Trying times for Cleveland agency working to help mothers, save babies at risk

CLEVELAND - One Cleveland agency is breaking down barriers to save babies' lives, tackling the high infant mortality rate within the African-American community head on.

Debra Bell with Birthing Beautiful Communities said two black babies are dying for every white baby. She and her colleagues are working to change that sad statistic.

Poverty, education and stress are all major factors that BBC helps with to help these babies live.

"It was just a lot of worry, and then when I got with Birthing Beautiful it took a lot of it off," said Fallon Davis, a single mother of two.

The Cleveland agency provides her and hundreds of other women with free transportation to get to and from doctors’ appointments, stress relieving classes and parent training. Without the ride, Davis would have to take a train and two buses to get to the agency, with her little ones in tow.

But that help is costly. BBC spends between $2,000 and $3,300 a month on Uber rides. It's a roadblock the agency needs to overcome if they want to keep helping the hundreds of mothers who rely on them.

"I understand the rates can triple sometimes during surges, and that's really a hardship on us," said Bell.

Right now, BBC is trying to raise $75,000 to cover the cost of buying and operating two transport vans to shuttle clients themselves, which will free up much needed cash. The vans could also be used for other programs within the agency, programs that ease the burden and the stress of being pregnant, giving birth and raising a child.

Davis said she was worried about being a single parent to two girls. Now she says she is ready for whatever life throws her way.

"Grateful. I got something that I thought I would never have. Tears of joy," said Davis.

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