Loan Closet offers more than just clothes |

Loan Closet offers more than just clothes

— The Loan Closet of the Steamboat Springs Pregnancy Resource Center serves as more than storage space for coat hangers and boxes.

The oversized closet holds baby and maternity clothes, toys and baby furniture for pregnant and new mothers to use and then return so the items can be used again.

“We loan to moms with the understanding that they will return what they took,” said director Penny Lucas.

New and used clothing in a wide range of sizes fills the closet, which also contains cribs and bassinets. People in the community often surprise her with a heartfelt donation, Lucas said.

The center applied for 501 C3 status and is currently waiting to hear back from the state. That recognition would allow the center to access funds and local resources more easily, she said.

The Loan Closet is open from 1 to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays or by appointment.

The Yampa Valley Pregnancy Center in Craig previously directed what is now the Pregnancy Resource Center before handing it over to a board of directors in Steamboat Springs.

“You can liken it to a parent raising a child and the child reaches an age where it could be self sufficient,” said Shannon Sparkman, interim director of Yampa Valley Pregnancy Center.

The Craig organization, which serves Moffat County and Hayden, offers a program that Lucas said she would like to implement. Mothers can volunteer a certain number of hours in Craig to earn items for their infants, such as a new crib.

Lucas said she wants to offer mothers a chance to earn while they learn about caring for their infants and managing their affairs.

The Steamboat organization offers more than material items. Mothers and spouses can receive counseling and advice.

A support group was recently formed to provide pregnant women and new mothers a chance to share how they handle childbirth and the care of their infants.

Many of the women who visit the centers in Craig and Steamboat Springs are dealing with unplanned pregnancies, Sparkman said. As faith-based ministries, she said volunteers and staff offer information that might help mothers make an informed decision about their pregnancy.

“We never tell them what to do,” she said.

Lucas said the Steamboat organization educates women about abortion, adoption and keeping the child. The center holds a local connection with someone who can assist with adoption procedures, she added.

“It is our intention to give them information about every option so they wont regret their decision,” Lucas said.

The Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurses Association and LIFT-UP sometimes refer pregnant or nursing mothers to the pregnancy center, she said.

In order to assist as many women as possible, donations of used and new clothing, baby furniture, toys and other items like diapers are always welcomed, Lucas said.

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