Becoming the program leader at The Pregnancy Help seemed like the perfect opportunity for April Ray Berry. It allowed her to do two things that are close to her heart- teach and hold babies.
Around eight weeks ago, Berry, a Stinking Creek native, assumed the role of program leader for the center that is devoted to expectant and new mothers.
Berry had previously worked in the living skills program at Campbell County High School. The skill set she applied in that program made for an easy transition into her new role.
“This job allows me to do everything I love and I get to hold babies,” she said smiling,
Since undertaking the position, Berry has been seeing six clients a day, teaching them about pre and post natal care. While The Pregnancy Help Center has a client base of around 50 participants Berry would like to see the program expand in terms of participants and volunteers.
“I want to see this program to grow and be just as big as the Lord will let it get,” she said.
At the center, those who are expecting, or have a child younger than two years old, are privy to classes that cover a multitude of topics. Expectant mothers are given information about their pregnancy and what to anticipate during labor and delivery, according to Berry. The other classes are centered on developmental milestones and raising the child.
As the women complete goals within the program, they are given baby bucks. These bucks can be used to purchase new items at The Pregnancy Center store. The women can buy anything from new baby clothes to a new crib with the rewards earned in the program.
Ginnie Miceli (left) and April Berry (right) are two welcoming faces at the Pregnancy Center.
Recently the additional topics of building positive partnerships, money management and how to apply for a job have been added, Berry said.
Volunteers are trained by the staff and given the opportunity to shadow the experienced volunteers, she said.
The program is open to any woman who is pregnant or has a child six months of age or younger. It is not income based and although it is run by Catholic Charities of East Tennessee, is not faith based.
Women can refer themselves to the program but the majority of referrals comes from the area health departments and word of mouth, Berry said.
Call 437-3416 for more information on the program or to volunteer.
(WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 06/13/2018-6AM)