June 9, 2010 // Local

Simple cards help pay for needed cribs at Women’s Care Center

Standing with a new, boxed crib at the Women’s Care Center, administrative assistant Judy McLochlin holds a Crib Club card that will be given to those who donate toward the purchase of a crib. The card reads, “A donation has been made in your name toward the purchase of a crib for the Women’s Care Center Crib Club.”

By Michelle Donaghey

SOUTH BEND — “It just made sense” and it was “something so easy that anyone, any parish can do it,” said Monica Eckrich, a Christ the King parishioner. She hopes other parishes will do it to help pay for much needed baby cribs too.

Just over a year ago, Eckrich came up with the idea to make little cards people could give to others stating they gave a donation to help pay for much needed baby cribs for the Women’s Care Center.

“It really is so simple,” said Eckrich, noting that she doesn’t remember exactly when and how the idea was born though she thinks it was during a brainstorming session at a Christian Action Commission meeting she attended. It really doesn’t matter to her or others when and where the idea came, just that many babies are sleeping more comfortably because of it.

“We are so grateful,” said Judy McLochlin of the Women’s Care Center in South Bend at LaSalle Street.

Eckrich says she talks about the project in hopes that others will decide to do similar projects at their parishes as well.

“If they could see how easy it is, they would do it. It just makes sense to join in. I hope they take the idea and run,” she said.

Eckrich explained that the cards can be given to those who make a donation toward the purchase of a new crib for the Crib Club.

Last year a table was set up at Christ the King with cards that Eckrich made for parishioners in time for Mother’s Day.

Eckrich said she was surprised that the project was “unbelievably” popular. “I was floored how many participated. I could not believe it. We raised enough to purchase 15 cribs last year and this year too! I am pretty well pleased with it,” she said. This year, Christ the King raised $1,600.

Eckrich said she spent a good amount of time on the cards that first went out to moms. “I probably spent at least 20 hours,” she said noting that now they are making them much faster.

Other churches have gotten on board as well. St. Matthew Cathedral offers a similar project at Christmas time. The “Away In a Manger” project, which was organized by the second-grade class there, raised over $1,500.

St. Anthony Parish also raised $700 with a similar project a few weeks before Mother’s Day.

Eckrich thinks that the reason people love it so much is that it is an easy one and is one that helps others.

“There’s a mother out there that needs a crib, so let’s help a baby get a good start,” Eckrich said.

The Women’s Care Center appreciates what she has done, noting that they didn’t have cribs to spare before the project started.

“The response is just amazing. We’re fortunate to have a storage place at our location,” noted McLochlin. “Monica has done and does such an excellent job. It is really a huge help. Cribs are not cheap — $129 for each one. It is such a warm and fuzzy feeling to think the way they are given.”

The two locations of the Women’s Care Center that offer cribs are at Notre Dame Avenue and Lincolnway West. A new, boxed crib requires 14 coupons earned by attending parenting or educational classes. “We try to help them to become a better parent,” McLochlin noted. “When they earn it, it means so much more.”
McLochlin hopes that all who give realize just how much it means to those who receive the cribs.

“It’s just such a wonderful thing. It’s definitely such a blessing to the parents. If they didn’t have it, the babies may not have had a nice place to sleep,” she said.

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