By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger
Bridging the gap for young women in an unplanned pregnancy is the goal of Bridgeway Home. The nonprofit will host a dinner as a fundraiser to help with the purchase of a home in the Quad-City area. Unwed mothers may live there throughout their pregnancy.
Stacy Zimmerman, president of Bridgeway Home, said she was inspired to take action after meeting a young college student facing an unplanned pregnancy. The mother-to-be faced several difficult choices related to continuing the pregnancy, her college education and employment considerations.
Zimmerman took the expectant mother, who chose adoption for her child, into her home. Zimmerman was present at the birth of the baby. “I cut the cord,” Zimmerman recalled with joy. When the adoption fell through, the young mother chose to keep her baby boy. “She is a great mother.”
That experience inspired Zimmerman to research the idea of a home for unwed mothers. Bridgeway Home would provide a family setting — with full-time house parents — for women living with an unexpected pregnancy. “It’s faith-based and we offer compassion.”
Women who choose to carry their babies to term can complete their college degrees so that they will be better equipped to provide for themselves and their children.
Zimmerman said she has spoken with Mary’s Inn Maternity House in Dubuque and Ruth Harbor Ministries in Des Moines about their ministries. She decided to create a program similar to Ruth Harbor.
St. John Vianney Parish in Bettendorf donated $1,000 this year from the parish’s Fish Fridays to Bridgeway Home. Parishioner Steve Wauer said he learned about Bridgeway through a personal contact. “This program has a faith-based component, which is great.” He said the parish looks at different entities each year for funding and “this was a great cause.”
Birdies for Charity from the John Deere Classic in the Quad-Cities also helped with the fundraising. Zimmerman said guests will be able to “hear our story” at the fundraising dinner which will be held Oct. 17 at the Tanglewood Pavilion in Bettendorf. There is no charge. A website to make reservations is being created, but interested persons can call Bridgeway Home at (563) 508-0315.
For more information, visit bridgewayhome.org or email email@example.com.