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Little Flower CYO helps moms, babies at Women’s Care Center

By Sue Sitter - | Feb 6, 2021

Submitted Photo Members of the Little Flower CYO and their advisers pose behind a table holding items they purchased to help the Women’s Care Center, Devils Lake, in January.

When a center offering pregnancy help to area women needed help themselves, Rugby’s Little Flower Catholic Youth Organization stepped in to donate $200 in items for moms and babies for Devils Lake’s Women’s Care Center in January.

“We had been low (on supplies) for a little bit,” said Anna Nienhuis of the Women’s Care Center.

Nienhuis said the center organized a fundraiser for the month of January, calling it “The Largest Baby Shower.”

Nienhuis said the center received a call from St. Therese Little Flower Parish in Rugby.

“The church said they would like to help,” Nienhuis said. “The youth group got onboard and they were very generous to us and blessed us with several things we were in need of.”

“They gave us several diapers, gift cards, diaper bags and bottles; there were some bowls and a number of things we need for babies,” Nienhuis added.

Nienhuis said members of the Little Flower CYO “came and did a tour (of the center) and brought all their items with. I was very surprised at the number of items they brought and we were glad to have them.”

“We were very blessed by their generosity,” she added.

CYO Historian and Rugby High junior Amber Selensky said members organized a variety of activities during the month to raise a sum of $206.

“We did a skating activity where we opened the skating rink up (at Al Wentz Arena) to the community and had a free will donation basket to give to the Women’s Care Center,” Selensky said.

“We had a pro-life movie shown to the CYO kids called ‘Allison’s Choice’,” Selensky said. “Then, we took a tour of the Women’s Care Center in Devils Lake. We brought $200 in supplies such as shampoo, because they have a store with items to give to women in need. It was cool to go up there and see what they’ve been doing for the women of their community and throughout the state.”

Nienhuis said the center’s store, called “Crib Club” was actually a program offering items ranging from diapers to cribs and car seats to women in need. The women earn coupons for items in the store through educational activities such as attending parenting classes.

Selensky said she and nine other CYO members visited the center in Devils Lake along with Sister Mary Ruth, advisers Lisa Volk and Mary Schmaltz and Father Frank Miller on a Wednesday evening later in January.

Mikaylee Livedalen, who serves as the CYO secretary, said, “We had a speaker, Deb Hoffart talk to us (during the month). She volunteers for the Women’s Care Center. She came and talked a little bit about it.”

“I got a lot out of it,” Livedalen said of her visit to the Women’s Care Center. “I learned a lot from it. I had never actually been to a place like that before. I got to see a tour of the whole place, see all the different rooms and different areas that they have there. I learned quite a bit.”

“The CYO does a lot of different service projects,” Livedalen added. “But I think it was cool to do this for the Women’s Care Center, because it was something we haven’t really done before. We do a lot of local things and this was a little farther away for us, but I think it was really fun and it can help a lot of people in our community and outside of our community.”

“I’d like to say thank you to all the people who donated to our cause and our donations that we did from the community and our parish,” Livedalen said.

Alec Wolf, senior high representative for the club, said about $20 of the $206 raised for the center came from a monthly meal the club has.

“Every month, we have a buck-a-luck meal where we pay a dollar, and we donated money from that,” he said.

“We took donations from parishioners, too,” Wolf said. “We collected baby products, diapers, wipes, some clothes, hats and some diaper bags and things like that, too.”

Wolf said he thought the Women’s Care Center “was a really good place to have in the community. It was really good for resources.”

“We saw some ultrasounds of babies in different stages of pregnancy,” Wolf said of his tour of the center. “We saw an eight-week baby (in utero); a three-week baby, all the way up to 20 weeks. That was the highest (stage of development) we saw. (The center representative) told us about all three of the different things women can do if they find out they’re pregnant. They can keep the baby; they can look at adoption or abortion,” he added.

“She talked a little bit about how, when a woman comes in and they do a test,” Wolf said. “If she’s leaning more toward abortion, they do an ultrasound right away to find a heartbeat and help the mother to bond a little more with the baby.”

“I thought that was pretty cool, that they try whatever they can to stay away from (abortion),” he added.

“There were a lot of people who supported us and with the movement we were trying to do,” Wolf said. “It was really nice to see people cared.”

CYO Adviser Lisa Volk said the fundraising and support activities coincided with Pro Life Month.

Each January marks the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, a Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion in the United States. Estimates published by the National Right to Life Committee say approximately 62 million abortions have been performed since the decision.

“The gift of life is a miracle and we bring special attention to honor that during January,” Volk said.

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