Photo: Joseph Molieri
I’ve worked in the human services field since 1997, save a period of time between May 2010 and February 2011, when I found myself unemployed. It was also during this time – in July 2010 – that I was blessed with the birth of my son. As a new mother, the summer of 2010 should have been the happiest time in my life, but in so many ways it was the worst time. I had no health insurance and nothing ready for my son’s arrival.
After the birth of my son, though, I became a client of the WIC [the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children] program. I learned so much and truly enjoyed our monthly classes. The peer counseling and the sharing of ideas to calm a crying baby are just a couple of the life jewels I learned as a client of the WIC program in Charleston, S.C. Without the assistance of WIC, I honestly do not know how I would have provided nutrition for my son during the first six months of his life.
After starting my current job in February 2011, I pledged to become a social worker in the same mold of the ladies in the WIC office where I received service. I have learned to treat everyone with value, instead of judging or putting down people who are doing their best in an undesirable situation. I will be forever grateful for what WIC allowed me to do for my son, and I will support the program in any way I can.
Jennifer Brown is from Charleston, S.C.
FACT: One in every two babies born in the United States is enrolled in the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program.