Saturday, September 02, 2006

Love them both

Church packs closet for moms who need baby stuff
published September 2, 2006 12:15 am
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CANDLER — With 7-week-old twins and a 1-year-old daughter, Shannie Hagan has trouble making ends meet.
“I didn’t expect to have another baby so soon after my daughter, and then it was twins,” she says. “I needed everything.”

Hagan heard about a new baby equipment cupboard at Snow Hill Methodist Church and stopped in to see if she could borrow a swing or a stroller.
“I couldn’t believe how nice they were,” she says. “They were so welcoming, and they never made me feel ashamed of needing help. They didn’t judge; they just helped.”
Hagan was the first visitor at the new BEAR (Baby Equipment and Resources) Closet, operated by volunteers from Snow Hill Methodist.
“We want to be Christ in the world,” says Judy Durham, the driving force behind the ministry. “We decided we’re just going to love the people who need help. Everybody is first-class in God’s eyes.”
Durham and her husband, the church’s pastor, the Rev. Jim Durham, were moved to start the ministry after their daughter received help from a similar baby equipment closet in Boone five years ago.
But Snow Hill isn’t a large church. Many parishioners are involved as volunteers, doing intake, sorting and cleaning donations, cleaning the office, even baking cakes and cookies for volunteers and visitors. But most don’t have much money to give.
Dale Wright, a retired teacher and elementary school principal, comes in to repair anything that’s broken and check to make sure all the toys and equipment are safe.
Susie Pike does intake and inventory.
Darlene Houghton does whatever they happen to need.
The Hominy Valley Fire Department installs car seats for parents.
“There’s a lot of enthusiasm, and it’s intergenerational,” Jim Durham says. “People of all ages are helping.”
The closet is open one day a week right now, from 2 to 7 p.m. Tuesdays. Equipment is donated, and church members have faith that their needs will be met.
“Some people wondered how we would swing this financially, but God provides what we need,” Jim Durham says.
Since the closet opened in July, several donations of $200 or more have come in for the purchase of infant and child car seats and crib mattresses, which can’t be lent out and returned like high chairs and other baby equipment.
But the Durhams aren’t satisfied yet.
“I see us growing, maybe offering other things young parents need, like parenting classes,” Judy Durham says.
“It’s not about the baby equipment,” Judy Durham says. “It’s about touching lives.”
Contact Leslie Boyd at 828-232-2922 or via e-mail at

Assisting women with the practical realities of giving birth and parenting is an important part of stopping abortion and also an important part of being a compassionate society.


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