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By Kate Kelley
Special to The PREVIEW
A young man, who seemingly has been waiting for the Pagosa Pregnancy Support Center (PPSC) to open its doors for the day, follows an employee into the center as she comes to work at 11 a.m., a dirty and very fussy baby in his arms. There is a sense of desperation about him, and at the same time a glimmer of hope as he walks through the doors of the center.
As the baby is being held and comforted by one volunteer, the daddy shares his difficult story. The baby’s mother was arrested the day before in another town. The young man needs to be at work today or he fears he will lose his job, but he has no childcare available for his baby.
Rolling up their sleeves
At this point, the volunteers at PPSC begin doing what they do best — serving. One volunteer helps the young man locate resources to call — current babysitters in town, the Department of Human Resources and Justice Ministries. They even help him dial the numbers, and sometimes make the calls if he seems unsure of who to talk to or what the process needs to be.
That morning, PPSC happened to be hosting a meeting with another pregnancy center, so the baby joined PPSC Director Janeah Weaver in the meeting. With one big basket of toys in the meeting room, the baby has no less than four ladies all devoted to him (and playing on the floor) while they talked about pregnancy center operations.
Meanwhile, the male volunteer introduces the father to a program offered at PPSC known as Earn While You Learn, showing him the classes he could take to enhance his ability to be a good dad, and explains that, by taking those classes, he could earn items like food, diapers and more.
The young man is given some food, a baby food mill and diapers; more importantly, he also takes with him a better idea of how to feed and care for his 8-month-old baby. The grateful young man, who is now tremendously relieved, says thank you as he leaves the center, knowing that he is much more confident in being able to keep his job and care for his child during this time.
This young man is one of many who have experienced firsthand how much value PPSC brings to the lives of parents and their small children, born or unborn. This story illustrates just one example of the caring and compassion that is the essence of PPSC.
PPSC opened its doors in 1999, 15 years ago. In those 15 years, staff members and trained volunteers have helped thousands of clients by offering a wide variety of services to the community — services that include free pregnancy testing and ultrasounds, items from the baby boutique, parenting classes, post-abortion recovery workshops and counseling for miscarriage. These services, along with skilled staff and trained volunteers, are available Monday through Thursday each week at PPSC, located at 602 S. 8th St., just one block from Pagosa Springs High School.
In its 15-year existence, PPSC has counted on regular donations to keep all of its programs in place. While one-time donations are always appreciated, having regular monthly support allows the center to budget very effectively.
The 15 For 15 Campaign
As a way to celebrate all that it has done in Pagosa Springs in its 15-year history and all that is planned with continued financial backing, Pagosa Pregnancy Support Center currently has the 15 For 15 Campaign going through March 31. They are hoping for at least 115 donors who will pledge $15 per month for one year. The goal is to raise $20,000 through this campaign so staff and volunteers can serve more effectively at the center — freeing up their time from planning multiple fundraisers each year.
If you would consider pledging as little as $15 per month over the next year, you can do so by picking up a form at PPSC, or by giving online at https://connect.egiving.com/keeping-our-doors-open/pagosa-pregnancy-support-center.