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MountainStar Family Relief Nursery spreads holiday cheer with stories of hope and resilience

MountainStar Family Relief Nursery

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- As the holiday season unfolds, MountainStar Family Relief Nursery extends warm wishes and profound gratitude to its community of supporters. This festive time serves as a poignant moment to reflect on shared accomplishments in safeguarding children and empowering parents.

In the spirit of celebration, MountainStar highlights the transformative impact of community support on the lives of children, embodying the collective belief that every child deserves the best start possible. If MountainStar is new to you, they invite you to join their Holiday Fundraising Campaign, raising funds for their child abuse prevention services – keeping kids safe and parents successful.

Amidst a year of significant growth for MountainStar, the organization not only expands its service areas but also deepens its commitment to meeting families at their point of need. One inspiring story from this journey introduces Ellia, a young participant whose life took a remarkable turn with the support of MountainStar.

When Ellia joined MountainStar at almost 2 years old, she faced challenges with gross motor skills. Living in a fifth wheel with her disabled mom and hardworking dad, Ellia lacked opportunities for physical development. However, after just two months in the program, Ellia's progress was evident — from learning to crawl to confidently cruising around her classroom.

Ellia's journey faced an additional hurdle when she was diagnosed with diabetes a month later. Fearful for her daughter's safety, Ellia's mom hesitated to let her attend therapeutic classes. After a five-month hiatus, Ellia returned, but her development had regressed. The MountainStar team, undeterred, rebuilt their relationship with Ellia, adapting to her medical needs and ensuring a safe environment for her to thrive.

Today, at 3 years old, Ellia is a testament to resilience, running around her classroom, playing with friends, and showing off her favorite toys. Behind this success story is a dedicated MountainStar team that goes above and beyond completing an average of 1,000 hours of professional development each year to provide the highest quality therapeutic, trauma-informed care.

MountainStar invites the community to be part of this impactful journey by donating at or reaching out to Staley Micken at to discuss a gift. Contributions and support directly translate into tangible changes in the lives of children and families, ensuring hope starts here when it's needed most.

About MountainStar

MountainStar Family Relief Nursery ( is a local nonprofit that provides child abuse and neglect prevention services for the most vulnerable children and families in Central Oregon. We are the only program in Deschutes, Jefferson, and Crook Counties providing therapeutic classrooms, parenting education services, and family support targeted at protecting babies and toddlers who are at significant risk for abuse and neglect. We envision communities that support each parent’s effort to nurture their children’s emotional, physical, and intellectual development in a safe environment.

Now in its 22nd year, MountainStar has served over 5,500 children and their families. We provide over 300 hours of direct family support each year and over 99% of children enrolled in our program remain safe from abuse and neglect.

For more information about the MountainStar’s Holiday Campaign, events, and to donate, please visit

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Barney Lerten

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