Care center calling for baby items

COVINGTON - With hundreds of pregnant Newton County women in crisis situations - whether it's living in poverty, being in an abusive relationship, being a teen parent or just not having anyone to turn to - SOURCE Pregnancy Care Center is trying to help.

The nonprofit organization, located at 10258 Flat Shoals Road, opened at the end of September and already has helped several women with pregnancy tests and formula donations, among other services.

Organizers saw the need for a center that would assist pregnant women in Newton County, which had a reported 298 abortions in 2005, according to Angela Dearing, assistant director.

"And those are just the ones that were reported," she said.

Also, the Newton County Department of Family and Children Services has a reported 587 active cases of pregnant women on Medicaid. Qualifying women must meet income guidelines, meaning they are living below the poverty level.

Dearing said the center, having just opened and only about a dozen volunteers helping to run it, hasn't had a chance to help too many people yet.

"Right now, women can come in if they need a (pregnancy) test or formula and clothes," she said. "We have counseling services, too."

Still, the center has more plans for the future.

"We have lots planned on a step-by-step method, but we can't do it all at once," she said. "We want people to see that they have options and have choices; they're very important."

The center also would like to offer parenting classes and eventually hold GED classes.

"As a one- to two-year goal, we want to hold GED classes for teens, even for fathers, to give them a chance to work and finish school, so they can raise their babies," Dearing said.

From 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, the center is holding a baby shower to collect baby items, which will be given to families who come in the center and need them.

"We're trying to get lots of businesses and churches and other people to participate in a community effort and pitch in," Dearing said about the collection. "It's more like a community outreach."

Dearing said the center especially needs diaper bags, diapers and wipes, among other items.

"We really need formula, whether it's soy-based or milk-based," she said. "Baby clothes also are welcomed, as well as maternity clothes."

At least for now, Dearing said, the center is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Friday.

Michelle Floyd can be reached at michelle.floyd@ newtoncitizen.com.