By Bill Zlatos
Thursday, June 23, 2011
Ross residents Aracely Ibarra and husband Franklin Soriano, expecting their first child on July 6, are looking forward to getting a free crib from Women’s Choice Network of Pittsburgh.
”It’s definitely a lot of help,” said Ibarra, 28. “It’s an emotional experience — happiness — but on the other side, you spend a lot of money when it’s your first one. I didn’t have anything for a baby.”
The organization has received 30 cribs from Stanley Furniture in Stanleytown, Va., and has arranged for three North Hills churches to deliver and put them together. It marks the biggest cache of cribs the center has received in its 25 years of existence.
”This is a huge, huge blessing to the girls that we see because, No. 1, they need a crib, and they really need the help to get the crib in their house,” said Amy Scheuring, executive director of the Oakland-based anti-abortion group.
The crib delivery is part of Baby Steps, the network’s program to teach mothers about infant care. The mothers meet with counselors who ensure they are getting prenatal or postnatal care. The network provides free tests for pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, sonograms and vitamins.
”A girl might choose life, and we’re glad that she does, but we want to continue a journey with her to support that decision and to make sure she has what she needs,” Scheuring said.
The cribs, which can convert into children’s beds, come with a gift basket containing baby blankets, clothing, formula and diapers.
Distributing the cribs are the Allegheny Center Alliance Church in the North Side and North Park Church and New Community Church, both in Wexford.
North Park Church has recruited 40 volunteers, who will buy mattresses and baby supplies and distribute and assemble 10 cribs.
”Part of our desire is to engage in the community in the name of Christ,” said Bruce Allison, executive director of North Park Church.
Having left Mexico to study English at the University of Pittsburgh, Ibarra has spent four years in America. She worked as a nanny before she became pregnant. Her husband, who is originally from the Dominican Republic, sells cell phones.
“I was very happy and excited I was pregnant,” Ibarra said. “I wasn’t expecting that, but a baby is a baby and a blessing”