On Sunday, mothers will be honored and celebrated for their unselfish love and sacrifices made for their children. But some young mothers won't be enjoying champagne brunch and bouquets of flowers this Mother's Day because they are struggling just to feed and clothe their child.
Appealing to the human instinct to protect and nurture all children, a community donation drive seeks to provide basic necessities to the babies of teenage mothers in need.
Throughout the month of May, the drive is collecting soy baby formula, diapers for newborns and sizes 4 and 6, baby and toddler clothing in sizes newborn to 5T, maternity clothes and disposable cameras to capture the first moments following their child's birth.
Donations will be collected at three main drop-off points:
* Laufen Tile & Stone, 972 E. Greg St. in Sparks, 359-4388. Laufen Tile & Stone is offering a discount to customers who donate to the drive.
* Travel@Caughlin Ranch, 4872 Caughlin Parkway, Suite 501 in Reno, 746-3597.
* The Kiwanis Bike Project, 2605 Comstock, across from Rancho San Rafael Regional Park, next to the University of Nevada, Reno, 746-9310.
Jason Stancil, the organizer of the drive, is challenging the community to donate enough supplies to help 100 local young mothers.
Stancil, a lead AmeriCorps volunteer at the Food Bank of Northern Nevada and recruiter for Volunteers in Service To America (VISTA), organized the drive after a successful effort to assemble care kits for abused women and children in January.
"Our goal was to raise 200 pounds of donated hygiene products in January, but four major retailers collected and distributed 1,500 pounds of products," Stancil said. "It excited the retailers and they asked what their employees could do on a monthly basis."
Some local businesses and individuals that participated in the January donations drive were happy to support the current effort.
"As we begin to celebrate spring, the retailers and I naturally looked at new life and aligned it with a pressing need in our community," Stancil said.
The infant care donations will benefit young pregnant women who live at Casa de Vida, a residential program in Reno that provides housing and support while assisting young women with job skills training, completion of high school classes, housing assistance and parenting skills.
The donations will also go to as many as 40 pregnant teens and 20 babies of young mothers who attend Washoe High School, as well as 25 pregnant or young mothers in the teen mother support group through Planned Parenthood Mar Monte, Stancil said.
Donations may also support young mothers-to-be receiving assistance at local Crisis Pregnancy Centers in the local area, with the goal of eventually reaching rural areas such as Fernley and Fallon for future donation drives, Stancil said.
There were more than 48,000 births to teen mothers in Nevada between 1991 and 2004 (the most recent year of reported statistics), according to the Washoe County District Health Department.
In 2003, there were nearly 62 pregnancies for every 1,000 girls ages 15 to 19 in Washoe County, according to Planned Parenthood.