Bright Light award: Krista Linden

For new moms, the arrival of their tiny, helpless, beautiful bundle of joy is a time of wonderment and excitement, but also of worry. In them is the innate parental instinct to provide for and protect their little ones.

Moms from more challenging backgrounds share those same goals and seek to do the best they can for their kids. Often, they lack the resources and the mentoring that so many others take for granted – the elements that help put the next generation on a better path.Linden

That’s where Krista Linden and her organization, Step By Step, come in. The Puyallup-based organization helps new moms from the start of pregnancy. Step by Step offers:

  • In-home visits from nurses and counselors, who create individual action plans to build new moms’ knowledge base and help them overcome barriers
  • Life skills classes, including advice and mentoring from women who have walked this same road
  • Vital products and equipment that all moms and babies need
  • Transitional housing and homelessness prevention
  • Scholarships to help these moms further their education

State Rep. Hans Zeiger, who nominated Linden as a Bright Light, had high praise for her and Step By Step:

Krista Linden has devoted her life to helping at-risk moms overcome obstacles and live great lives. She has built an extraordinary non-profit organization called Step by Step with services around the Puget Sound area, with a mission “to transform the lives of at-risk pregnant women, so they will deliver a healthy baby, embrace positive parenting, and establish a safe home.”

Krista started with fewer than 100 clients in 1997 and now has more than 1,500 – she has served 18,000 families in the 18 years since she founded Step by Step. Krista leads a team of 27 trained professional nurses and counselors. Recently, Krista closed a deal that will result in a new center for women at the former Van Lieorp Daffodil Farm in the Puyallup Valley. Thanks to Krista’s visionary leadership, women’s lives are changing for the better.

Instead of walking away from difficult cases and saying “not my problem,” can-do social reformers like Linden roll up their sleeves and say “why not me?” For everything she’s done to help new moms from difficult circumstances do their best for their kids, Krista Linden is a Smarter Government Washington Bright Light.
-Rob McKenna

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Learn more about donating to, or volunteering with, Step By Step

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Rob McKenna
Rob served two terms as Washington’s Attorney General, from 2005 to 2013. He successfully argued three cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and negotiated three of the largest consumer financial protection settlements in national history, all involving mortgage lending and servicing. He is a recognized leader in the development of consumer protections on the internet, in data protection and privacy regulation.