“There was such a generous outpouring from the community. We also received a lot of donations from other pregnancy centers throughout the state and from Gerber, which helped us to maintain services.”
Yampa Valley Pregnancy Center Director Katie Grobe
It’s been almost five years since an arsonist lit the Country Mall fire and completely destroyed a building that housed 12 offices.
And like many of the organizations that lost everything that chilly November night in 2007, the Yampa Valley Pregnancy Center found a way to persevere.
“There was such a generous outpouring from the community,” said director Katie Grobe. “We also received a lot of donations from other pregnancy centers throughout the state and from Gerber, which helped us to maintain services.”
Grobe is entering her third year as the director of the Yampa Valley Pregnancy Center, which has been housed in the Faith Lutheran Church annex building at 580 Green St. since the Country Mall fire.
The center has maintained its services during the entire time and, under Grobe’s tenure has added additional programs to its repertoire.
The flagship, Grobe said, is a program called Earn While You Learn, which pays couples baby bucks to attend a series of classes about pregnancy, fetal development, and infant and toddler care.
Future and current parents can earn up to $4 in baby bucks per session, $2 for attending the class and $2 for completing the corresponding homework assignment.
Baby bucks can then be redeemed for products, such as diapers. One baby buck buys a dozen diapers, Grobe said.
The center also recently started offering fatherhood classes and has maintained its loan program, providing clothes, cribs and swings to its clients for periods of up to six months.
All services are free.
Though grateful for the space at Faith Lutheran, which the church has donated, Grobe said the time has come to begin looking into a new space.
In addition to the services provided above, the center also provides free, confidential pregnancy tests.
Offering free tests is the easy part, Grobe said, but because the Faith Lutheran annex is one wide-open room maintaining client confidentiality is sometimes a challenge.
“If we have someone in here for a class, or four or five people looking through clothes, and someone comes through that door for a pregnancy test, it kind of freaks them out a little bit,” Grobe said. “So, we do need a setting that’s a little more like a doctor’s office, with private rooms, so people can maintain that sense of (anonymity).”
But a new space requires funds and the Yampa Valley Pregnancy Center is driven entirely by community donations.
The center does host two pledge drives each year, the baby bottle fundraiser held from Mother’s Day to Father’s Day, and the chili supper and silent auction, which takes place in November at the Center of Craig.
Though successful in their own right, Grobe knows it’s going to take a lot more to realize the dream of operating in a new location.
She’s looking into grant opportunities, but said she would never turn down the generosity of the community that has already been so supportive.
For more information about services or how to help, call Grobe at 824-5204.
— Joe Moylan can be reached at 875-1794 or firstname.lastname@example.org.