Yampa Valley Pregnancy & Family Center reaches wider population | CraigDailyPress.com

Yampa Valley Pregnancy & Family Center reaches wider population

Michael Neary

Vicki Van Couvering is the executive director of the Yampa Valley Pregnancy & Family Center.

— The Yampa Valley Pregnancy and Family Center has begun reaching out to a wider array of residents — and that means collaborating with other area agencies.

"A sense of collaboration and sharing of resources and information has revitalized how we all work together," said Vicki Van Couvering, the executive director of the Yampa Valley Pregnancy & Family Center.

Van Couvering has worked as executive director since May, and she was pleased to divulge that the center had received a $2,000 grant from the Yampa Valley Community Foundation last fall. The grant enabled the center to update its lessons, and to help pay for diapers, formula and other items.

Van Couvering, who was a member of the center’s board of directors before she became executive director, noted the way the center's reach as expanded over the years.

"It started out to mentor and help pregnant teens deal with (pregnancy) and explain things to their parents and be a support system to help them know the best choice they can make," she said. "Being faith-based, we always tried to help them have their babies and raise them or put them up for adoption."

As the years have progressed, she said, the center’s services grew.

Recommended Stories For You

"The pregnancy side of it has not disappeared, but we became aware that (new mothers) need help with parenting, which is how the 'Earn While You Learn' classes came to be," she said.

Those are classes offered by the center on DVD that help with parenting, life skills and various other issues. Van Couvering said clients earn "baby bucks" for lessons that the center will reimburse for useful store-bought items such as cribs.

The center also offers supplies for new and soon-to-be parents, from small items such as diapers to larger items such as strollers.

"It's all free," Van Couvering said. "No pre-qualifications. If there's a need, we really want (people) to call. If we don't have it we'll try to get it."

Van Couvering said there were some donations that the center cannot take for safety reasons.

"We can't take cribs, we can't take car seats, and we really can't take crib mattresses unless they're brand new," she said. "But basically (we can take) anything else."

She mentioned such items as clothes, diapers and baby food, so long as the food's not outdated. She also said that the center takes maternity clothes.

Van Couvering noted some much-needed items, such as formula and larger size clothes. She mentioned 12 months to 4T toddler size.

"All our high chairs and strollers are gone, so those would also be a need," she added.

Van Couvering noted that the center has seven volunteers and six board members. She's the only paid employee.

"Some of our volunteers sort clothes and do clean-up, and then we have another category called peer advisors, and they will actually work with our clients," she said. "They could be helping with their lessons and interacting with them to make sure they find what they need."

And lately, she stressed, the center's work is increasingly intertwined with the work of other community organizations and agencies with an interest in raising infants and toddlers. She mentioned cooperative interaction with GOAL Academy, Connections 4 Kids, the Moffat County Department of Social Services and other organizations.

It's a pattern of interaction she's noticed throughout the community.

"Something has changed (regarding) agency interaction here in Craig," she said.

Center sees urgent need for infant items

The Yampa Valley Pregnancy & Family Center has an urgent need for gently used high chairs, walkers and maternity clothes. People who have any of these items to donate may call 970-824-5204 to set up a time to bring them to the Center.