Approximately 40 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.
Under sunny skies, walkers stepped out. The beautiful spring weather made the walking experience pleasant for the dogs, strollers and young children who accompanied the adults.
Lois Hollopeter, CareNet board member, registered the walkers.
She noted that the CareNet Walk is one of two major fundraisers.
"We hope to raise at least $4,000 at this walk," she said.
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.
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. They also offer 10-week parenting classes 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 for classes, call (610) 379-0411.
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.
In addition to the annual walk, CareNet holds an annual banquet to raise funds. She noted that the Baby Bottle Campaign is their most effective fundraiser.
CareNet presents a variety of programs that helps support satisfying relationships.
Besides relationship counseling, CareNet offers free pregnancy tests, options counseling, 24-hour confidential hot line, assistance by Caring Peer Counselors. Parents can also earn "Mommy Money" or "Daddy Dollars" that can be used to purchase items for babies by attending sessions on pregnancy, baby, parenting, relationships and life skills. The funds are used to buy baby clothes, diapers, baby furniture and maternity clothes.
They also offer referrals to community agencies and educational and vocational services. There is also information available about STDs and there is post abortion support.
Hollopeter said 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."