The Parkland Pregnancy Resource Center (Parkland PRC) has been reaching out and supporting families in the Parkland for over 10 years. We recently got to tour their facility where they offer parenting classes and other resources for parents, single moms, and mom's facing unwanted pregnancies.
Becky Laubinger, the PRC director, lead us on our tour and animatedly shared about every room, and how each facet worked together for the ultimate purpose of the center. Which is to support life at every stage, empowering women and families to care for their children the best possible way offering care, support, and education regarding sexual health, pregnancy, and relationships.
The Parkland PRC offers a variety of free parenting classes. Through the "Earn While You Learn" classes, mom's meet together in groups with a mentor and discuss parenting issues. The mentor guides the discussion around the curriculum that features videos of trained professionals, doctors, and certified educators, that teach on topics ranging from prenatal nutrition and healthy relationships to infant development and discipline.
Points are earned through attending these classes and completing homework that can be 'spent' in the Boutique for new baby items, like diapers and wipes, new clothes and even larger items like strollers and pack-n-plays. Points can also be used to spend toward child care that is offered by the center that women can use during their classes on Mondays.
Parent Support Classes that are ordered or recommended by the court or DFS are offered at the PRC for free. Parents who are hoping to regain custody of their children often come for these 4 week long classes, as well as foster parents needing continuing education classes.
Mom's have shared how encouraged they are to have a support group of women in like situations as them. To be able to share parenting tips, and know that they are not alone in their journey.
The resources available through the Parkland PRC go beyond classes and the encouragement and support that provides. Through the generous donations of the Parkland community, the PRC is able to impact families in very tangible ways.
Every week, mom's can pick out items from the Clothes Closet for free. These items are gently used maternity and children's clothes from newborn to 4T.
The Boutique has new items that moms can shop in each week and use the points they earned from attending classes, completing homework, and writing thank you notes to donors. The Boutique has diapers and wipes, baby bottles, formula, new infant through toddler clothing, new toys, larger items like baby furniture, strollers, pack-n-plays, tricycles and more. Through this point system, they are able to teach mom's responsibly in finances.
They also have a Christmas Room where they collect donations all year long. Then, open it to moms a couple weeks before Christmas. The items here range from toys for the kids, to winter coats, and even Christmas decorations. Things that may not be necessities, but make Christmas fun for kids.
Volunteers are the backbone of the PRC. With the large amount of donations they receive regularly, there is a small army of people needed to sort through everything, make sure it is in good condition and then launder all the clothes for the Clothes Closet.
Becky shared, "One of our volunteers did 17 loads of baby clothes last week!". That's a lot of laundry! They are grateful for the donations.
Items that do not meet quality standards are donated to a place that accepts clothing as rags. Children's clothing that is bigger than the size range they keep is donated to Mama's Thrift Store in Park Hills, which is a non-profit store where all the proceeds get donated back to area ministries.
Volunteers work diligently on Monday's (class days), signing the mom's in, tracking their points earned, teaching the classes as mentors, and taking care of the children in child care.
On their wish list is the funds to renovate the galley kitchen and equip it with a stove, currently, it is just a sink, microwave, and fridge. With a full kitchen, they could then offer cooking classes providing basic life skills to the parents they serve.
Contact them if you are interested in donating or volunteering at the PRC. Since the center is not government funded, they rely solely on charitable donations from local individuals and businesses, fundraisers, and grants.
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