Aledo pregnancy center offers help and hope

by Sandra Engelland

North Texas Catholic

May 20, 2020

Roxanna Young, Flourishing Tree directorRoxanna Young, Flourishing Tree director
Roxanna Young, Flourishing Tree director, speaks with a client. The family and pregnancy resource center in Aledo is providing baby products in a drive-through service. (NTC/Juan Guajardo)


ALEDO — A family recently came to Flourishing Tree Family & Pregnancy Resource Center in Aledo. The dad had lost his job and the mom had just found out she was pregnant with their sixth child.

The parents arrived feeling anxious and depressed, but they left with necessary supplies, support, and hope, said Roxanna Young, Flourishing Tree director.

Other recent clients of the center include pregnant teens and young dads who want to help their babies get a good start in life.

The center, housed in a home on acreage in fast-growing Aledo, has experienced a big increase in people seeking services in the last two months, Young said. In a recent three-day period, more than 150 clients received help.

“Many people tell us, ‘I didn’t know a place like this existed,’” Young said.

The center provides all types of baby-related products free of charge: diapers, formula, clothing, toys, books, car seats, furniture, décor, and more.

Under normal circumstances, parents can visit the Baby Boutique, a room in the house where they can select new and gently used clothing, toys, and other items for their children.

For the last two months, clients have received items in a drive-through service. They pull up in the front drive and get diapers and whatever else they need. Clothing is sorted into bags by sex and age.

“We’ve stayed open, but we had to make changes in how we connect with clients,” Young said.

Clients fill out a form, giving the number of children they have and their ages and sizes. They also have access to free online parenting classes and can earn credits to obtain additional items in the future by completing classes and attending church services.

Mary Ann Barnard, a retired sixth-grade teacher who works at Flourishing Tree, said, “The more I became involved in it, the more I saw the need.”

The ministry, which is an apostolate of the Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth, started about four years ago. In addition to items and education, the center offers free self-administered pregnancy tests, adoption referrals if requested, and free visits with a licensed counselor, a lactation consultant, or a nutritionist.

Young said the center soon would be able to do some ultrasound imaging, thanks to a donated machine and a local OB/GYN who is volunteering her expertise.

“God is moving us forward as He provides,” she said.

Roxanna Young, Flourishing Tree directorRoxanna Young, Flourishing Tree director
Roxanna Young, Flourishing Tree director, gathers supplies for clients of the Aledo pregnancy and family resource center. (NTC/Juan Guajardo)


Young connects with clients, volunteers, and donors through Flourishing Tree’s Facebook page. Although the center is open only on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., Young answers questions on Facebook throughout the week.

“I’m on 24/7,” she said. “What keeps me working 24/7 is love! God is love — we are loving our neighbors. This is God’s mission.”

Flourishing Tree benefits from the generosity of donors and volunteers. Almost everything in the house was donated, from kitchenware and a coffee maker to major appliances and an ultrasound machine.

Young also has had volunteers from area churches help with small projects like installing interior doors.

She’s received a lot of assistance from her home parish of Holy Redeemer in Aledo, Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Mineral Wells, St. Stephen Parish in Weatherford, and several other Christian organizations.

Young said there are plenty of ways the faithful can help Flourishing Tree, beginning with prayer.

“We always ask people to pray because prayer is very powerful,” she said. “God has given us what we need.”

They also appreciate monthly donors, even just a few dollars a month, to help cover rent on the space. Another way to help is to donate new or gently used clothing for newborn to age 2 and formula (especially Similac Advance baby formula in the blue container).

Terri Schauf, Respect Life coordinator for the diocese, said, “Pregnancy centers are really at the forefront of pro-life ministry, helping women directly in need when they have a crisis pregnancy or an unexpected pregnancy.”

Other pregnancy centers that are apostolates of the diocese include Loreto House in Denton and Mother and Unborn Baby Care in Fort Worth.

It’s crucial to have pregnancy centers around the diocese because clients often don’t have the resources to travel far from home, Schauf said.

The diocese has several other ministries in Respect Life, all of which focus on aspects of spiritual, emotional, and physical health.

Schauf said, “We’re putting our actions where the Church’s teachings are. We respect life from the moment of conception to natural death.”

For more information on Flourishing Tree, visit the organization’s website at FlourishingTree.org or like the Flourishing Tree Facebook page.

Roxanna Young, director of Flourishing Tree

ALEDO — A family recently came to Flourishing Tree Family & Pregnancy Resource Center in Aledo. The dad had lost his job and the mom had just found out she was pregnant with their sixth child.

Published (until 5/20/2035)
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