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Time to help the babies, mothers and families

The good people at Harmony Pregnancy and Resource Center work year around to make a difference in the lives of families in this area. January is an especially busy time of year at the center. Sunday, January 21 was Sanctity of Human Life Day which is a very important day at HPRC, because their main objective is to save the lives of unborn babies.
On January 8, the Harmony Pregnancy Center released baby bottles to area churches, and businesses for coin collection for the center. Each bottle is imprinted with the verse, ÒEvery good and perfect gift comes from aboveÓ James 1:17. The hope is church members will fill the bottles with loose change and return them before February 28. The baby bottle drive in January /February and the annual A Night of Hope gala in October are the two main fundraisers that support the center each year.
Megan Hall, the director at the center, said "We believe that we can help these mothers by supporting them with resources and education.Ó Sometimes it's not just a pregnant teenage girl needing help, it can be a single father, or it might be a grandmother raising her grandchild who needs help. The center sees around 120 clients a year.
Hall said, "Give a boy a fish, and you feed him for the day. Teach a boy to fish and you have fed him for a lifetime.Ó She went on to say ÒHere at the center we are not a hand-out, but a hand-up. We teach our parents to prepare them for a better life.Ó Along the way Hall explained that every single person who comes through their doors hears about Jesus and the plan of salvation. Hall said ÒWe do our best to plant the seed of Jesus, but we never turn anyone away no matter their beliefs.
The education program used at the center is called Earn While You Learn and it is a nationally acclaimed program designed to help parents become the very best parent they can be. These classes teach clients skills like budgeting, cooking and proper child care. The classes promote self-worth and life skills that will give parents a sense of pride and responsibility that they will hopefully pass on to their children.
Parents can earn baby bucks by attending the classes and then use them to buy needed items from the Baby Boutique and the Mommy Boutique. The boutiques are filled with nice donated items of clothing, diapers, formula, even car seats and gently used baby furniture.
Clients are provided with an opportunity to learn about community based services they may need. They can meet with licensed social workers from Healthy Start who come to the center often.
The center also has a women's Bible Study every Tuesday which has become very popular. They also team up with church youth groups in the area who volunteer to do work at the center. Hall and her assistant Shelby Smith said that the center could not meet the needs of the young mothers and all their clients without the wonderful volunteers. These volunteers from the Tri-County area donate hundreds of hours yearly at the center.
Back in 2001 Harmony Pregnancy & Resource Center began when the Harmony Baptist Association saw a need to support young mothers in the Tri-County area who decided to have their babies. Harmony Baptist Association is a group of Southern Baptist Churches in Alachua, Columbia, Gilchrist and Levy Counties.
If you wish to make a donation to Harmony Pregnancy & Resource Center or if your group or church wishes to be a part of the baby bottle drive you can contact Megan Hall or Shelby Smith at 493-7773 or come in for a tour at the center which is located at 721 NE 4th Street in Chiefland. They are open Monday through Thursday 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.