As the coronavirus pandemic is reaching its climax, Mississippi families are struggling to get by. Despite efforts from both the state and federal government to revive and reopen Mississippi’s economy, relief cannot come quick enough, especially for new and expecting mothers.

Mothers across the state are experiencing the financial difficulty surrounding unemployment while, simultaneously, trying to raise a family. 

Many are single mothers, and some are without the support of family or friends. At first glance, the great personal responsibility of raising a child may seem too difficult a circumstance to possibly bear. However, there are organizations available to help situations such as this in times of crisis.

For example, the Students for Life of America chapter at the University of Mississippi have created an ingenious solution to help new and expecting mothers during the COVID-19 crisis. This group of students at Ole Miss are so passionate about what they advocate that they have created a campus initiative in coalition with their local pregnancy resource center, the Pregnancy Center of Oxford. The initiative is called, “Mother’s Day Project: Baby Registry.”

The registry, which is located on Amazon.com, allows individuals to purchase much needed supplies such as bottles, diapers, clothing, baby wipes, and other essential items for parenting. The purchased items will be delivered directly to restock the Pregnancy Center of Oxford. The goal of this initiative is to support pregnant and parenting mothers for Mother’s Day.

New and expecting mothers visit the Pregnancy Center of Oxford year-round to receive items such as those being purchased from the Ole Miss Students for Life baby registry. Mothers can also receive training, counseling, and information about prenatal development, adoption, and contraceptive methods in addition to having access to lab quality pregnancy tests, ultrasound equipment, and referrals to medical professionals.  

All services provided by them are always confidential and free of charge. As a non-profit organization, they rely on donations and volunteer efforts from the surrounding community and on those organizations similar to Students for Life of America. 

The Students for Life of America is a national organization whose purpose is to recruit, train, and mobilize the pro-life generation to abolish abortion. Chapters are established on college campuses across the country and serve to educate other young people about the violence of abortion, create new pro-lifers, and transform campuses into places that support pregnant and parenting women.  

The pro-life movement was sparked at the University of Mississippi campus following the murder of an Ole Miss student, Ally Kostial, in 2019. Kostial was reportedly with child at the time of her murder and had intentions of carrying to term.  

Thanks to organizations like the Ole Miss Students for Life and the Pregnancy Center of Oxford, new or expecting mothers in and around Lafayette County will have some relief during the COVID-19 pandemic especially as Mother’s Day approaches. The initiative will be ongoing until Mother’s Day, May 10. Donations to the baby registry may be made online by searching “Mother’s Project and Pregnancy Oxford” under Amazon’s Baby Registry tab.  

The Pregnancy Center of Oxford and the Ole Miss Students for Life can be reached respectively at pregnancyoxford@gmail.com and s4lolemiss@gmail.com.