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June 5, 2013

Women find support at enrichment center

Eva McCall said she was short-tempered and often struggled with how to respond in a healthy way to one of her children’s ADHD needs while keeping her other five children from getting out of control.

In the last year, she has learned several alternative methods — such as counting to help her calm down and to pull over if the children are fighting while she’s driving — through parenting classes at the Women’s Enrichment Center.

McCall, 26, of Murray County, has children ranging in age from 16 months to 16 years. (Two are her natural children while the others are her husband’s from a previous marriage.) She had been going to the center’s Dalton location, but is happy that there is now a location in Murray County, which is more convenient for her.

The center is a Christian nonprofit organization that aims to support women during and after pregnancy, counsels women who are thinking about having or have had an abortion or who have had a miscarriage, teaches abstinence before marriage and teaches about forgiveness through Jesus. Classes are offered to parents who can earn points that can be redeemed in the center’s “store” for items such as diapers, food and baby clothes.

“The center has saved my life as far as diapers more than once,” McCall said. “They’re all really, really nice here. They go out of their way to help.”

Going to the center gives McCall time to herself to help her recharge.

“It doesn’t matter how much you love your kids, you need some ‘me’ time,” she said. “I take it day by day.”

The Murray County location opened at the beginning of May at Holly Creek Baptist Church, a make-shift location that those with the organization hope will be temporary. It is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Mondays.

“I know the level of need here,” said Ashleigh Welch, the Murray County site manager. “It’s a poor community and rural. First we have to meet their physical need.”

Welch approached a group of pastors last year to ask for a location. The Dalton location is paid for by Rock Bridge Community Church.

“It was dead in the water for a while,” she said. “Then Pastor (Danny) Cochran said we can have some space here.”

The center uses Sunday School classrooms for group classes, one-on-one counseling and the store. The center’s items are stored in a small closet on days the center is not open, which means the center can carry a limited number of items for the store.

“We don’t have room for big items like cribs and strollers,” Welch said.

Until the center finds a more permanent location, Welch says she is just happy to have a space at all.

“We’ll make it work,” she said.

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