In July 2016, Jamie and her family welcomed the arrival of their second child, a baby boy weighing less than 2 pounds. Because he was born prematurely, he spent 48 days in the NICU, fighting for his life. This was an incredibly stressful and scary time for Jamie and her family, but happily, she was able to bring him home in September. According to Jamie, one of the biggest blessings that helped her through the ordeal was the Blueprints WIC program. WIC provides breastfeeding support, nutrition education, supplemental foods, and health care referrals for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding and postpartum women, and to infants and children until the age of five.

Like many people who come through Blueprints’ door, Jamie’s knowledge of WIC was limited. “I was nervous for our initial appointment because I was afraid the staff at the WIC office would be cold, unfriendly or even mean. I could not have been more wrong! My first brief experience with the staff at the Washington WIC office started when I sought breast-feeding support from the lactation consultant and ended up in the WIC office by mistake. The women were so kind to me that it put my mind at ease for our appointment with WIC a few days later.”

When the day came for the first appointment, Amanda, WIC Nutritionist, welcomed them back into her office like an old friend. “From the minute she called us from the waiting room, I knew I had wasted my time worrying about cold, unfriendly staff,” said Jamie. “She was warm and gave the impression that she genuinely cared about my sons, my husband and myself. She was sweet to my 3-year-old son and seemed like she sincerely cared about my preemie baby and what our family had been through. While she gathered our information, her upbeat and warm personality made the time spent there fun. When it came time to go over the benefits we qualified for, she was thorough and explained things well.”

Jamie’s second appointment with WIC did not disappoint, either. “When I took my baby back for our second appointment, I was excited that it was with Amanda again and it was awesome that she remembered details that we had discussed at our first appointment. It felt like visiting with a friend. She really cares about my family, and me, which meant so much to us. Every person we have met at the Blueprints WIC office in Washington has been wonderful, kind and friendly.”

The help that Jamie and her family receive through WIC means the world to her. “Every time we use our benefits and I see the healthy food we are able to get because of WIC, I am overwhelmed with what an enormous blessing WIC has been in our lives,” said Jamie. “It is indescribable to know that there are wonderful people and programs available to help during such a hard journey. I am eternally grateful for WIC and the amazing people I’ve met through there!”