Families of young children, even those expecting to add to their family in the near future, need to get to know the Family Resource Center. The helpful office is located in the Wetzel County Center for Children and Families (WCCCF) and now with a Hundred Area Family Resource Center at 6 Pennsylvania Avenue, the main street, in Hundred.
The centers' mission is to provide programs and services that support and strengthen Wetzel County families through interagency coordination, collaboration, and communication. In layman's terms, that means the centers will help families find any services they need while also providing a few programs themselves.
Family Resource Coordinator Regina Reynolds is particularly proud of their Baby Pantry Clothing Closets. They provide free items for needy families. They stock diapers, baby food, formula, toys, and clothes with sizes from newborn to 18 years; they even have some women's and maternity clothes.
Regina Reynolds holds some new winter coats that were donated to the Family Resource Center’s Baby Pantry Clothing Closet by St. Ann’s Episcopal Church in New Martinsville. The pantry also recently received a $2,000 donation from Chesapeake Energy.
The closets, located at both offices, gladly accept donations. Those donations can be new items, such as diapers, wipes, and formula, or used things, such as clothing and toys. Reynolds said they particularly receive many donations from churches. They'll even take donations of coupons for baby needs, particularly for formula. She said even if the formula coupons are in the check format with the recipient's name on them, they can still use them.
Reynolds is also happy that some of the families who receive items from the pantry are bringing them back when their children outgrow them. Then they can choose some more size-appropriate items. "It works out really well," she said. "We appreciate that," added Marsha Croasmun, WCCCF coordinator.
Recently the Baby Pantry Clothing Closet received a $2,000 donation from Chesapeake Energy. That money will got toward some fixtures to better organize the closet and make them able to hang all of the clothes. This will make them easier to see and sort through when finding items for those in need. They will also use some of the donation to buy diapers. "We go through diapers like crazy," noted Reynolds.
The pantry has been in place for about a year at the WCCCF. "It has grown quite a bit," she noted of the pantry. Croasmun agreed, "We've had a lot more lately using it. They need everything. Even with the WIC (Women, Infants, Children) program, they run out."
Another program at both centers are the playgroups that meet on Fridays. Both begin at 10 a.m. with the group in Hundred ending at 11 a.m. and the WCCCF group ending at 11:30 a.m. The latter meets in the playroom at the center and the extra half-hour affords the children time to play on the indoor playground. Each playgroup includes a story, craft, and snack.
They also provide the Parents As Teachers program. Parents of children from pre-natal (unborn) to pre-Kindergarten age (usually four) can be visited in their homes to receive a variety of assistance. The providers offer developmental screenings, family support, and learning activities. The centers are always happy to sign new parents into the program at any time.
For more information on any of their services or to seek referral to another service provider, call the offices at 304-455-2468, WCCCF, or 304-775-2000, Hundred. The offices are generally open Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and on Fridays during playgroup.