Jada Fortunato was single, 19 and working her way through college when she became pregnant.
Statistically, that scenario often ends in abortion. Fortunato expected to sacrifice college to support her child. She didn’t have to make that choice, however, because a family friend told her about Mercy House, a support center for struggling families in the Archdiocese of Newark.
“Everyone was welcoming there,” said Fortunato, now 21, of North Arlington, New Jersey, as 2-year-old Giovanni babbled in the background. “When I was pregnant, I received assistance with food. And once I had the baby, I received a lot of help. I was getting formula, I was getting diapers, wipes, a car seat and one of those bouncy seats. I would definitely have struggled without their assistance.”
She was fortunate that someone in her circle told her where to find help. Because that connection is missing for many women with crisis pregnancies, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) created “Walking with Moms in Need: A Year of Service.”