Have a Heart for Kids Day rally, 2015

Love overflowing for Washington’s kids

Adam 05/17/16
Brewster Denny Rising Advocate awardee Natasha Fecteau, right, with Lori Pittman of Puget Sound ESD, left.

Bremerton mother Natasha Fecteau has been learning how to make a difference for kids for several years. This year, she put her learning to work to a far greater extent than before.

Natasha believes child care ought to be within financial reach of parents who are struggling to earn a living. That’s why, when the Children’s Alliance issued a call this year for budget action to protect early learning and stable care for kids, she spoke up for Working Connections Child Care.

She believes timely, preventive oral health care ought to be available for kids and their families. So when Children’s Alliance pushed this year for the creation and authorization of dental therapists, she spoke up about her own arduous experience trying to find a dental professional she could afford.

She knows she’s not alone in struggling for health care and other basics. Four years ago, she attended the Children’s Alliance Advocacy Camp, a leadership training for those seeking to make big change for Washington’s kids. On one morning during the three-day training, she was listening to a Latina mother describe the barriers to opportunity that kids in her community faced.

Natasha remembers having a sudden realization: This mother was fighting for her children, and these children were American, and that it was wrong to divide and separate one of our families from another.

“America doesn’t pay enough for anyone to live,” she remembers thinking. “That’s the problem.”

Now, Natasha says, she believes that we could allow ourselves to be divided, or we could build a great nation together. A nation united by love, founded in the love that families deserve and that strong families radiate.

If she could prescribe one approach to Washington’s kids and families, it’d be based in the recognition of families’ deep capacity to hold and to give love.

As a mother and a daughter who’s delighted to have her son and sister join her Thursday, June 9 at Seattle Center, when she accepts the Brewster C. Denny Rising Advocate Award, that’s what she feels in her bones that families need.

“Pour out the love” on Washington’s kids, families and communities, she says, “and the love will overflow.”