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Pregnancy Center supports parenting stages and more

by Joshua D. Scroggin
February 07, 2017
PPSC

IMG_9920Teresa Swift had $1,000 to give to a local charity. And after days of research, her mind kept coming back to baby bottles.

There’s an annual fundraiser through her church where a nonprofit sends baby bottles home with folks and asks that they bring them back with loose change after a month or so.

And when she looked into donating to that organization — which Teresa knew offers counseling and resources to pregnant women — she found out it had undergone a slight name change last year.

The Pregnancy & Parenting Support Center (PPSC) in Lompoc added the “& Parenting” to help let people know that the support doesn’t end when the pregnancy ends, and parents don’t have to be pregnant to begin asking for support.

“We do have a lot of parenting services,” Executive Director Becca Puscheck said, “but a lot of people wouldn’t come to us because they didn’t know we have parenting services as well. We’re not just about pregnancy.”

The PPSC has a range of free and confidential pregnancy services, including pregnancy tests, maternity clothes and prenatal classes. It also provides baby clothes and hygiene items, parenting classes, relationship education services and post-abortion services.

Last year, nearly 1,400 clients in the Lompoc and Santa Ynez Valley received support from PPSC, all of which is free and confidential.

“People just come in,” Becca said. “We only have a simple intake. It’s an honor system. We don’t need paychecks. We don’t check where they’re living. If they need help, we want to give it to them.”

Currently, clients can come in once a month to receive clothing. Diapers are available every other month. Folks can take educational classes on a weekly basis to earn extra items and points, then redeem those points for new items.

Since the PPSC is 100-percent donation-based, the amount of help it can offer depends on the donations that come in. Becca said some of the most frequent donors are former clients, and there’s certainly room for more people to get involved.

For those looking to help, the most requested items are diapers, wipes, soaps and lotions. The PPSC also accepts clothes and the full range of new and used baby items, but for safety reasons cannot accept used car seats. Cash and electronic funds donations are accepted, volunteers are welcome and encouraged, too.

Teresa’s donation came from “I’m All In,” CoastHills Credit Union’s employee giving program. Funded exclusively through voluntary employee donations, the program selects random participants each quarter to make donations to their favorite causes on behalf of the entire group. In its first year alone, I’m All In is on pace to give away $16,000, and nearly 90 percent of the credit union’s 230 employees participate.

And like Teresa, the employees chosen to award the donations take their task very seriously. So, ultimately deciding on the PPSC came after plenty of thought and research. At the end of the process, Teresa had a much greater knowledge of and appreciation for all of the non-profits operating locally.

“I didn’t know what to do,” Teresa said. “My son Nick is already out of school. My dad was a prisoner of war and the idea of benefiting veterans came up. It took me three days of research, and then I really felt good about the Pregnancy and Parenting Support Center.” 

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