Human Defense Initiative is excited to announce we have officially launched our very first material assistance fundraiser benefiting a pregnancy resource center! After a devastating tornado hit Onalaska, Texas, G.R.A.C.E Pregnancy Outreach has been overwhelmed with material assistance requests, something which had already increased significantly due to pandemic-related hardship in the county.
On Wednesday April 22, a deadly EF-3 tornado hit the small town of Onalaska, Texas leaving over 173 homes destroyed and over 300 more damaged. This has unfortunately left many families with absolutely nothing, causing a greater need for baby products.
The nearest pregnancy center, G.R.A.C.E Pregnancy Outreach in Livingston, Texas has responded to the need. The Executive Director, Misty Nettles, has been on-site in Onalaska all of last week providing disaster relief and ensuring families have what they need for their children.
G.R.A.C.E Pregnancy Outreach whose name stands for “Giving, Respecting, Achieving, Caring and Educating” was founded just three years ago and helps instill those exact values. G.R.A.C.E provides free pregnancy and STD tests, ultrasounds, peer counseling, parenting classes, and community referrals as well as material assistance to expecting mothers and parents of children under 3 years of age.
The center even maintains a community garden, a precious attribute that sets them apart and proudly represents its East Texas roots. Clients are not only free to help themselves to the fresh foods grown in the Garden of Grace but the staff also teaches them how to garden themselves and even how to make baby food as well as other recipes.
The center relies heavily on donations and unfortunately G.R.A.C.E’s annual fundraising banquet was cancelled amid the pandemic. However despite the virus, the center is still currently responding to community needs with online parenting through Bright Course classes and material assistance drives on Tuesday and Thursday nights where parents can collect free baby supplies via curbside.
While neighboring pregnancy centers in other towns have graciously responded by donating diapers, wipes and a several other supplies, G.R.A.C.E still needs various items to be able to continue serving their community and the disaster victims with material assistance.
Upon hearing how overwhelmed the center had become, we reached out to offer help by hosting a registry on G.R.A.C.E Pregnancy Outreach’s behalf. The center is mostly in need of baby and adult hygiene and healthcare items, maternity clothes, breast pads, breast pumps, and diaper bags.
We understand not all of the items will be purchased. The pregnancy center did not specify the amount they needed of each but most are items they hand out on an ongoing basis so we set the quantities high in an effort to help them acquire and replenish their stock (which was depleted during disaster relief) of as many items as possible. Anything contributed to the diaper fund will go toward purchasing additional items on the list!
UPDATE: This registry is now complete thanks to our wonderful donors! We want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has donated to or shared this registry! Please check our donation page HERE for future fundraisers!
Cover photo credit: Disaster Rescue Response Specialist corp.