Approximately 50 walkers supported CareNet of Carbon County on Saturday morning by putting one foot in front of the other during the annual Walk for Life. The walk was held at the Lehigh Canal Park in Weissport.
As the walkers were preparing to step out, the sun broke through the clouds and began shining brightly, making the walking experience more pleasant for the dogs, strollers and young children who accompanied the adults.
Among the walkers was a group of teens from Living Hope Lighthouse Church, Palmerton, who wanted to help make a difference with their donations. One of the teens, Jasmine Morales, plans to assist CareNet as part of her senior project to graduate from Palmerton High School.
Debbie Balch, administrative assistant, at CareNet thanked the walkers for coming out to support CareNet. She said that CareNet is a faith-based ministry that helps people from teens on up with support, counseling and tangible items for young mothers such as baby clothes, formula and equipment. The organization is solely supported by donations as it gets no government funding.
Balch said CareNet offers approximately 40 appointments a week, with many of those appointments held by couples struggling in their relationships. The organizations also provides counseling and help to teens and young mothers, Bible studies, plus anger management sessions and age appropriate parenting classes. Balch said that a new 10-week parenting class begins Oct. 13 for parents of children ages 2 to 12. The sessions uses the "Magic 1-2-3" concept effectively, which helps parents discipline young children without causing anger and frustration to parents. For more information or to register, call (610) 379-0411.
Balch said that parents who have children younger than 2 who want help to become better caregivers are set up with one-to-one sessions because their issues are so much different that parents of older children.
Balch said that in addition to the annual walk, CareNet held a motorcycle run organized by Christian Motorcycle Association, and holds an annual banquet to raise funds. She noted that the Baby Bottle Campaign is their most effective fundraiser.
Lois Hollopeter, CareNet board president, said CareNet is presently putting together education programs aimed at teaching high school children about the dangers of STDs.
"Many teens today do not understand the dangers of STDs and their relationship to fertility," she said. "They don't appreciate their fertility and do not understand that what they do today will effect their fertility in the future."
Hollopeter also noted that the parenting classes are aimed at breaking the cycle of bad parenting.
"Parents parent how they were parented," said Hollopeter. "When all new parents know is yelling or hitting, that is what they do with their child. We want to break that cycle with by providing information to parents how to do the job better."
Assisting with registration was Al and Joy Cheese. Joy is a volunteer bookkeeper and board treasurer.