After the birth of her medically fragile daughter 12 years ago, Nina Aliprandi worried she would be distracted from the demands of her job caring for struggling children at Maryville Academy.
Instead, Aliprandi discovered that her daughter enriched and informed the work, allowing Maryville to launch two important preventative programs for struggling families: the Crisis Nursery and the Children’s Healthcare Center.
For the past 27 years, Aliprandi has had an impact on thousands of other children in need through her work at Maryville. She has heard far too many harrowing tales of abuse or neglect from these children.
With a mission to “rebuild lives, rekindle spirits, and renew hope,” Maryville serves more than 2,000 children each year, including 172 in residential facilities. This includes comprehensive educational and rehabilitative services for children with psychological or emotional needs from trauma. And thanks to Aliprandi, families facing the demands of medically complex kids can now find support there, too.
“Our preventative Family Support Services strengthen families that face unique challenges to help keep them together,” says Aliprandi, now Director of these programs.
The Crisis Nursery helps families facing disruptive crises by providing short-term, 24-hour care for children under age six. “A single mom a minute away from a nervous breakdown was afraid she would hurt her three kids,” Aliprandi says. “She brought her children to us and then walked across the street to check herself into the psychiatric hospital.” Ultimately, this mom was rehabilitated and reunited with her children.
The Children’s Healthcare Center provides help to children with complex medical needs who are not yet able to go home. “These are medically fragile kids or healthy children who have experienced a tragedy,” Aliprani says. “We help rehabilitate the children, while the families receive support and training in how to care for these children.”
When Aliprandi’s daughter undergoes surgery next month, she will rehabilitate at the Children’s Healthcare Center, making Aliprandi both caregiver and client. “I have empathy for these parents,” she says. “I derive such strength and peace from being able to help them. Without that mission, I know I wouldn’t be as effective of a parent to my daughter.”
Here’s how you can help Maryville:
- Attend an Event: Fashion for a Cause, Thursday, June at Ella Louvi at the Glen, 1879 Tower Dr., Glenview, 847-354-2345; Twenty percent of sales benefit Maryville Family Services
- Give Time: Volunteer in the Crisis Nursery or with service projects at the Children’s Healthcare center.
- Give Things: The Crisis Nursery needs new or gently used children’s care items, including toys, books, baby shampoo, diapers and latex gloves.
For more information, email [email protected]