"Pathways" adds resources, outgrows facility

Altus_Future moms and dads can now get some much needed help at the Altus based "Pathways Pregnancy Resource Center" which dedicates its time and resources to help parents get counseling, training, and even everyday necessities that go along with raising kids.  However, the center is helping so many people that it has outgrown its facility.  There's not enough room or staff - but, they say it's a good problem to have.

The programs they have help parents work toward supporting their children.  First time single mom Kendra Seiger says that when she found she was pregnant, she didn't know where to go or what to do.  "I don't know what I would do without this place," she said.  "When I got pregnant, I didn't have a job."

Seiger had heard about the "Pathways Pregnancy Resource Center" and made an appointment with a counselor.  She said they taught her everything about her pregnancy - how to care for herself and her baby, and help get herself back on track.  "It's a very good resource for a first time mom, especially," she said.

Executive Director Jolene Tellgren says Seiger is only one of the hundreds of clients the center teaches to learn to help themselves.  "We're busting out of the seams here, you know?  We're hoping and praying for a bigger center," says Tellgren.  Since they began a new program called "Earn While You Learn," they have been filling up quickly.  With the new program, parents earn "Mommy Money" by completing sessions that teach prenatal care, child discipline, and even "Surviving at the Checkout."  Parents can use the "Mommy Money" at the center's baby store to purchase blankets, diapers, formula, and other needed supplies.

Tellgren says the new program has been a great success.  "As of last year, we've actually tripled our clientele because of the 'Earn As You Learn' program," she says.  However, since "Pathways" is supported entirely from donations, it is leaving the center little room to grow.  So, they need your help.  "We have a lot of areas we would like to fill," she says.

Seiger and son Aiden are both healthy and happy, and she says she even has a steady job now.  Seiger says she doesn't want to think about what would happen if it weren't for the center.  "I'd have been lost, because they've helped me out 100%."

If you would like to donate to the center, it's important to remember that it's tax deductible to do so.  If you are interested in donating children's items, money, or time to Pathways, give them a call at 580-477-4400 or visit their website at www.altuspathways.org.