GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — We all know parenthood doesn’t come with an instruction manual, but Family Futures, a local nonprofit, might be the next best thing.

Family Futures, one of the charity partners for this year’s Amway River Bank Run, is located on Front Avenue NW. Inside the office, there are car seats stacked nearly to the ceiling and 1,500 summer learning kits packed and ready to go.

“We’ve got a lot of things going on right now so the ability to receive donations from runners and other people that are passionate about the River Bank Run was huge for us,” Blakelee Dunkelberg, public relations specialist at Family Futures, said.

Dunkelberg says at Family Futures, they’re all about connecting families to resources and getting parents what they need to succeed.

“I would never have known to ask. I’m not one to ask for help,” Heather Carew, a mother of two, said.

As Carew’s daughter Chloe was growing out of her bassinet and her oldest child was still sleeping in his crib, she was feeling stuck.

“Knowing they had things that were offered to me, like a crib and a mattress for my daughter, it was the biggest blessing,” Carew said.

“We’ve got family support navigators on staff; each parent gets assigned one and they’re all about helping parents. Hey, I need a connection to get some diapers. We’ve got you,” Dunkelberg said.

Family Futures has two main programs: Connections and Healthy Families Kent Co. The charity provides car seats, pack-n-plays and 1,500 summer learning kits full of notebooks, workbooks, crayons, jump ropes and other items

Sometimes help and support come in different forms. When Carew started struggling with postpartum depression, Family Futures was there to help.

“Healthy Families is the part where you can be healthy in all aspects. It’s the mental health, it’s sometimes spiritual health … It’s not just about the children, it’s about the parents and everyone else involved trying to take care of these little ones as they grow and I think that’s really cool,” Carew said.