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Care Net helping young mothers


Candace Murphy, her daughter Paisley Rowe, Arin Wall, and Care Net Manager Rachel Harris stand in the boutique at Care Net, where items are available to those completing short educational courses on parenting or pregnancy. - Jacob Wagner photo

Care Net, a facility that helps young mothers, expecting mothers, and those who suspect they may be expecting, has operated in the area for over a year now and has had positive feedback from local young mothers.

Rachel Harris, who manages the facility, estimates that she gets about 20 visits from women each month who come in for Care Net services, which range from free pregnancy tests, emotional support through the process, education on pregnancy and parenthood, and items rewarded for becoming educated.

"We've received so much support from the community," Harris said. "It's been amazing the people that have come forward and have donated financially as well as donated goods for the babies. We've definitely been seeing growth in the number of moms or women in need of pregnancy tests coming through. It's getting out that that we're here and available."

The non-profit organization, which opened in August 2016, gets funding only from local area churches and individuals.

Two young mothers, Candace Murphy and Arin Wall, who have been visiting Care Net since April 2017 after finding out about it from a friend, shared some of their thoughts on the place, often finishing each other's sentences in an interview.

"This has been awesome," Wall said. "You come in and they really just want you to learn and be a better parent. You don't have to qualify; you get help for things that you need. It's been an immense help."

Both mothers participate in the "Learn to Earn" program, earning points by watching educational videos featuring various speakers, such as child psychologists, and ranging in topics from the various stages of pregnancy to parenting. After earning points, the mothers can use the points toward items such as diapers, or even larger items like cribs and car seats.

"My daughter is in a car seat that she is safe in; she has a bed that is better than mine," Murphy laughed with gratitude.

One thing the educational videos have had success with is teaching mothers patience and discipline, Harris said.

"[The videos] give them ideas so they can set up discipline in a way that the child knows the expectation," Harris said. "The child knows what will happen if they get in trouble, and it helps the moms parent without waiting until they're so frustrated, giving them different tips and tricks."

Harris said that one mother with multiple toddlers attributed Care Net with allowing her to use discipline without doing it emotionally for the first time in her life.

"I went to Care Net today to watch some parenting videos on how to parent 3-year-old tantrums," wrote Tasha Enochs on the program's Facebook page. "The information I have learned has helped already! I highly recommend Care Net for prenatal, during pregnancy, after pregnancy, breastfeeding info, and parenting classes."

An anonymous client shared similar sentiments: "Care Net is one of the very few resources available to me in town. I'm able to earn the things I need for my family and also gain valuable information. I have learned most of what I know about caring for my family at Care Net."

Murphy and Wall both said that opportunities like this weren't available to them before Care Net opened here.

"We don't only get stuff for our children but we made a wonderful friend in the process," they both said about Harris. "We just like spending time here." Both expressed that their toddlers enjoy visiting the facility as well.

"The ones that come in, they just love the service," Harris said. "It's a place they know they can come, they can bring their babies, and they can get supplies or just take a little break."

Care Net is located at 402 Burdin Boulevard near the hospital and is open Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

For more information, or to donate money or supplies, you can call Care Net during business hours at 509-723-2091.

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