Rome News-Tribune

‘Life-changing, awesome and powerful’: Women’s Enrichment Center celebrates its successes

- By Ryan Anderson

DALTON —Oct. 7—Though the threat of rain forced the Women’s Enrichment Center’s “Meet in the Street” off the street and inside Rock Bridge Community Church’s Stage 123 Tuesday night, the move couldn’t diminish the enthusiasm of the supporters of the center.

“They save lives,” said Emily Day, a member of Salem Baptist Church, which supports the center in numerous ways. “We support them 100%.”

Salem’s Sunday school committed nearly a decade ago to help the center financiall­y and with volunteers, said Day’s husband, Shane, a catalyst for the Sunday school. “We’ve done drives for diapers and wipes, and I’ve put shelves in and floors down” as part of a remodeling effort at the center.

Wipes and diapers are “necessitie­s babies need all the time,” according to Renee Rector, the center’s executive director. “We give out more than 1,000 packs of wipes and diapers per year” to hundreds of clients.

In addition to drives and donations, “one of our members, Robert Bates, leads a prospectiv­e father’s class” for males in need of guidance,

Shane Day said. “Those young men need mentoring, too.”

Salem also provides mentors for mothers and mothersto-be as part of the center’s mom-to-mom mentoring group, said Donna Brinkley, Salem’s choir director. “Some of our people are in the mom-mentoring group” at the center, and “they’re doing a ton of volunteer work.”

The mom-to-mom mentoring group is a pivotal initiative, Rector said. The center also held a graduation and cookout this summer to celebrate clients who passed through stages of the center’s parenting classes.

Those who participat­e in the center’s parenting classes earn points they can use to shop in the center’s secondfloo­r store, Rector said. The center also provides limited ultrasound­s under the supervisio­n of a doctor, and staff can refer clients to other resources for anything the center can’t provide.

Jim Brinkley, Salem’s worship pastor, was pastor of Rocky Face Baptist Church when he first became acquainted with the center and Rector, and he’s been “really supportive of what they’re doing” ever since, he said. “I’ve been part of this for 12 years or so.”

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