Stephanie's Home Day Care Appreciates Little Farmer Toy Box Donation
“Stephanie provided childcare to all three of my kids when they were little and continues to serve so many other kids in our community,” said Sabrina, an employee of Iowa Select Farms. “Stephanie was the reason why I was able to work and provide the quality I did to my family, and I could not have done it without her.”
We loved learning about Stephanie’s story and the impact she still has on Sabrina and her family years after her kids attended day care with her. It is people like Stephanie that make a positive impact on Iowa families every single day, so it just seemed fitting that she received a special toy box after Sabrina nominated her to be part of the Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation’s newest Henry’s Heroes initiative–the Little Farmer Toy Box project.
As the kids opened toys, we caught up with Stephanie and learned why she does what she does.
“I have done childcare in my home for over twenty years, and it has been a blessing to my family and myself," said Stephanie. "Over the years, toys get used, and replacing them is expensive. The kids loved the farm theme and were excited to open new toys straight from the box. Raising kids on our farm has offered the kids the opportunity to be exposed to agriculture, which is so important to Iowa.”
Day cares like Stephanie’s play such a vital role in creating a unique learning experience for kids, an experience that is vital to our rural parts of Iowa. Stephanie shared a bit of what kids experience every day in her care.
“We have been able to raise kids to understand and respect farming and raising animals, understand where their food comes from, and being outdoors enjoying nature, getting dirty and being kids. So, to have toys like this with farm themes continues that experience thru play when we can't be outdoors, and we can't thank Iowa Select Farms and Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation enough for doing this.”
Our day care providers like Stephanie’s really make a substantial impact on kids, and we could never thank them enough for opening their homes to kids that are not theirs and being such a vital part of kids’ lives long after they outgrow day care.
“Day cares are far more than a place to watch our little ones; they become family to our employees,” said Ali Kraber, a representative of the Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation. “Hearing about Stephanie’s dedication from Sabrina was so heartwarming and brought how important it is to uplift these day cares and share their stories full circle.”
“She played an important part in the growth of my kids’ lives and still does to this day,” said Sabrina. “My kids value and respect her not only as a friend but as a second mom. She made us a part of her family, and her family has become a part of ours.”
The Henry’s Heroes program was launched in 2019 as an official Deb and Jeff Hansen Foundation program. Inspired by Henry Johnson–Jeff and Deb Hansen’s first grandchild and the son of Natalie and Jake Johnson–each year, his parents identify a new project aimed at helping children and those organizations like Stephanie’s day care who protect, serve, foster, educate, and develop our youngest of Iowans.