A mother reaches out her hand and embraces her child, overflowing with love and compassion. This was a site that replayed for much of the day—a moment of realization and gratitude for participants and volunteers alike.

The love and encouragement of Heavenly Mother was felt in the air as volunteers from the Church of God in Belleville gathered at Darlington Park in Mahwah, NJ for the “March for Babies” fundraiser walk. Many families and supporters from the surrounding areas took part in the walk. The purpose—to help raise funds for the research of preventative care for premature babies.

Each year, 15 million babies are born prematurely, and about 1 million of them die. Moreover, the medical cost to care for a premature baby is astronomical. For this reason, families with premature babies in intensive care units were to benefit from the walk. Funds raised through the walk will help aid families with paying for these costs.

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Church of God volunteers with “March for Babies” walk participants.

Church of God volunteers created a joyful atmosphere as they cheered on walkers. Many of the walk participants were either parents with premature babies, or relatives or close friends to those who had premature babies. Receiving the encouragement from the Church members was a great boost of morale for many of participants. There was nonstop smiling and laughter throughout the day. It wouldn’t be too much to say that everyone felt happiness and comfort as if they were one big family.

Furthermore, several mothers shared their own stories with the volunteers. Their stories spoke to their experiences during the first few months of their children’s premature life. Amazingly, they discovered a new strength within them as they could only envision their children growing up to be healthy and strong. Such love of mothers is truly the foundation of the family, which provides inspiration to never give up. Nevertheless, such love could not exist if it were not for the source of love, that is, God the Mother.