By Portia Williams
The exuberance of smiling faces, the warm welcome from volunteers for CRADLE Pregnancy Care Center’s Walk For Life event exemplified what the center stands for, showing the love of Christ and seeking to do so by giving time, energy, and most importantly, compassion. The Walk For Life held Saturday was one of CRADLE’S fundraising efforts.
Jill Mullins, executive director of CRADLE, said the Walk For Life, and the center represents life.
“We are here to celebrate life. In light of all of the things that we have been hearing about with Planned Parenthood,” Mullins said. “The most important thing that we can do is get out and let people know that we really value life, it is a good and perfect gift from God. So, we want to walk as children of light as God tells us to, and go out proclaim that life is good, and we are proud to be a part of a ministry that is not ashamed to say that life comes from God, and it is sacred from the moment of conception until the point of natural death.”
Denise Hurley, chairperson of the CRADLE board, said she cannot emphasize enough; CRADLE needs the assistance of prayer and people for CRADLE to continue to function and move forward.
“We need people, and we need prayer,” Hurley said. “We need the intercessory work of the Holy Spirit to do what we do, down here, and we need people. We need volunteers, no matter what their skill level is, God can use that here to accomplish his works. This is a ministry that functions on see a need, meet a need.
Hurley said love must be put into action by seeking to help meet people’s needs.
“First and foremost is the need for people to have personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and then also their material needs, maternity resource center needs, cribs, strollers, formula, pampers,” Hurley said. “It is not enough to just tell a person that you will pray for them, you have to get along side of that person and meet them right where they are, wherever that is at that exact point of need, and help them to move forward.”
The Center provides a variety of programs and resources for the women they serve.
“We also offer parenting education. We have a curriculum called Earn While you Learn where the women study different topics, it could be related to what is happening in the first trimester of their pregnancy. We have DVD presentations about what happens during labor,” Mullins said.
Other presentation topics discuss potty training, throwing tantrums, lessons on child safety, and first aid.
“We deal with a host of different topics that people need to hear because some of our moms, not all of them do not have the support that they need, they might be a single parent, and some have mothers that are in prison. Some have been in foster care and now they are here trying to figure how to become a better parent than their parents were,” Mullins said.
Both Mullins and Hurley said they are thankful for the volunteers that they have, but have a dire need to expand their volunteer base.
“We have volunteers that work in the maternity resource center, sorting, cleaning, and displaying all of the materials that we offer,” Mullins said. “We have volunteers that meet with the clients, and we call that peer counseling and peer coaching.
There is volunteer training tentatively scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015 from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. for anyone interested in becoming a CRADLE volunteer.
“If someone is just interested in the helper type of volunteer work, where are not actually interfaced with the actual physical clients, then they will only need to come for the last two hours,” Hurley said. “If they are interested in doing Bible studies, and mentoring, or discipleship then they will need to be here for the entire time from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m.”
Mullins said Scioto County is a missionary field in and of itself, with needs that many fail to recognize.
“We really think of CRADLE as a hometown missionary field. A local missionary field and it is wonderful that churches send out people to all parts of the world, but Scioto County is part of the world too, and sometimes the needs that are closest to us are the ones that we don’t see,” Mullins said. “So when we help the women in our community to live better lives, and to get to know Jesus Christ, we make the whole community better.
CRADLE’s hours of operation are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. They recently were forced to reduce their hours from five days per week to three, due to lack of community support.
“We also see people on an appointment only basis, so if we have someone that needs to be seen late afternoon on a Friday we can make an arrangement to meet at a local church, or other place,” Hurley said.
For more information about CRADLE call 740-354-2273, or visit the website at: www.cradlepcc.org.
Reach Portia Williams at 740-353-3101, ext. 1929, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.