The mission of the Gabriel Project of West Virginia is to protect and honor life by providing immediate and practical support to pregnant women and families with infants and young children under the age of two years.
What We Do
The Gabriel Project benefits families and single mothers without adequate financial resources to meet the tangible needs of a new baby. We provide such items as safe cribs, secure car seats, diapers, formula, clothing, and hygiene products at no or low cost to the client. We also provide mothers with emotional support, answer questions about baby care, and make referrals to other social service organizations. We provide transportation if possible to medical appointments.
Assistance provided by the Gabriel Project enhances the abilities of families to parent and nurture their children and to keep them healthy and safe. Gabriel Project assistance is provided by volunteers called “Gabriel Angels”, working through an ecumenical network of churches across the state. The Gabriel Project is unique in that we provide assistance on a grassroots level, connecting needy women with volunteers in their neighborhood, thus creating strong community ties through caring, personal relationships.
Who We Help
Unlike other women and children service organizations, we do not impose financial restrictions or eligibility criteria on our clients. We therefore frequently assist needy families who “fall through the cracks” in qualifying for other agencies’ services. We serve homeless women, families without jobs, women and children who are victims of domestic violence and countless others. Although we primarily serve mothers and mothers-to-be, we also assist fathers and grandparents caring for their child or grandchild.
We help mothers like Jessica, who escaped from an abusive relationship with her infant and toddler and only a few clothes that she could quickly gather. She timidly approached the Gabriel Project, seeking diapers for her infant. When the Gabriel Angel met with Jessica, it quickly became apparent that this family needed much more help. She and her children were sleeping on old blankets on the floor in a house with no heat. There was little food to eat. In a matter of hours, the Gabriel Angel rallied help to provide emergency items. The next day a crib and toddler bed arrived. The Gabriel Angel also helped Jessica connect with other social service agencies for additional assistance and legal support. Even though Jessica was nervous about the future, she cried tears of joy for the care and mentoring provided to her by the Gabriel Project.
Our History and Structure
The Gabriel Project of West Virginia began with a group of women in Wheeling who were concerned for the welfare of low-income women and children in their community. Looking for a more comprehensive way to serve those in need, these Wheeling women expanded their grassroots efforts and formally launched the Gabriel Project in 1996. The following year, 1997, the Gabriel Project was formally incorporated as a nonprofit organization and received our initial IRS 501(c)(3) determination.
Today the Gabriel Project serves needy West Virginia families in 28 counties in the state through four chapters. These chapters are located in the Northern Panhandle, the Mid-Ohio Valley, the Eastern Panhandle and the Kanawha Valley area. Our state office was relocated in June, 2010, from Wheeling to Charleston to more efficiently centralize our operations.
Although the Gabriel Project utilizes volunteers through an ecumenical network of churches, we do not evangelize and we are not a religious cause. We do not lobby nor do we attempt to influence legislation. We are independently organized and not part of any religious group in the state of West Virginia. Our services are provided without regard to race, color, religion, sex, disability, age or national origin.
Five years ago, in 2007, the Gabriel Project of West Virginia assisted 2,713 families. Last year, 2012, the total number of families we served had risen to more than 4,000 and is expected to continue to increase in the foreseeable future.
For more information about the Gabriel Project of West Virginia, call the state office at 304-205-5865.