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Stork's Store carries supplies for expectant mothers

June 10, 2002|by STACEY DANZUSO

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Ronald and Melissa Tomlinson didn't know what to expect on their first visit to the Stork's Store in Chambersburg.

The McConnellsburg, Pa., couple left with their arms loaded with diapers, baby clothes, a playpen and Ronald Tomlinson's favorite - a children's rocker shaped like a caterpillar.

What could have cost them more than $100 in a retail store cost the couple only 4,500 of the 10,500 points Melissa Tomlinson has racked up simply by keeping her regular doctor appointments so far during her pregnancy.

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The Stork's Store is a cooperative project of the Chambersburg Business and Professional Women's Club, Keystone Health Center, Keystone Women's Care and World Harvest Outreach.

Pregnant women in the Healthy Beginnings Plus Program, which accepts low-income and under-insured women, can receive points from the Keystone Health Center, Keystone Women's Care, Chambersburg Midwifery and Women's Health Professionals of Chambersburg, said Charlene Gingrich, a registered nurse and clinical administrator at Keystone Women's Care.

With an emphasis on prenatal care, women receive as many as 2,500 points for seeing a doctor during the second month of pregnancy, as well as points for attending smoking cessation and parenting classes.

"That ultimately saves on medical costs," said Denise Barrows, who is on the Stork's Store board of directors.

The Stork's Store provides an incentive for pregnant women to get the care they need.

"No money is exchanged. This is a reward for early prenatal care and consistent care," Gingrich said.

Points are awarded throughout the pregnancy and end with a postpartum visit, she said.

"Some hold onto their points and some come here with 500 points to pick out an outfit," Gingrich said.

The store was previously operated out of Summit Health's maternity clinic. Since it closed, the store had to find a new location.

It officially opened in World Harvest Outreach on April 12, Gingrich said. World Harvest is a nondenominational church that volunteered to donate space to the Stork's Store.

Melissa Tomlinson, whose baby is due in October, said she began accumulating points right after learning about her pregnancy. Tuesday was the first day she came to the store.

"We didn't know what to expect. They have pretty much everything," she said.

The inventory ranges from disposable diapers to sleepers to toys and the bright blue fold-up playpen the Tomlinsons took home Tuesday.

Volunteers sort through the inventory of new and used items and make sure they are clean and in good shape, Barrows said. Each item is given a number and a point value.

The Stork's Store is located at World Harvest Outreach, 1090 Wayne Ave., Chambersburg. Hours are Tuesdays from 2 to 5 p.m. and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Donations can be delivered during store hours. To volunteer, call 1-717-709-1126.

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