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Every Wednesday night, a group of three dedicated women can be found teaching the During your Pregnancy course in the Parent Education program at Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services (SFBFS). One of these amazing volunteers is Jane Eiferle, a retired, licensed vocational nurse with experience in obstetrics and gynecology. Jane’s easygoing and welcoming nature makes it easy for Parent Education clients to ask questions about their pregnancy and learn in a confidential and nonjudgmental atmosphere.
After attending volunteer orientation in 2010, Jane volunteered at an event to help wrap holiday presents for families in need. She wanted to become more involved and that’s when she met Lorena Carranza, Parent Education Program Manager. “Jane’s professional skills as a nurse and her loving nature have been a blessing to the program,” says Lorena. “She keeps everyone around her in great spirits.” Jane started off with essential tasks such as sorting and hanging baby clothing, distributing baby food and mentoring clients. Lorena saw Jane always went the extra mile for parents in the program and kept her in mind when it came time to choose a volunteer to lead the prenatal course During your Pregnancy.
“From the beginning, I thought Jane would be an excellent teacher for this course,” says Lorena. “After over a year of planning and preparing materials, I invited Jane to help and she immediately said yes. It took several more months to make the dream a reality.” Finally, in February 2012, Jane and two other volunteers started offering this course. The seven-week course covers topics such as healthy choices during pregnancy, what to expect during birth, post-partum depression, breastfeeding and much more. “I really enjoy interacting with the students," says Jane. "It's so interesting to hear the unique cultural perspectives. We serve families from Mexico and Ukraine and together we all learn about different cultural approaches to parenting." During one class, Jane encouraged expectant mothers to advocate for themselves and speak up when it came to delivery options. "This was a foreign concept for some of the moms," says Jane. "Parents found it valuable to hear it should be their choice." Jane's favorite part about volunteering is the reaction from the families served. "Parents are always so grateful and gracious," she says. "I also enjoy working with Lorena. She is so invested in the clients and serves with total empathy, without judgment or reservation. She is amazing."
"Having Jane as part of SFBFS' volunteer team brings the inspiration and love we all need to continue offering education, support and compassion to the families in need in our community," says Lorena. Outside of volunteering at SFBFS, Jane enjoys quilting and cross-stitch, gardening and playing fetch with her Boston terrier, Simon.
If you are interested in volunteering your time to help someone in need in our community, click here for more information.