RANGELY | The definition of an unsung hero is one who does great deeds but receives little or no recognition for them. They are ordinary people who make themselves extraordinary. Melissa Norman has done just that through her work with New Eden Pregnancy Care Services. She and the volunteers at New Eden have made big impacts for many women and families in the community. Norman has been the director of New Eden since 2014.
She and her husband Adair have been married 40 years. Norman, a United States Navy AZ2 veteran, and Adair, a Craig, Colorado, native, moved back to Colorado from Nevada in 1993.
“We just felt it was time to move back closer to family,” Norman said. She worked for the United States Postal Service for 30 years before retiring.
Together, Melissa and Adair raised their three daughters, Chloe, Brittany, and Jolie here. Her granddaughter Raelynn graduated this year from Rangely Jr./Sr. High School.
When she speaks about New Eden, one senses Norman’s love and pride for the center. A Christian non-profit organization run and operated entirely by volunteers, New Eden was the concept of a group of pastors in Meeker, Colorado, who saw the need of women who were seeking help before, during and after their pregnancies for material items, guidance, support and encouragement. It is funded by churches and private individuals within the community. New Eden in Meeker opened its doors in 2011 and Rangely Eden opened its doors in 2013. Ginger Bollen was the original Rangely director. In the beginning, Rangely New Eden had a great number of volunteers. Presently, New Eden only has two other volunteers besides Norman.
“Donna Petersburg and JoAnn Adams are so faithful and wonderful to work alongside, they have such a vast knowledge of motherhood, they are great listeners and loving individuals,” Norman says of the two volunteers.
New Eden offers free pregnancy tests, diapers, formula, baby clothing sizes newborn through 2T, maternity clothing, baby items, guidance, educational information about pregnancy, adoption, abortion and parenting. All of the services are free and confidential.
New Eden tries to hold some fundraisers throughout the year to help boost finances. One of the fundraisers is the 5K Color Run which has traditionally been held around the Fourth of July in Rangely. This is their biggest fundraiser every year. The funds raised help keep their doors open. They buy baby supplies that are in short supply, and educational materials.
“The Rangely business community has been a great support to New Eden,” Norman said with gratitude. “The Western Rio Blanco Parks and Rec. [district] has purchased the color for the 5k Color Run and included the center in their list of events happening on the Fourth of July. They have been a big help for us.” Giovanni’s has provided water for the 5K Color Run, Nichol’s Store has provided ice, and White River Market donates fruit. “Rangely True Value keeps our yard in great shape, the Rangely District Hospital gives us a grant to purchase new car seats and First Baptist Church allows us to use their garbage cans,” Norman said. Every little bit helps when you are a nonprofit organization.
If you are interested in helping New Eden, they accept baby clothing in good repair, toys, books, baby items, new car seats, new cribs, pac’n’play, high chairs, nursing supplies, crib sheets, bassinets, blankets, shoes, socks, burp cloths, swaddlers, bath towels, wash clothes and much more. New Eden cannot accept donations of used car seats or used cribs for safety reasons. For more information about donations or services you can contact New Eden Pregnancy Care Services in Rangely at 970-675-2300 or Meeker at 970-878-5117.
By ROXIE FROMANG | Special to the Herald Times