WEST MILTON — A new group has formed in West Milton aimed at supporting mothers and children.
Mindy Paddock, who founded Guiding Light Advocates, said the group’s mission is to empower women to choose life by offering assistance and connecting them with free resources.
“I feel very passionate about helping women and children,” Paddock said, who added that she felt strongly that starting this group to provide women with alternatives to abortion was something she needed to do.
Guiding Light Advocates started meeting at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in West Milton last fall.
“We’re not here to judge. We are a loving group that just truly wants to make a difference. We’re not looking for any compensation, you don’t have to join our church,” she said, stressing that there’s no strings attached to accepting help from the group.
The group is operating on donations, including baby clothes, handmade quilts and diapers, and has received some grant funding.
Thrivent Financial awarded the group a $250 “Living Generously” grant, which enabled them to buy almost 700 diapers and baby and kids clothing. The grant also allowed them to host a baby shower including gifts for one young woman.
“We were able to give her swaddles and baby blankets and nice things that I know she wouldn’t have been able to afford herself,” Paddock said.
The assistance is not limited to expecting mothers or women with infants, Paddock said. The group also helped a woman buy a coat for her 10-year-old and provided assistance paying one of her bills.
“Each scenario is different. Each woman that we have helped had different challenges,” she said. “One woman just needed a crib.”
Paddock said Miami County Right to Life provides free cribs for those who take a parenting class, so Guiding Light Advocates gave her a ride to sign up for the class. They also offer rides to appointments.
“That’s the immediate goal: guide women to the resources that are available to them that they might not have known about otherwise,” she said.
Paddock said the group welcomes donations and volunteers. Those interested in helping or learning more can contact Good Shepherd Lutheran Church at (937) 698-5826. The church is located at 1209 S. Miami St. in West Milton.
“We just want to be a source of hope for women who may feel like they’re in a particularly scary time in their lives. Unplanned pregnancy is something that is temporary, and will pass, and we can get through this time with them so they’re not alone,” Paddock added.
Reach Cecilia Fox at firstname.lastname@example.org.