Diapers, baby wipes, pacifiers, tiny baby socks and sleepers—necessities for new babies…but not always easy to come by for moms and dads who had not planned on a pregnancy at this time in their lives. Cross Roads Pregnancy Care Center in Charleston provides support and education for those moms and dads and houses a “shop” to help provide needed items for newborns and toddlers.
Earlier this year, CLCS Chick-Fil-A Leaders, led by members Megan Walker and Alyssa Gibson and sponsor, Mrs. Witmer, organized a project to collect baby items for Cross Roads. They placed cardboard collection barrels in hallways on the CLCS campus and invited school families to fill the barrels with baby items to be donated to Cross Roads. On February 15, the Chick-Fil-A Leaders loaded the barrels onto Mr. Klennert’s truck for delivery to Cross Roads. The Chick-Fil-A leaders had lunch at Rio Grande then rode to the center on a school bus.
Cross Roads encourages an expectant mom to come to the center early in her pregnancy for “hope, help, and healing.” Often, moms whose pregnancy was unplanned are considering abortion and come to the center for guidance. The center educates them on the procedures and risks of abortion and on the development and growth of an unborn baby, thereby empowering them to make an informed decision. Staff and volunteers are able to pray with and present the gospel to many moms and dads who come to the center.
After a free pregnancy test confirms that a baby is coming, the center encourages the mother to have a free ultrasound. The moms have sometimes been told by others that the baby is merely a clump of tissues in the early weeks of pregnancy. A free ultrasound, administered by Mandi Bailey, the center’s sonographer, shows the mom that the life inside her, even at just a few weeks after conception, is easily recognizable as a tiny, growing baby.
When a mother sees her baby for the first time during the ultrasound, she often decides against having an abortion. The Pregnancy Center offers help and support when she chooses to give birth to her baby. The center does not perform, encourage, or make referrals for abortions, but provides support if a mother chooses abortion and struggles later with that decision.
In addition to free pregnancy testing, early ultrasound, and parenting education classes, Cross Roads houses a “baby store” where moms and dads can “purchase” items for their babies and toddlers. The items cost no money but are purchased with “baby bucks” the moms and dads may earn by visiting the center, attending classes and group meetings, and keeping appointments with the center’s physician, Dr. Paul Dietz.
On the afternoon of the delivery, the Chick-Fil-A Leaders carried the filled barrels into the center, unloaded the donated baby items, then toured the bright and cheerfully-decorated facility with Mandi. They viewed the ultrasound machine and gently passed around a tiny model of a six-week-old pre-born baby. The group walked through the hallway decorated with framed snapshots of “Our Babies” to the shop where the donated items they delivered would soon be available for “purchase” by new moms and dads. Mandi answered questions for the students and posed for a group photo.
Thanks to all who donated baby items and to Cross Roads Pregnancy Care Center for a fun and informative visit!