PORTSMOUTH — There is nothing like the euphoric smell and sound of an angelic, bouncy, precious baby to most people, but sometimes as much as a baby is loved, for some, this wonderful bundle of joy, costs a lot of money and even stress for those who do not have the resources to take care of them the way they want to.
There is help out there for these folks to help ease the worry of taking care of the needs of a pregnant mother, or mother, and/or others that are taking care of a baby and that is the group CRADLE right here in Portsmouth.
CRADLE founded in 1996, is a unique organization of volunteers throughout the community who have banded together for the purpose of support. Together through CRADLE, Parents or guardians can reach out to families by offering: Free Pregnancy Tests, Abortion Alternative Counseling, Post-Abortion Counseling, Infant Clothing and Supplies (up to 2T), Parent Education Curriculum (all ages), Biblical Counseling and Bible Studies
“We accept anyone and everyone regardless of income, where they live, all of that. We are completely independent, and we are funded by local area churches and individuals who believe in what we do here at CRADLE,” Hannah Toney, the office manager of CRADLE said. “During COVID, we offered diapers and wipes to anyone who needed them. And with that we had once a week pickups and pretty much depleted our supply. That is when we decided to do the diaper/wipe drive to help supplement what we have gone through lately. Now, we are offering it mainly to our clients, but if anyone calls that need it, we are not going to turn down anybody that needs diapers. To be a client there are no requirements other than you need to be pregnant or have custody of the child that would be receiving the things we offer.”
Toney continued and said that they have registry at Amazon and Walmart where people can just order and have them sent to CRADLE. She also said that they have a PenPal link on their website www.cradlepcc.org CRADLE is a tax-deductible Nonprofit Organization · Pregnancy Care Center.
Mandy Arthur, Executive Director of CRADLE says, “We offer infant and toddler clothing for boys and girls up to 2T. We offer diapers and wipes and we also offer the ability to earn a brand-new crib and mattress, a brand-new car seat, a brand-new booster seat, and a brand-new high chair because, under the guidelines, they need to be new.”
Arthur continued, “We do an earn while you learn program. A set of materials like a baby bucks program, the client comes into us and we have them, according to where they are at, if they are say three months pregnant, we give them videos and homework materials that we’ll go over and through every stage of her baby’s development. If we have someone come in that has already had their baby, …we will teach them at whatever age their child is and continue from there.”
Arthur shared that they are a Christ-based ministry and they will come in and they’ll do bible studies with them, they will give them Bible studies to take with them and when they come back they go through it with them and they will get points, their baby bucks. If they do Bible studies, they get points, if they watch the videos, they get points, if the do the homework, they get points. If they go to their prenatal visits or their child welfare appointments, they get points and if they use programs like Help Me Grow or WIC, and even the services that they attend, they get points.
“They get to spend these points earned for the new cribs and mattresses, clothes, shoes, and the other items a baby or child may need. They can shop themselves. It is a really good program because we don’t just want to hand stuff out, we want to educate our clients and give them the gospel. we hand out Bibles to our clients,” Arthur said. “Through all of that, they come to us for their material needs and their time of pregnancy crisis and we have that awesome opportunity to be able to give them the Word and through the awesomeness of our donors, we are able to provide them with the materials and help them spiritually as well. People come to us when they have given up hope.”
Through this pandemic, material donations dropped off and both Arthur and Toney were having to purchase the items that were usually donated and dropped off. Toney came up with having a diaper/wipe drive and Arthur thought that was great and so that is what they are doing now. Arthur says they can use all the donations they can get, whether it be monetary or materials. Their goal is 10,000 diapers and 100 packs of wipes by July 31.
Through CRADLE, all services are free and confidential. no income requirements. Their clients vary in age, social and economic status and religious beliefs. Some are young teenagers while others are married and have several children. They do not discriminate in providing services on the basis of a client’s race, creed, national origin, religion, age or marital status. All of their services are offered free of charge and no financial information is requested.
Reach Kimberly Jenkins (740)353-3101 ext. 1928
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