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Jude volunteers to help new mothers bond with their babies

“When you like what you do, you don’t want to just stop doing that.”

Jude Schaaf volunteers with two Avivo programs that provide guidance to new and
soon-to- be mothers who are undergoing treatment for drug and alcohol addiction. Jude
helps these women build strong relationships with their babies. “That’s the key,” Jude
says. “Why would you stop using drugs or stop smoking if the baby just seems like an
abstract thing?”

“I worked for 25 years with Minneapolis Public Schools,” says Jude. “They had a
program called Early Childhood Family Education, a parent education program.”
She also spent a number of years working at Broadway High School in Minneapolis,
helping pregnant and parenting mothers. Jude holds a wealth of knowledge on the topic
of babies and their development.

“By one year, the majority of a baby’s brain is developed,” she shares, “Kids who are
neglected aren’t getting that [development].”

“Jude has a calm demeanor, which I feel helps our moms to relax,” shares Kristen
Bewely, family and child development manager. “We feel lucky Jude reached out and is
willing to come to our groups to meet with our pregnant moms and give special
attention.”

In teaching mothers the basics, Jude helps them develop supportive relationships.
“Building those relationships is huge,” she says. She also makes sure the mother’s
physical and emotional needs are met.

“It’s everything. It’s my purpose,” Jude says, when she thinks of mothers. “Avivo staff
members and the mothers are so appreciative. It makes you feel good about what
you’re doing.”

For more information on volunteering with Avivo, contact Courtney Flug, Volunteer
Program Manager, at courtney.flug@avivomn.org or 612-752- 8030.