Provide Doula Care To Teen Survivors

by The Firecracker Foundation
Provide Doula Care To Teen Survivors
Staff celebrating at the Soulfire Gala 2021
Staff celebrating at the Soulfire Gala 2021

You have gotten us through tough times.

Are you curious about what it's been like for us to work through a global pandemic?

In the video below, you can watch Connie and Ash reflect on the challenges of 2021, what they're most proud of, and what's next for their work at The Firecracker Foundation

"It has been really amazing working for an organization that is dedicated to the wellness of not just our clients but also to us as the people who are providing care."

Connie Perkins is the Program Director + Lead Midwife for the Perinatal Advocacy Program and Ash Meadow is the Operations Administrator giving all of the behind-the-scenes magic that keeps this organization afloat. 

While we continue to be limited by the ever-changing conditions of a global pandemic, we have still been able to provide:

  • pre/postpartum care to pregnant and parenting teens (including catching 6 babies!)
  • cultivating a network of doulas
  • providing free Plan B, condoms, and diapers
  • ongoing training and professional development 

While we may need to change course way more than any of us would like, we are able to move at a pace that keeps us well because of donors like you who value careworkers

Thank you for your generosity + care!

PS - If you want to see more videos from the Firecracker team, be sure and subscribe to our YouTube channel.


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Derrick + Baby Gathering Calendula
Derrick + Baby Gathering Calendula

Maya's birth did not go according to plan.

After months of planning a homebirth, creating a birth plan, attending private Child Birth Education classes, and even meeting with a Lactation Counselor prenatally, everything changed. 

Maya needed an emergency C-section at 41 weeks. 

You made sure that she wasn't alone.

You matched Maya with a doula who had also been a teen parent. They met many times during her pregnancy. She received empowering prenatal care from her midwife and her doula. Even though her birth did not happen in the way she had planned, it wasn’t traumatic or terrible. It was just different. She had this to say about the experience:

"It was not what I planned but super great.”

The care you provide at The Firecracker Foundation goes beyond the birth. Maya is at high risk for postpartum mood disorders so your Lead Midwife, Connie Perkins is keeping a well-trained eye on her progress. Connie and her husband with their new baby tied to his back spent time gathering herbs from the Firecracker garden to prepare an herbal sitz bath for Maya's healing body.

Enjoy the attached wholesome photos! 

Even better, although she originally wanted to breastfeed for just the first day, maybe, Maya is still exclusively breastfeeding at 4 weeks postpartum!

Connie shared these reflections about Maya's progress:

"Maya is doing amazing and navigating her transition to motherhood well.  She reports being “so in love with my baby, I get it now”. 

Maya is just one of six pregnant people currently benefitting from trauma-informed, culturally responsive midwifery care at The Firecracker Foundation. 

Thank you for all you have contributed to the growth and development of this necessary program. None of this would be possible without you. 

With love,

Tashmica Torok

PS - In response to the Covid-19 crisis, Women Strong International has made our funding unrestricted. While we will continue to center the needs of BIPOC youth, we can now extend services to all pregnant and parenting teens and young adults under the age of 24.

Connie holding a bowl of fresh calendula
Connie holding a bowl of fresh calendula
Dried herbs for sitz bath
Dried herbs for sitz bath


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You have survived a lot.
You have survived a lot.

You are incredible. Surviving 2020 was no small task. You did it. You're here, and we are grateful. 

But survive is not all you have done. Somehow, while facing challenges that were unthinkable a year ago, you did something amazing: You helped make our year-end fundraising our most successful everAt the 2020, you:

  • Raised twice our goal for one-time donations at nearly $35,000
  • Raised three times our financial goal for Firekeeper Pledges at $9,000
  • Contributed to our year-end fundraising total of more than $56,000
  • Helped kickoff our new merchandise shop

You did that. While isolated from friends and family. While homeschooling kids. While in the midst of a nationwide mental health crisis. You invested in the holistic healing of child survivors when you have much to heal from yourself—and they will never forget it.

As we enter 2021, we are carefully plotting out services for pregnant and parenting teens. Here's what we are offering this year:

  • Birth Chat Pregnancy Support Group for Young Parents
  • Baby Chat Postpartum and Parenting Support Group for Young Parents
  • Baby and Me Guided Play Class for Young Families
  • Hello, Baby! Empowered Childbirth Classes
  • Pregnancy, Labor Support, and Postpartum Doula Support Services
  • 1:1 Planning and Information Meetings for Pregnant and Parenting Folks
  • Survivor Mom's Companion: Mentorship for Trauma Affected Parents

We know that no matter what comes our way, YOU are in our corner. Thank you so very much!


Tashmica Torok


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Hello, baby! Childbirth Education
Hello, baby! Childbirth Education

Collectively, we are witnessing great changes unfold before us. But where some feel fear and uncertainty, YOU see hope and light in future generations.


Your midwife continues to embrace new babies and parents with love, support, and a sensitivity that honors young parents and their stories. In our last update we highlighted Connie’s dedication in creating virtual childbirth education and healthy sex education classes. We are excited to announce our Childbirth Education series began October 10, 2020. Parents and babies benefit from an 8-week, virtual series that features six different local BIPOC professionals. We even have little surprises for new parents!


You create possibility and joy for young survivors and their children.


Thank you.

Gifts for parents!
Gifts for parents!


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Hands joining together to ingite sparklers.
Hands joining together to ingite sparklers.

These are unprecedented times and we are faced with daunting challenges:

How do we preserve healing connections during a pandemic?

How do we create lasting change and healing in a health system that consistently harms Black, brown and indigenous parents?


But YOU are undeterred.

You stepped up and ensured that we can continue the critical work of providing pregnant and parenting teens with holistic healing support. As a result, we’ve been busy...

For parents who are survivors of sexual violence, pregnancy and childbirth can be re-traumatizing. Your midwife, Connie, continues to provide telehealth support for postpartum teens, walking alongside them as survivors and new parents.

You are making healing a reality for young parents across the country. Connie regularly participates in virtual birth chat groups to offer support and guidance to parenting teens. Research demonstrates that young parents and their babies are healthier when young mothers participate in peer support groups that are facilitated by midwives.

Connie is developing a program to provide virtual childbirth education and healthy sex education classes. This will be a safe space for pregnant and parenting teens to heal, build healthy parenting skills, and disrupt intergenerational trauma.


Collectively, you are changing lives.

Thank you.

Erica Dziedzic


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Organization Information

The Firecracker Foundation

Location: Holt, MI - USA
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @FirecrackerFdn
Project Leader:
Tashmica Torok
Holt, MI United States
$15,295 raised of $23,300 goal
252 donations
$8,005 to go
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