Autumn Cruz / acruz@sacbee.com

Reyna Limones, right, watches as baby supplies are brought to her south Sacramento home by Diana Reveles, left, and Limones’ mother, Irma Avalos. Reveles is a case manager for Sutter Teen Programs, which works with the nonprofit My Mother’s Voice.

Gifts through nonprofit help expectant teen mom

Published: Saturday, Dec. 24, 2011 - 12:00 am | Page 10A
Last Modified: Saturday, Dec. 24, 2011 - 12:11 am

Reyna Limones, 19, said she is not having Christmas this year.

"Last year I did, but not this year. I don't have the money," she said.

This year, Limones said she can't afford to celebrate Christmas with gifts. She's going to be saving every penny she has to welcome her son, Jesus, who is due Jan. 25.

"Just family, that's basically what I need, just family," said Limones, who lives with her parents in south Sacramento. Limones said the biggest fear she faced when she found out that she was pregnant was telling her mother.

Although she is grateful that her family didn't turn her away, she is still anxious about her ability to get everything together before Jesus comes.

But with help from reader donations to the Book of Dreams, the local nonprofit organization My Mother's Voice, which supports teen mothers, showered Limones with gifts for her son on Tuesday. The nonprofit provided her with the items she'll need for Jesus' homecoming.

"I feel so special," said Limones, who received Winnie the Pooh-themed bed linens, toys and a crib from organization President Donjä Garvey. "I am so thankful. I don't know how I'll pay you back for this."

Limones is already returning the favor. Not only does the organization provide opportunities for peer counseling, but by sharing her story, Limones is helping raise money for the organization and other teen mothers.

Limones finished her general education at Sacramento City College this month and plans to continue her studies in hopes of becoming a registered nurse. But until then, she said, she is going to have a hard time making ends meet.

"I know I can't support myself, but I am proud of myself," said Limones of signing up to participate in My Mother's Voice, "because I know I am getting a lot of support. I feel special. Not everyone has this opportunity."

– Whitney Mountain

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