Home Page Home Page Events Events Photos Photos Diocese of Ogdensburg Home Page  
Follow Us on Facebook

Archives Crisis services continue during pandemic

October 28, 2020

By Mary Beth Bracy
Contributing Writer

PLATTSBURGH – Women and children need our help more than ever during this pandemic. Local pregnancy centers share their continuing outreach efforts amidst the COVID-19 crisis, as well as their need for our support.

Plattsburgh Birthright
“The pandemic shut down brought Birthright an unexpected way to reach more women than ever with hope and support,” reflected Sally Fisher, director of Birthright in Plattsburgh.

Fisher noted that Birthright was blessed to provide for mothers in a special way.

“In March, Birthright received a huge donation of maternity coats from Furi Designs of Montreal,” she said. “Pastor Martin allowed us to store the five pallets of boxes at West Chazy Wesleyan Church until August, when we began to ferry the coats to our office for sorting. (Diocesan Respect Life Directors) John and Colleen Miner were the first to take 100 coats for the Gabriel Projects of the diocese. Dan and Janet Waldron took coats to Catholic Charities in Malone. Volunteers drove to Albany to deliver the remaining coats to 14 sister Birthright chapters and to the Hour Children Program at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility.”

Fisher said she sees God’s hand in the opportunity to share the coats.

“The timing of the pandemic actually gave us the time and space we needed for a project of this magnitude,” commented Fisher, “[It was] proof that God is way ahead of us, preparing the way for what he would have us do. We couldn't have done any of it without our faithful and enthusiastic volunteers. Special thanks to Ken Lushia, Erich Pflanz, Lisa Mockus, Steve and Allison Collier and Paul Fisher. An unexpected blessing from the Respect Life Grant allowed us to cover the gas for the volunteers driving to Albany.”

In addition to providing essential items to women and children, Birthright continues to minister in various other ways bolstered by social media outreach.

“Mary Skillan's Facebook post brought over 60 women to our door, a chance to tell them of the other services we offer,” she said. “A few signed up for a layette, a young couple wants to take the parenting classes, and a woman in a domestic shelter found in Birthright a safe place to visit with caring volunteers. ‘I'll definitely be back!’ she said.”

More than ever, with the pandemic, Birthright is in need of donations.

“We give out about six layettes a month and are in need of layette items, which we usually get through baby shower donations, but these groups haven't been able to meet,” Fisher said. “People can call Joan Liberty on Wednesdays to find out what she needs at 518-563-4300.”

Birthright is open Tuesday and Wednesday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Thursday 2 to 6 p.m. Check out their Facebook page at Birthright of Plattsburgh and visit their website at: birthright.org/plattsburgh

Plattsburgh Pregnancy Center
“Plattsburgh Pregnancy Center is not functioning as usual, shared Kitty St. Denis, PPC office manager, “In the past, we were open for clients to come to PPC at any time during our office hours (Mon - Fri, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) Often they came with former clients, friends or family members. Clients also came as walk-ins after seeing our outdoor sign or seeing our website. Now, because of COVID-19 social distancing, we allow only one person to enter at a time and by appointment. However, we always make ourselves available to help.”

Despite the challenges, St. Denis emphasized that they remain available to help.

“We check and return phone calls, email, and website contacts every day,” she said. “We have given needed information in that way. We also have brochures on our office door with information about the risks of abortion and contraceptives as well as COVID-19 requirements at PPC and our phone number to make an appointment.”
Additionally, St. Denis explained one of PPC’s new services.

“During this period, we had a couple sign-up for our Natural Family Planning Computer Assist Program,” she said. “This is a new program for us that includes a Lady Comp, which is a handheld fertility computer with attached thermometer. After 30 years of NFP manufacturer’s research, Lady Comp has a 99.3% reliability rating. Married couples interested in Natural Family Planning should contact us at 518-324-2010 for more information about this program. As with all of our services at PPC, this program including its fertility computer is free.”

PPC continues to offer other service as well, St. Denis noted.

“We have trained pregnancy counselors, give pregnancy tests, administer ultrasounds, and provide referrals for: doctors, WIC, Behavioral Health Services, and adoption agencies,” she said. “We also assist with insurance enrollments and give needed financial assistance to women in crisis pregnancies.”

St. Denis concluded with an urgent reminder about a task that all of us can fulfill.

“During these trying times, we are spending much time and effort in prayer and sacrifice for the unborn, their families, and our nation,” she said. “This is what is really needed! We also ask for your prayers as we serve in this ministry.”

Plattsburgh Pregnancy Center is a non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization and is an affiliate of Heartbeat International. Learn more at PlattsburghPregnancyCenter.Org

North Country Catholic North Country Catholic is
honored by Catholic Press
Association of US & Canada

Copyright © Roman Catholic Diocese of Ogdensburg. All rights reserved.