EDMOND — EDITOR’S NOTE: As a public service to our community, today is the fifth in a series of six weekly articles for the annual Edmond Sun Christmas Samaritan Fund Drive benefiting the HOPE Center of Edmond.
Roschelle Harmon’s family awaited the birth of her daughter, Aria, this week in gratitude to the HOPE Center of Edmond. Harmon said her mother led her to HOPE Center to assist with the birth of her two daughters before she turned 18. They are now ages 10 and 8.
“I went to them and they made me feel comfortable. They never made me feel like a teen mom,” said Harmon, 27. “They really make you feel at home there.”
She is one of about 70 women helped this year with prenatal care at the HOPE Center Women’s Clinic.
The clinic has provided prenatal care since 1990. The women learn about pregnancy and maternal care, including breast feeding and infant care, said Chris Sperry, HOPE Center executive director. Immunizations are provided.
Children needing a warm blanket are more secure today because of generous donors to The Edmond Sun Christmas Samaritan Fund Drive for the HOPE Center of Edmond. Maternity clothes are available for expectant mothers.
Acute emergencies caused by disease, unemployment, child abuse, homelessness, domestic violence and divorce have been the main reasons people seek assistance at HOPE, a nonprofit agency, Sperry said.
This year’s goal of $160,000 will continue to provide more than one-third of the HOPE Center’s $400,000 budget, said Brenda Chambers, financial coordinator. All of the proceeds from the Samaritan Fund Drive will allow HOPE to keep up with an increase in clients qualifying for emergency assistance.
Harmon was employed as a housekeeper at OU Medical Center-Edmond before devoting all of her energy to her pregnancy, she said. Aria’s father also helps to provide stability for their family, she said.
“I don’t want her to be born on Christmas. I want to be home with my kids, but if she comes in, she comes in,” Harmon said.
HOPEfully Yours, 1251 N. Broadway, is a quality resale shop for HOPE to fully utilize all of the donations it receives for its prenatal/O.B. clinic. Revenue generated from the shop also is used to buy the milk, fruit and meat included in food packages for clients.
“Our nurses are there because they love young mothers and they love working with them,” Sperry said. “And they will love those mothers and their babies throughout the nine months. It’s so sweet to see how they really bond with those patients.”
For all of its growth and size, Edmond still has that small-town heart, Sperry said.
“We are people who want to be a part of the community and be part of something bigger,” she said.