Event to provide supplies to mothers

BUCKHANNON — Local organizations are teaming together to assist expectant mothers in Upshur County and surrounding areas.

With the assistance of Thirty-One Gifts representatives and World Vision Appalachia, based out of Philippi, The Central West Virginia Center for Pregnancy Care will be providing bags of supplies to 50 expectant mothers Thursday.

“We assist women who are pregnant, and have their children, with baby items, ,aby bags, Pack ‘N Play’s and car seats,” said Barbara Kincaid, director of the pregnancy care center. “These are all new items, then they can get diapers, onesies and lotions.”

The center offers classes, including a parenting class taught by Kincaid. West Virginia Wesleyan College also assists the center by teaching mothers how to write resumes. Several other classes are also offered by various community entities.

“We are very much involved in the community. Right now we have over 300 moms that are registered at our center,” Kincaid said.

Thursday’s event will begin at noon with lunch for the mothers, and the bag giveaway will begin at approximately 1:30 p.m. Both lunch and the bag giveaway will take place at the South Buckhannon Church, located on Hackberry Lane in Buckhannon.

Kincaid said there are no income restrictions for expectant mothers who wish to register for assistance through the facility.

“There are no income guidelines. It doesn’t matter what their income is. It is open to anyone who is wanting to come in and sign up for our program,” she said.

The center serves nine counties in central West Virginia. In addition to the Buckhannon facility, there are two satellite facilities in Tucker County — one in Parsons and one in Thomas — and one was recently added in Gassaway.

Kincaid said she believes the program benefits mothers by teaching them skills to provide for their families.

“I think that with our economy the way it is right now, a lot of our moms are seeking employment and we try to help with that as well. Of course, we have Wesleyan College, whose students come over and help develop resumes with our moms. We also have a professor come to teach cooking,” she said. “We really try to be innovative for our moms. Not only are they having babies or have babies at home, they can be work moms as well.”

The center is a nonprofit organization that receives no federal or state funding.

“We are solely run off of donations, so having World Vision and Thirty-One to come in is just awesome,” Kincaid said. “We are pleased they have chosen us to demonstrate their generosity and kindness to our moms.”

Kincaid added that Anna Burr, who has served the center for nearly five years as a non-paid volunteer coordinator, was integral in making this giveaway a reality.

“Anna Burr is our volunteer coordinator. She works probably 40 to 50 hours per week at our center and it’s non-paid. She is a volunteer,” she said. “I really want to give her a lot of praise because she pulled all this together, basically. She’s been with us almost five years now and she is totally dedicated.

“Our moms know her personally. If they need diapers and we are not open, she makes sure she gives access to these moms so they can get diapers, onesies or formula,” she continued.

The center, located at 156 Hackberry Lane in Buckhannon, is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Thursday.

Anyone wishing to donate baby items or yard sale items to assist in fundraising is urged to contact the facility at 304-473-1122. Monetary donations are also accepted.