296-5137

2014 Virginia Press Association Grand Sweepstakes Winner
The Best Small Daily Newspaper in Virginia!

nvdaily.com | seeshenandoah.com