A leading crisis pregnancy support organisation says that it is busier than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic, and is providing ongoing practical and emotional help to women “24/7” in the crisis.
Gianna Care said that they were “thankful and delighted” at the public response to a new initiative which sought to sponsor pregnant women and new mothers who had been hit financially by the pandemic.
“It was heartwarming to see people respond with such kindness to make sure that women who were already facing difficulties would have help in dealing with the financial effects of the pandemic,” Lucy McNally of Gianna Care said. “People have sponsored mums and babies so that they could pay rent and buy food, and it’s beautiful to see that love and support at a time when everyone is worried and anxious.”
“Gianna Care remains open to support any woman and provide practical help & emotional support 24/7. Our services are essential and we know we are a lifeline for women especially at this time,” she said “Eight women who were abortion-minded have got help to continue their pregnancies in March alone, and we’re offering ongoing support to many other families.”
“We have deliveries going out to mums and babies all the time, and we’re also sending direct financial help to some mums. We’re all keeping to the social distancing and safety requirements but we’re busier than ever.”
The support network said that some of the most vulnerable women they served were in need of food, clothing, nappies and other basic essentials and that deliveries were being made “all day, every day” and would continue throughout Easter. Other items that had been provided included cots, beds and buggies.
“Some of the sponsors have been so amazing, and these are just ordinary people, but they give from the heart in service of mothers and babies. We have one lovely family where the new baby has a condition that means he can’t take ordinary formula. This little man has been sponsored by a kind donor to cover his prescription formula costs every week. It’s wonderful to see so much kindness.,” Ms McNally said.
She said that it could sometimes “be tough” to meet the financial demands on the organisation, but that they worked to ensure they could help as many people as possible.
Gianna Care are delivering to families in this crisis
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
“We’re also providing help to some mums whose babies were born prematurely, and everything like that is made more difficult in this pandemic, so we’re pleased to be able to help. An unexpected pregnancy can be tough, and additional factors like prematurity or an unexpected job loss, as has happened to so many in this crisis, means we’re needed more than ever,” Mc McNally said.
“Some of our clients are living in homeless accommodation and that also means we need to be extra vigilant towards their needs, emotional as well as physical, as we help try to find a better solution to their housing issues.”
“In March alone, 28 mothers have been supported either with nappies, formula, food vouchers, bills, clothes or newborn baby materials. Gianna Care will not give up on them and will help, guide and encourage them to get back up on their feet,” she said.
Gianna Care has offices in Dublin and Galway, as well as network support in other counties, and plan to open a third office in Munster soon.
Máirín de Barra lives and writes from Dublin