Moffat County nonprofit group providing assistance to new parents
July 11, 2011
Katie Grobe, director of the Yampa Valley Pregnancy Center, said she wants to get word out about her organization.
"A lot of people don't know about us and what we offer," she said. "There are some misconceptions out there that all we offer are pregnancy tests. A lot of people don't realize that we have a practical needs bank.
"We have a lot of food. We've got formula, we've got baby tubs, we've got everything.
"A lot of people don't know we're here. And, especially with the economy being the way it is, I'm surprised we don't have more people coming in."
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First Baptist Church in Craig founded Yampa Valley Pregnancy Center in 1984. The nonprofit, Christian-based organization provides free pregnancy tests, but it also offers parenting classes, counseling and a stockroom of parenting supplies that functions like a lending library.
"We have just about everything you can think of for infant care in our little center," Grobe said.
Those things include high chairs, cribs, strollers, baby backpacks, clothing and more.
"A child is only in a high chair for a little bit of time," she said. "So, they can borrow it and bring it back. It's like a recycling kind of thing.
"We also have maternity clothing. You're only in it for so long, and it can be expensive. So, we do (clothing) loans."
The center is located at Faith Lutheran Church's annex building at 580 Green St. It receives support from several area churches, as well as private donations and efforts through fundraising.
Grobe estimates the organization serves 25 people per month. Those people could be single women, married couples or single fathers.
"It's really surprising," Grobe said of the range of clients. "A lot of people think we just help single teens, but there's no general demographic. None. Our demographics are balanced all the way across.
"And, we do help a number of men," she added. "Some dads need some diapers every now and again if they can't make ends meet. We're more than happy to help them."
Grobe said the number of free diapers offered to parents varies from week to week.
"Sometimes we go through 300, sometimes we go through seven," she said.
There are no income restrictions to receive help from the center, Grobe said.
The center is Christian-based, according to its mission statement.
"To meet — through counseling, material provision, education and reconciliation — the emotional, physical, spiritual and social needs of women and their families facing pregnancy and related issues. To show Jesus to everyone who comes through our doors," the statement reads.
Grobe said the center is a pro-life organization.
Sometimes, Grobe encounters pregnant women who are unsure of their next step — whether they want to carry the pregnancy to term.
"Our center is a pro-life organization, but we do answer questions about abortion and the procedures involved," Grobe said. "That's something people probably think we don't discuss. They probably think we don't even mention that. I want them (pregnant women) to be the best educated that I can make them.
"If they're not sure what they're going to do, we make sure they know all of what's out there, and what all the side effects are for each thing. I want them to be able to make the best choice.
"So, that does involve saying, 'These are the procedures, but these are the consequences that you might face. … These are the possible outcomes, these are the things that could happen down the road if you make that particular decision.'
"I do my best to let them know that no matter which of the three things that there are to consider — whether they chose to parent, adopt or abort — we're there for them down the road. They can come and talk to us any time."
Grobe said her job is about compassion and understanding.
"I look at my job as trying to build relationships, giving them a place to come if they need to talk and keeping it all confidential. And, I think that allows them to be more open," she said. "With the pregnancy testing and peer advising, sometimes women just need to be heard. Sometimes it's intimidating to go to the people you know. But, when it's someone you don't (know), it's easier to get it all off your chest. We provide an outlet for that."
Grobe, 34, said she feels the center has enough resources to deal with any questions or concerns pregnant women and new mothers face.
"I have learned a lot. I know I have a lot left to learn," she said. "There are times when my Mom is here or one of our married-with-children volunteers are here, when I go, 'Hey, help me out with this question.'"
The center supports women through pregnancy and the first two years of a child's life.
Grobe said it's important new mothers feel comfortable seeking help.
"A lot of people think being a mother is all instinct," she said. "'You'll know everything you need to know when the time comes.' But, that's not really accurate. It really helps to have a place to go to ask questions and learn."