A new center in Madera is designed to help young girls, men and women who are facing the hardship of an unplanned pregnancy. Doors of Hope Pregnancy and Parenting Center will open Aug. 10.
Officials from the center have worked for more than a year and a half preparing for the opening.
The center is designed to give practical, emotional and spiritual support to individuals who find themselves in the situation of dealing with an unplanned pregnancy. The center offers free and confidential pregnancy testing, peer counseling, abstinence education and referrals to community agencies, adoption referrals, infant care and parenting classes.
The center utilizes a program called “Earn While You Learn.” Expectant women can earn baby clothes, furniture and maternity clothes by attending classes.
The program pairs each young woman with a peer counselor and mentor who meets with the women every week. If the women do not meet with a mentor, they meet with a group.
When the participants complete a lesson and homework assignment, they earn “mommy money,” which they can spend at the “Mommy Store.”
The store contains lots of new and gently used items for participants and their new babies.
“We know this program makes a positive impact on the lives of young mothers and a lifelong impact on their children, breaking cycles of neglect and abuse,” Linda Garner, Doors of Hope Pregnancy and Parenting Center Board president, said.
The center is funded by grants and contributions from individuals, local businesses and churches.
The center has just completed their first “Change for Babies” baby bottle campaign. Large scale baby bottles were passed around local churches and donations were collected.
Center officials expressed gratitude for the pastors and congregations of St. Joachim Church, The Believers Church, Yosemite Christian Center, Lake Street Fellowship Church, Mount Calvary, Grace Community Church, New Harvest, and the many individuals who participated in the donation drive.
“We want to particularly thank Union Bank for allowing us to use their coin machine,” Garner said. She said it would be quite a chore if they had to roll $10,000 worth of coins.
The next “Earn While You Learn” session will begin at the center Sept. 3. An open house is planned for early September.
The center welcomes baby and toddler item donations including clothing size newborn to 4T, furniture, blankets, formula and maternity clothes. Donations can be dropped of at the center.
The center is located at 112 Dwyer St., Suite A, next to Me-N-Ed’s Pizza. For more information about the center call 661-1411.