Air date: March 8, 2012
It’s a place where children can come for daycare if their mothers are homeless or in shelters. It has the perfect name…Bright Beginnings. Cheryl: Many children actually are born in the hospital and come directly to the shelter. Mitch Albom: So all that first stage of walking, talking creeping, crawling. That all happens in here? Cheryl: Absolutely Mitch Albom: And you get to witness it. Cheryl: Yeah. This is the beginning of home for them. Cheryl Johnson has been here from the start of Bright Beginnings. A joint initiative of COTS, Say Detroit and the Ilitch Charities for Children. Homeless mothers can’t take babies to job interviews or have them along side during treatment. Here they find a safe haven thanks to workers and foster grandmas like Patricia Marshall. Patricia: Grandmothers have that Kleenex under the sleeve at all times for the nose, the hug the squeeze. I mean we come in and we hug them. They miss that, you miss that hug and stuff. Mitch Albom: You are talking about love. Patricia: Yeah, we give them that love. Dorothy: The older ones, when they start talking, oh they really know us then and they call us grandma. KIDS SINGING Children stay in Bright Beginnings until two and a half when they can move up to other COTS programs or hopefully with their families out into society. The babies may not know how much is being done for them but the mothers do. Patricia: You know I feel that if maybe, if they see how we are doing their children and they are not, we are really teaching the parents also. Caring for our most precious packages, the volunteers and staff of Bright Beginnings are nurturing The Heart of Detroit.