Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Meet Christmas for All's Unsung Heroes

| November 29, 2023 1:05 AM

Christmas for All's referring partners are Kootenai County's unsung heroes. 

They walk alongside clients in need and refer them to Charity Reimagined for specific assistance from Christmas for All, this newspaper's holiday charity campaign that through the great generosity of our readers helps recipients throughout the year. 

It is an honor to work with these outstanding men and women, and we are excited to introduce them to you over the next few weeks. 

Liz Larsen is a developmental specialist with the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare’s Infant Toddler Program. She serves families in Bonner and Kootenai counties who have children from birth to age 3 with developmental disabilities or medical conditions that put them at high risk of developmental delays. 

“We provide home-based services so families do not have to travel to receive services, as many of our families live rurally,” Larsen said. 

Larsen said the families the program supports often have difficulty accessing resources to meet the needs of their child and family. She said the Infant Toddler Program occasionally comes across situations in which a family’s needs are beyond the resources of their program and also cannot be met through other community partner programs. 

This is a gap Christmas for All has helped fill. 

“We have been so fortunate to partner with Christmas for All to support some of these needs, to keep families safe and help meet needs that otherwise might go unmet,” Larsen said. “Our program and the families we serve are immensely grateful for the generosity of this program and their willingness to partner with us to help these families of young children. Thank you CFA for all you do for the families in our communities.”

Idaho Infant Toddler Program (ITP) coordinates a system of early intervention services to assist Idaho children from birth to age 3 who have a developmental delay or who have conditions such as prematurity, Down Syndrome, hearing loss, that may result in a developmental delay. The Infant Toddler Program links children with services that promote physical, cognitive and social-emotional development and supports the needs of their families.

A lead service provider will work side by side with families, share strategies and coach them to use what they have learned with their child. Together, they find ways to help the child practice skills every day in his/her own home and out in the community that will further his/her development.

To donate to Press Christmas for All, visit cdapress.com and click on Christmas for All at the top of the page.