Sycamore Baptist Church is throwing a baby shower. But the guest isn’t a glowing mother-to-be with a full-sized belly.
As a missions project, members of the Decatur church are organizing a week-long drive to collect diapers, baby wipes, Wal-Mart gift cards and monetary donations for Wise Choices Pregnancy Resource Center in Decatur. The Christian-based non-profit agency serves Wise County women and families facing unplanned pregnancy.
Katrina Hines, who is spearheading the effort, said the money collected would be used to buy formula and car seats at a discounted rate.
“Formula expires, so we didn’t want to end up with a bunch of formula that would expire before it was used,” she said. “Wise Choices can get car seats and other items for much cheaper because they are a non-profit. That’s why we encourage the donation of money instead of some of the bigger items.”
Hines said donors could specify how their donation is spent.
“This is a great, great cause,” Hines said. “Wise Choices is a wonderful program. They provide education and resources to help families make life-affirming choices. It’s not just about helping teens that have gotten pregnant. They do so much more.”
Hines knows this firsthand. When she adopted her son nine years ago, she found herself overwhelmed and a little unsure.
“I hadn’t been a new parent in 17 years,” she said. “I attended some parenting classes at Wise Choices, which were invaluable. They helped me greatly.”
In addition to parenting seminars, Wise Choices also offers counseling (for men, too), Bible studies, books, adoption and social service agency referrals, youth education, high school classes for pregnant/young mothers and baby items like the diapers and baby wipes being collected.
However, the items aren’t just handed out. Through Wise Choice’s “Earn While You Learn Program,” young mothers earn tickets for each class or Bible study they attend. The young mothers redeem those tickets in exchange for whatever baby items they need, including the diapers, baby wipes and other items collected through this drive.
Organizers encourage churches, businesses and neighborhoods to participate in the baby shower by collecting the needed items.
“Participating churches and businesses have their own baby shower at their churches and businesses,” Hines said. “They promote it to their people and collect the supplies. We’re just organizing the overall effort.”
Resources to help spread the word – including a flyer, bulletin insert and information on the Center – are available for download at www.sycamoredecatur.com/babyshower.
Once supplies are collected, they may be dropped off at any of the following locations, all in Decatur:
- Sycamore Baptist Church;
- Harvest Baptist Association;
- CiCi’s Pizza;
- Patti’s Hair Parlor;
- Karl Klement Ford;
- First Financial Bank;
- Wise Regional Health System West Campus;
- Legend Bank.
To offer your place of business or church as a drop-off location, call or email Hines at 940-389-6354 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. today, a group of volunteers will also set up in front of Market Place and Dollar General in Decatur to collect items.
Organizers ask that remaining items be turned in to Wise Choices the week of Oct. 14-19. Those unable to make the delivery may call Hines or Casey Lewis at 706-338-6155 or email email@example.com to have Sycamore Baptist volunteers pick up the items.
BY THE NUMBERS
In 2012, Wise Choices Pregnancy Resource Center:
- served 1,176 clients
- presented the gospel 321 times
- heard 59 professions of faith
- helped convince 83 percent of abortion-minded women to change their minds and carry the baby to term.