Grant ensures continued visits to PCC by mobile ultrasound van

Sean C. Morgan

A grant from the Sweet Home Community Foundation will help ensure that a mobile medical van continues to visit Sweet Home to provide ultrasounds and tests for sexually transmitted diseases and to support parents.

The foundation awarded $1,500 to the Sweet Home Pregnancy Care Center March 19 during its annual grant awards.

“Part of it’s going to go to help fund the mobile medical unit that comes to town,” said Executive Director Karen Bostrom of the funding. “The rest of it will go to help support the parenting program that we do.”

That parenting program provides prenatal and children’s vitamins, as well as numerous supplies, like car seats.

Last year, the PCC gave out 35 car seats and 85 bottles of prenatal and children’s vitamin, Bostrom said. The center, open from noon to 5 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays, had 622 client visits.

The PCC’s primary purpose is to provide pregnancy testing and parenting classes, Bostrom said. Parents can earn supplies, from diapers and strollers to car seats to Pack ‘n’ Play bassinets. by attending the classes, which are video-based.

The foundation has previously helped the PCC purchase the parenting videos and many of the center’s resources, like diapers, wipes and vitamins.

The PCC also provides clothing for all ages, blankets, bibs, cribs and mattresses, Bostrom said, and this year, it’s offering toddler beds.

“All the clothing and most of the diapers are donated,” she said.

For basic supplies, parents must watch a single video, she said. “The larger items that we have to buy, we ask them to come in multiple times.”

The video classes are meant to inform and educate parents, Bostrom said. The topics range widely, including nutrition, discipline, safety, “taking care of yourself during pregnancy,” labor and childbirth and a variety of parenting skills.

“We try to walk along with the families,” she said, whether they need information or a little help.

Founded as a Christian pro-life organization, the PCC is dedicated helping ensure parents are able to raise their children.

“We just want to love people and families and kids and share God’s love with them,” Bostrom said.

A family may not have a car, for example, she said. “If you don’t have a good stroller, how are you going to carry your kids and the groceries?”

Homeless families often share homes with other families, she said. Space is limited. That’s where the Pack ‘n’ Plays come in. They can serve as a play pen and a crib.

The center’s goal is to remove obstacles, Bostrom said. “Their kids are taken care of even if the parents are having a hard time. There’s no reason someone doesn’t have something for their kids.”

“After finding out she’s pregnant, (a mother) can come and earn everything she needs free of charge in the coming months, so she can carry and parent her kids,” Bostrom said.

The program is open to anyone who is interested, she said. She sees parents who are struggling financially, and she sees parents who are looking for information about parenting.

Clients use the service as needed, Bostrom said. Some come in regularly while others drop in infrequently.

The PCC is almost completely funded by donations, Bostrom said. It uses grants to buy new items, like car seats. It is currently preparing to pave its parking lot and put an awning on the building, 1344 Main St., using the city’s Commercial Exterior Improvement Program.

The center operates on a budget of about $40,000 annually, Bostrom said. Donations are tax-deductible. For more information, to volunteer or to donate, call (541) 367-2447 or email [email protected].

Coming up, the PCC is partnering with the Sweet Home Chamber of Commerce on a tea fund-raising event from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. May 17 at the Sweet Home Elks Lodge.