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COLUMBIA - The Veterans United Foundation awarded Central Missouri Community Action (CMCA) with a $10,000 grant for CMCA's Pregnancy Crisis Fund.

The Pregnancy Crisis Fund helps newborns and their mothers get the supplies they need in the baby's first year of life. The money will be used to buy diapers and diaper rash creme for babies whose families cannot afford them. The grant will also provide feminine hygiene products.

In counties with fewer resources, such as Moniteau and Osage Counties, the money can even be used to buy car seats for babies that would not be able to come home from the hospital without them.

Jackie Rivera, the Heath Administrator for CMCA, said the program came about after she realized there are so many newborns in need.

"We were going on these visits and we realized that these moms didn't have their basic needs and these babies didn't have their basic needs," Rivera said. "We would hear from moms that they were only changing the baby's diaper when they were really soiled because they couldn't afford to buy diapers."

Rivera also said having diapers makes for a happy baby, which will in turn lower the rates of child abuse.

CMCA operates in 8 counties in mid-Missouri. To find out how you can get involved in the program, contact Jackie Rivera at Jackie-Rivera@showmeaction.org. For mothers looking for assistance, visit a CMCA Resource Office.

Veterans United Foundation is the philanthropic division of Veterans United Home Loans, and is funded by employee donations.