CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Jane was worried that she could no longer afford the baby formula her daughter required after cutbacks to the federal Women, Infants and Children nutrition program.She had been diluting milk with water to try and make ends meet and also could not afford winter clothing. That's when the Gabriel Project of West Virginia stepped in to help. The organization collected donations to get Jane the necessary formula and items for her daughter, including diapers, blankets and clothing, said Donna Hawkins, executive director of the Gabriel Project.Jane is one of several new parents who have turned to her organization for help, Hawkins said. It would cost about $800 to help Jane for the entire new year, she said.The Gabriel Project, founded in 1996, provides financial support for new parents struggling to make ends meet in West Virginia.
Mike is a new father taking care of a 2-month-old son after the boy's mother moved to another state. He was embarrassed because he did not have enough money for a crib or other baby items.Hawkins said the Gabriel Project gave Mike a new crib and explained to him that it's not safe for his baby to sleep in an adult bed. The organization wants to help Mike buy diapers, formula and clothes for his son. It would cost about $1,000 to help Mike in 2014, Hawkins said.Hawkins said she also needs volunteers to help sort donations. The organization is always in need of baby clothing and maternity clothing, as well as new cribs and new infant car seats.To help the Gabriel Project and the families it helps, consider donating to the Gazette Charities Christmas Fund. The Gazette covers the administrative costs of the fund and all donations are tax-deductible.To donate online, go to wvgazette.com and click on the Gazette Charities Christmas Fund logo.