The Teddy Bear Den in Sioux Falls rewards low income pregnant moms for doing what's right for their babies.
Each year about 1,500 moms-to-be earn points for not smoking, drinking, using drugs, going to their prenatal appointments and other healthy choices. Those points are used to shop for brand new baby items.
"We have everything we call a necessity for a baby. We have everything from diapers and wipes to clothing, strollers, highchairs. All the way up to a crib and a mattress," Teddy Bear Den Executive Director Sandy Lown said.
Participants with the Teddy Bear Den say they are overcome with emotion to be able to walk inside and pick out brand new clothes and supplies and take them home to their babies.
"It doesn't seem like a lot, but it's tremendous help," Teddy Bear Den Participant Vanessa Swanson said. "A crib, diapers, wipes, clothes, toys."
Swanson is from Sioux Falls and has been through the Teddy Bear Den program before, but this time with her baby Issbealla. She says she is grateful for the encouragement she receives throughout her pregnancy.
"I'm just glad that it's here and that it's here for everybody to use because there are so many women and moms that need to know about it. I get emotional because just a little helps," Swanson said.
The Teddy Bear Den has two major fundraisers each year. It also relies heavily on grants and donations from people and businesses in the community.
If you want to volunteer or enroll in the program you can call the Teddy Bear Den at (605) 335-2730 or visit their website.