Tech students help mother to be

December 18, 2008

by Emily LaFleur

Kappa Omicron Nu and Louisiana Tech’s Student Council on Family Relations hosted a baby shower for Life Choices, a nonprofit local organization that strives to provide support and help for individuals dealing with unplanned or crisis pregnancies, on Wed. afternoon at the Women’s Center on Sorority Lane.

Ondie Eddlemory, president of Kappa Omicron Nu, said they are excited to partner up with such a beneficial organization.

“This is the second annual baby shower that [Kappa Omicron Nu and Louisiana Tech Student Council on Family Relations]has put on for Life Choices,” Eddlemory said.

Kay Church, representative for Life Choices, shared with the guests what the organization does.

“Life Choices seeks to provide emotional, spiritual, physical support to individuals seeking unplanned or crisis pregnancy,” Church said.

She said the organization offers pregnancy tests, pre-natal counseling, referrals for adoption and an array of parenting classes offered by professionals, all free of charge.

Church also said Life Choices’ doors are always open and prefer appointments in order to better prepare for visits, but she said they take walk-ins as well.

Church said when clients first join, they select a diaper bag and every time they come in for a class or counseling session, they get to pick a few baby items to fill their diaper bag.

“[When the baby is delivered, Life Choices] has the joy of bringing the diaper bag and baby items to the mother in the hospital,” Church said.

She said the clients tend to create lasting relationships with the staff and other clients throughout the progress of the program.

“If one of our clients attends a parenting class they are awarded mommy and daddy money that can be used to purchase baby items from our Hope Store,” Church said.

Church said they keep items such as those on the donation table (diapers, bibs, baby bottles, baby clothes, etc,) at the shower in their Hope Room.

Church said Life Choices is not only providing clients with baby items.

She also said they tend to improve the complete welfare of others through offering education on abstinence, STDs awareness, adoption referral, abortion counseling and much more.

“Life Choices does not only cater to young, single, pregnant women, contrary to popular belief,” Church said.

She said an array of college students – such as athletes, married, single and international students – is a more accurate mixture of their cliental.

Church said Life Choices has a variety of brochures, films, resources and professionals all geared toward providing the best care and advice for their clients.

“[Life Choices] becomes a support group,” Church said. “Sometimes people just need someone that cares about their situation to listen.”

Devon Burleigh, senior family science major, said she is currently undergoing her practicum at Life Choices in Ruston.

“[Life Choices] is a really great program. I basically sit in on counseling sessions and help stock the Hope Room,” she said.

“I’m learning the ropes,” Burleigh said. “I plan to hopefully continue on to graduate school at Louisiana State University.”

Burleigh said she wants to help mothers who are giving their baby up for adoption by counseling them through what she called a “huge sacrifice.”