Moms walk away with a ‘garbage bag full of presents’
Tamra Axworthy, CEO of A Caring Pregnancy Center, said that her clinic in Pueblo, Colorado, also offers an “Angel Tree” in which donors can support a mom and her family with gifts for Christmas.
“We will take gift ideas from mom and dad, or whoever our client is, then submit those to the donor families and they’ll go shopping and essentially provide Christmas for the entire family,” Axworthy told CNA.
A Caring Pregnancy Center has a mission of empowering women and families with the resources they need to choose life. The center offers free pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, childbirth classes, adoption referrals, education on sexually transmitted diseases, and several other services.
Axworthy said that when the pregnant moms come to the center to pick up their gifts, they’re often expecting one or two gifts that have been donated to them.
“But when they walk out with like a garbage bag full of presents, they’re just blown away and are incredibly grateful,” she said. “They are floored.”
“It’s nice to be able to bless them and then pass on that blessing to the donors. We’ll take pictures of those that will allow it and share that with the donor family so that they can see the impact that they’ve had.”
The center also has a “giving tree” in which moms and families in need are free to come by the clinic and pick up items such as coats or Christmas decorations for free.
Axworthy said that given the high poverty rate in Pueblo, there is a great need in the area to provide these Christmas services to pregnant moms in need.
“It hurts our heart to see those that are struggling and do not even have boots for their kids or winter coats for their babies. And that’s something that we have the ability to bless somebody with,” she said.
“And it blesses us to be able to do that as well. So we know that there is a need and it’s … awesome that we’re able to fill that need for so many in our community.”
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A free Christmas store tells ‘the true meaning of Christmas’
Another clinic, Lockport Care Net Pregnancy Center in Lockport, New York, has been serving women and families with its free Christmas store since 2015.
Cindra Enzinna, executive director of the center, told CNA that each year the center sets up the store in the basement with a plethora of toys, Bibles, stuffed animals, and other gifts that parents or guardians can come and take for free.
The basement of the center is set up with lights and Christmas decorations and Christmas music, she said. The gifts are all donated by individuals or local churches in the community.
“When we first started it in 2015, we noticed that there was a big need,” she said.