One of the best ways nonprofits help their communities is by cooperating with each other through partnerships. One example of a valuable partnership in San Antonio is the one between the Togs for Tots program of the Assistance League and 38 different agencies in the community. Togs for Tots was established in 1989, and is one of the eight philanthropic programs of the Assistance League of San Antonio. Helping strengthen families on the Southside, Blessed Sacrament Academy (BSA) is one of their partner agencies. “The idea of the Assistance League is to help the community in any way possible, explained Pam Marsh, chairwoman of the Togs for Tots program. “We believe it is important to give children a good start, and that’s why we support the Parents’ Academy and other programs at BSA.”
The Parents’ Academy focuses on empowering parents with positive discipline techniques in an encouraging environment. Included in the Parents’ Academy curriculum is “Precious Minds New Connections”– a large initiative over a four county area in its 13th year funded by and under the direction of the Kronkosky Charitable Foundation. The program was designed by the foundation to focus on helping families understand child development from birth; and how to give a child the security and support to develop cognitively, emotionally and physically. Lessons and activities in the nine week course are specifically aimed at families with children under three years of age and families expecting a baby.
Thanks to Marie Schmutz and Pam Marsh for of the Assistance League for faithfully providing Togs for Tot bags to graduates of BSA’s Precious Minds class who are expecting or have children under four—399 so far this year–. Infants and toddlers are provided new clothing, a “Watch Me Grow” developmental booklet, a personal grooming kit, and an age appropriate book.
“A number of our graduates are first time parents,” said Kathy Lozano, long-time director of the Parents’ Academy. “We are SO thankful to the Assistance League for their partnership in assisting families! “When they receive their Togs bag, it is like a baby shower in a bag. It means so much to our families to know that someone cares deeply for them and took the time and effort to choose clothing for their little ones. Having two sets of new clothing is a blessing to all our families, but particularly helpful for those who must lug baskets of clothes to the laundromat.”
Many of the parents bring their children to class the following week dressed in one of their new outfits. It is quite a blessing to share their pride and joy as their children model their new clothes. For families who might be temporarily separated from their children due to Child Protective Services, the Togs bags make a lovely gift parents can take to supervised visits.
Please visit the Assistance League’s website if you are interested in learning more.
For information about any of the classes at the Parents’ Academy, please contact Kathy Lozano at 210.532.0894