EAST CHICAGO | Several East Chicago businesses were destroyed in a huge blaze March 9, a fire that also consumed hundreds of car seats, cribs and supplies meant for high-risk and medically high-risk mothers-to-be.
HealthVisions Midwest, Inc, a faith-based community health organization sponsored by the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ, has been active in Lake County since 1998. Offering programs ranging from breast and cervical cancer prevention to older adult services, HealthVisions Midwest also offers prenatal care coordination assistance and services free-of-charge to pregnant women in East Chicago and surrounding communities. The program, known as Promotores de Salud Maternal e Infantil, was seriously affected by the fire, which destroyed thousands of dollars in new supplies and nursery furnishings. Among the losses were hundreds of car seats, strollers, pack and plays, crib sheets, receiving blankets, clothing, diapers, wipes and infant toiletries, scheduled to be distributed to mothers in the program and surrounding community.
“Most of the pregnant women and mothers we work with in the community have limited resources and have nothing for their new babies,” says Sr. Annemarie Kampwerth, HealthVisions Midwest’s Director of Education and Partnerships. “They are calling us and we have nothing to give them. It is heartbreaking. We need to replace what was lost immediately because they are so necessary and the demand for them is so high.”
The BMO Harris Bank branch at 2409 E. 141st Street in East Chicago will accept donations of diapers, wipes, baby wash, shampoo and lotion. Monetary donations can be made at any BMO Harris Bank branch.
Donations can also be given online at http://www.hvusa.org or sent to HealthVisions Midwest, 3700 179th Street, Hammond, IN 46323. More information can be obtained by calling HealthVisions Midwest at (219) 844-2698. Maternal Child Health program is partially funded by Indiana State Department of Health.