Williams / Bareido.
Speaker Regina Bareido is introduced by Rotarian Justin Williams.
The Gabriel Project
Help for expecting moms and infants two years and under

May 20, 2017

"Families we assist are really down on their luck," Regina Regina Bareido told Putnam Rotarians today. "We had a father with custody of twins, and the mother just decided to walk off and leave them.

"He came in several times to get formula and baby food for them."

In the twenty years Bareido has been with the Gabriel Project, circumstances have changed. "Our assistance used to go to single mothers. Now we often help fathers and grandparents.

"Grandparents are in custody of their children now, because [the parents] are on drugs. And they're in rehab or in prison.

"Every situation is different. We had a mom who had had a house fire and her ten-month old baby was hospitalized for smoke inhalation.

"Her husband was also badly burned. She spent so much time in the hospital. She needed diapers and wipes for two children. We rallied around her."

The Gabriel Project learns of needs from other charity groups such as the Salvation Army, Union Mission, Mountain Mission, churches, individuals and individuals.

The faith-based not-for-profit organization offers timely and practical assistance to expectant mothers, children and infants two years of age and under.

"Regardless of what's going on with the family," Bareido said, "the babies need a place to sleep. They deserve a dry bottom -- and food.

"We take a fee for cribs and car seats," she said, "but the other things are free. We give out clothes. A lot of the clothes are used, but families donate them back and we pass them along. Some churches keep a big barrel, and people drop off things they don't need."

O'Quinn / Six
Rotarian George Six (right) chats with guest Bob O'Quinn, Owner of Birds, Blooms & Butterflies (3475 Teays Valley Road, across from Valley Park).

Bareido is a coordinator for the Metro Valley chapter which serves ten counties in the southwestern part of the state."We get churches on board," said Bareido.

"We have two centers in Putnam County. St. Timothy's Episcopal and Ascension Catholic Church in Hurricane has volunteers for the Project. St. Patrick Mission Church in Bancroft supports needs on the north side of the county.

Last year, Gabriel served 156 families in Putnam, and over 3,500 in other area counties. Volunteers offered assistance for families in the flood disasters last year -- including 600 cans of formula, 150 cribs, 140 car seats and almost 1800 packs of diapers.

Three out of four people tend to install car seats incorrectly, Bareido said. She delivers the donated seats to the Charleston police department where a certified installer offers assistance to parents.

The state offers a tax break for Gabriel Project donations greater than $500. Tax credits may be paid through the Neighborhood Investment Program established in 1998 to encourage charitable giving. Gifts of $500 allow an income tax break of $250.

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