From the Director’s Desk
As we enter into our seventh year of operation at Bethlehem House, the word “faith” comes to mind. Through much hard work on the part of all our benefactors and volunteers, Bethlehem House is thriving and fulfilling our mission to save babies from abortion. We are servicing much of Western Massachusetts. Some of the agencies that have requested our services are Holyoke Hospital, Mercy Family Life Center, Cooley Dickinson, Wesson Women’s, Providence Prenatal, and Mercy Care Center. We also service residents of Oak Street Shelter, individuals that may find us by our ad, referrals from Crusaders for Life, and clients who may walk in. We have been honored for the second consecutive year in 2011 an award from MSPCC for outstanding generosity and support. We also help DCF, CHD, Healthy Family, FRP, Holyoke Teen Center, Safe Passage, Fresh Start, River Valley Counseling, CMA, Grace House, and help students to stay in school at UMass, HCC, and Elms.
Our Baskets for Babies program has opened many doors and hearts. In 2011, we distributed around 200 baskets. We have given out 78 Pack-N-Plays, 2000 outfits, 876 sleepers, 672 baby bottles, and 612 packages of diapers, as well as many other needed items. We service the mom through her pregnancy and until the baby is two years old, taking the family out of their crisis situation. Besides the 500 rosaries and “How to Pray the Rosary” pamphlets given out this year, we now offer a certificate of perpetual prayer enrollment from the Association of Marian Helpers at the Divine Mercy Shrine in Stockbridge.
The assistance that we receive through donations to the Annual Catholic Appeal is invaluable to our ministry. Without the support of the Appeal we would not be able to operate as we do. Our services are dependent on donations from individuals as well as the generosity of the Annual Catholic Appeal. Thank you to all who continue to support the Appeal! We feel throughout our ministry that we have saved many babies from abortion. We help all age groups, victims of rape and violence, people suffering from addictions, incarceration, loss of family support, babies with special needs, single dads. Right now, Bethlehem House has approximately 61 volunteers, all of whom are vital to our ministry. In 2011, we had a total of 1,700 volunteer hours logged, not counting the many hours put in by parishes, churches, women’s groups, community service centers, the Knights of Columbus, and rosary sodalities. School groups of all ages, individual children, and many priests have personally assisted in collecting baby items which are greatly needed. Those volunteer hours are incalculable. We have a continuous need for homemade newborn baby blankets, newborn knitted sweaters, baby clothes 0-3 months, 3-6 months and 2T as well as diapers, wipes, and other baby items. People looking to help Bethlehem House may make their own hours. We work around your schedule. The hours can consist of once a week, or once a month. Helping to make up baskets is just one special way of being a part of our personal needs program. What way do you think you can help? Please call us at 413-262-8517 to be a part of our Life Giving Ministry. Come and help make a difference for Life!