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A Community That Cultivates Joy

Sarah Kisko and Xander
Sara Kisko and her son Xander
Sarah Kisko  with her PEPS Group
Sara Kisko with her PEPS Group

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Your support ensures that no parent will be turned away from a PEPS program because they can’t afford it, and helps PEPS maintain and expand its programs to reach more parents.


Volunteers are an extraordinary part of PEPS - mothers & fathers deeply rooted in the PEPS community and passionate about supporting new parents.


PEPS groups bring new parents together to connect, share, learn and build critical support networks during the earliest days of parenting your new baby.

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Inspire others parents by sharing your story with PEPS!

Our son, Xander, made his way into this world January 14, 2016, six weeks early. On my birthday, January 11, I entered the hospital thinking I was sick with the flu. I was told I had pre-eclampsia and that I would have to be admitted immediately. For three days, I was hooked up to monitors and meds, lying in bed, trying to keep our baby tucked safely inside me. All the while, I knew what we were up against.

Xander was born a 34-week-old baby boy, clocking in at a strong 3 lbs, 10 oz. He spent 22 days in the NICU in his little bassinet. We watched as the wires and feeding tubes came off bit by bit. He gained weight and began to breathe on his own. Saying goodbye to our baby boy each night, leaving him at the hospital, and traveling back home across Seattle broke my heart repeatedly. I yearned to be snuggled in bed with him, healing, bonding, and bringing our family together.

Finally, the day came when we could take him home and be a family – we felt so whole! We could finally breathe. Then, it all sank in. We were home. Alone. With our baby. My husband and I have no family in the area – just a few friends. Xander was a particularly colicky baby; he barely slept, cried a lot, and was underweight. We had so many eggshells to walk on! It wasn’t at all what we expected, and while we were so grateful for his arrival, the sticker shock was setting in.

I decided to join PEPS. Shari, my group leader, emailed me kind and supportive emails leading up to the first meeting. It is honestly because of her that I actually got into the car and drove to my first PEPS meeting. I buckled Xander in, and off we went! Xander was now three and a half months old, and we were feeling a bit readier to get out of the house.

My first meeting was one of the most memorable experiences I will ever have. I walked in with another mom and we exchanged names and pleasantries. We were both a bit nervous, I could tell. Everyone greeted me with smiles and support. Conversation started and immediately a love for these women, families, and their children started to blossom in my heart.

As the meeting went on, we sang songs to our babies, discussed highs and lows of the week, offered advice and support to each other, and held each other’s babies so we could use the bathroom or get a bite of food. With each PEPS meeting, I found my anxiety about Xander lessening and my excitement to see these women and their children blooming. It very quickly became my favorite day of the week.

These women became my best friends and my family. I would call them crying, text for sleeping advice, ask feeding questions, and laugh until I cried again. Our children started recognizing each other and love playing with each other. We helped each other through so much and we continue to be a support system for one another. A family. Our friendships empower us as women AND mothers. We have built a community that cultivates joy. We have built a family that will continue to grow in size and strength.

One of the biggest strengths that PEPS offers is acknowledging that being a parent is tough stuff. Postpartum mood disorders affect many of us, sometimes we don’t know what our children want, and often times we fail. But through the tough times, the community that has been built lifts you up. No one should face parenthood alone. It really does take a village.

Thank you, donors. Without your support, my story could have gone another way. I could have been isolated, alone, and feeling like a failure as a mother, wife, and woman. Please continue to give what you can and know that your donation is making a HUGE difference to families all over Seattle. PEPS is paving the way for what real community looks like. Thank you for your time and for hearing my story.

With much gratitude,

Sara Kisko

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