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Care Net raising funds with annual campaign

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

Care Net Pregnancy Resource Center of Chilton County will launch The Baby Bottle Campaign on Mother’s Day, May 10.

The fundraiser will run through Father’s Day, June 23.

Coin banks shaped like baby bottles will be distributed to participating churches and will be available at the Care Net office during this time. The banks can be filled with change, bills or checks.

As a precaution during this pandemic, “we can sanitize the bottles … to hand them to them to make our donors more comfortable receiving them,” Executive Director Ashley Liveoak said.

Care Net staff is in the office 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday and Wednesday and Thursday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Staff can be reached at 205-755-6767 for details about picking up a bottle. Donations can also be made at a greater social distance electronically at carenetchilton.org/support/ or by mailing a check to #5 Village Square Clanton, AL 35045.

“This is our largest fundraiser and basically keeps Care Net running,” Liveoak said.

This year, Care Net also has a booklet of activities and discussion questions for children accompanying the campaign to help parents explain charitable giving and how the campaign helps families.

Liveoak said the goal for the campaign this year is to raise $35,000.

“This would cover all of the supplies needed to do the pregnancy tests, keep our ultrasound machine up-to-date for inspections,” Liveoak said.

The funds also cover additional resources for serving clients.

This year’s goal is $5,000 more than was raised last year.

With this increased monetary goal comes plans to offer more parenting classes and programs to expecting mothers and fathers as well as “Forgiven and Set Free.”

“Forgiven and Set Free is just a program that lets women know that no matter what choice she has made through God’s redeeming love,” Liveoak said. “You don’t have to walk around with all of those negative emotions. A lot of times after an abortion, they don’t tell you that you have guilt. You have shame. You grieve. There are all of these negative things come with it. There are also potentially health problems that come after an abortion. It is a Bible study that walks women through those emotions and we have everything we need in the Word of God.”

Classes for moms start with pregnancy, and additional classes are available on raising children as they grow.

The program for fathers, using National Fatherhood Initiative curriculum, will also be launched later this year.  It will be named “Calling All Fathers.”

“It will be a fathers’ program/curriculum to show dads how to be a good father,” Liveoak said. “I think it is a missed opportunity here in our community. Moms are extremely important, but dads are also important.”

Statistics shared on the National Fatherhood Initiative website state that children growing up without a father are more likely to have behavioral problems, commit a crime, go to jail, be obese, abuse drugs and alcohol and drop out of school.

Topics of the program will include communication with their child’s mother, discipline, work/life balance, etc.

The programs are a part of Care Net’s mission to be “a family resource center,” Liveoak said.

“Not only do we help pregnant women, whether they be in crisis or whether they may be low income and need to come in for a pregnancy test. We offer help to them as well as we like to walk with them through their journey during their pregnancy and after the child is born pregnancy classes.”

During the stay-at-home order, classes have been unable to meet but will resume when possible.

Care Net is located at #5 Village Square in Clanton.