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The Nolan County United Way (NCUW) assists nine agencies in our community. Making up the agencies are the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, SNAP (Senior Nutrition Activities Program), Cancer Services Network, Gateway Family Services, Sweetwater BackPack Buddies, the West Texas Children's Advocacy Center (WTCAC), the Big Country Medical Reserve Corps, and the Women's Resource Center.
The Women's Resource Center is located at 310 Hickory in Sweetwater. Their purpose is to assist women who are pregnant or have small children and are having financial difficulties.
The center does pregnancy tests and provides Medicaid papers when needed. They also give vouchers for pre-natal vitamins until Medicaid is approved or until the baby is born.
In addition, maternity clothes are available. When the baby and mother leave the hospital, a complete layette for the baby is provided--which includes formula and bottles if the mother is not nursing, and they continue to supply almost anything needed to feed and clothe the baby.
On occasion, the Women's Resource Center will receive inquiries about abortion.
"We always strive to offer the mother alternatives to abortion," said AdaBelle Clark with the Women's Resource Center. "It's our aim to save the life of the baby as well as assisting all mothers in having healthy, happy babies."
In 2011, approximately 600 contacts were recorded by the agency. Forty-seven pregnancy tests were performed, with about one-half coming back as positive.
Some of the financial assistance received by the Women's Resource Center comes from a yearly contribution from the local United Way, in which the NCUW runs solely on pledges. Wendy Smartt is the Executive Director, leading a board of directors who strive to impact the community in a caring and powerful manner.
With their yearly campaign--with this year's focus as "Give Where You Live", the NCUW hopes to raise $85,000 in 2012. Their commitment is to serve the nine local agencies in the county, impacting thousands in the community.
Those desiring to give to the Nolan County United Way can give a one-time donation through a payroll deduction or on a quarterly basis. The agencies supported must take part in an annual interview process and meet several guidelines to receive the support, which is broken down into three gifts over the course of a year.
But, the Women's Resource Center also garners other financial assistance from several churches, some Sunday School classes and individuals who send regular monetary contributions; additional contributions are clothes and supplies that come from individuals.
Anyone not familiar with the agency is welcome to come by any morning from 9 a.m. to 12 noon, or in the afternoons from 1 to 4 p.m.
"We have eight faithful volunteers who would love to show you around to look over our facilities. We are very proud of our Center and what we are able to accomplish here," Clark stated.
This article is part of a series called "Nolan County United Way: Agency Spotlight". Through a partnership with the NCUW, the Sweetwater Reporter hopes to inform readers about all nine agencies. To learn more about the Nolan County United Way or for opportunities to volunteer, contact Smartt at firstname.lastname@example.org or by voice mail at 325-235-9522.