Vanessa Behan nursery helps kids, volunteers - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Vanessa Behan nursery helps kids, volunteers

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The Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery has been helping parents and children for more than two decades. The Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery has been helping parents and children for more than two decades.
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  • Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery

    Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery

    The Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery improves the lives of children by providing immediate refuge and safety and ongoing family support in an environment of unconditional love.>>
    The Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery improves the lives of children by providing immediate refuge and safety and ongoing family support in an environment of unconditional love.>>
SPOKANE, Wash. -

The Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery has been helping parents and children for more than two decades.  The Crisis Nursery offers a safe place for children up to age six to go.  Vanessa Behan also provides diapers and formula, as well as offers parenting classes.   While it's done a lot of good for the community, it's also done a lot of good for the volunteers, especially Paula Neis, who says the nursery helped her through some very tough times.

"I tell everybody about the nursery," says Neis who started volunteering at the nursery about four years ago after she lost her husband of thirty-five years.   

"My life became very quiet after my husband passed away," Neis remembers.  Before her retirement she tells KHQ she and her husband owned a  business and worked together for twenty-five years.

After his death she began to look for volunteer opportunities. 

Neis knew she wanted to work with children, so she did some research and discovered Vanessa Behan Crisis Nursery.  She learned that it was fully funded by the community, so she gave it a shot. 

Neis started small, committing four hours every other week acting as a receptionist at the nursery, but that changed.  "The more I came, the more I fell in love.  The more it became an extended family," says Neis.   

She began to look for more opportunities to spend time there, offering to fill in for other people when they were out, and adding an extra day to her schedule. 

Now she works as a receptionist every Wednesday and does organizational duties on Mondays.  "I still feel like I should come here more," says Neis.  "The nursery has just been a huge part of my healing process," she says.  "The love just comes through and kids love you unconditionally."

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