The Diaper Dealer
Arlene Allison is the opposite of all talk, no action.
For 11 years she has been single-handedly running The Gabriel Project – a pro-life organization that provides six months worth of baby supplies to mothers who have chosen against having an abortion.
“The babies make it worth it. To see their faces, to know they have a future – that’s reward enough for me,” Allison said.
The Gabriel Project is a nationwide organization that was established at a church in Texas the day after Roe vs. Wade was passed. The pastor of the church placed a sign in front of his parish saying “Pregnant? Need help?” and from then on The Gabriel Project was born.
Arlene Allison established her sector of the Gabriel Project for deeply personal reasons. She said, “One of the reasons why I do this is because I have a friend who attempted suicide because of an abortion she had 20 years ago, and this was when my granddaughter was born. She couldn’t get over the fact that she would never experience this. She would never have a child; she would never have a granddaughter; she would never be able to have that extended family all because of a choice she made 20 years before.”
On average, Allison helps around 60 mothers per year.
“I had one baby born two weeks ago, I have three due in May, four due in June, three in July, and two in August, I believe,” Allison said.
Any woman from the Centre County region can receive help from the Gabriel Project. In order to do so, the mothers must be a month away from their due date, and they must contact Allison in order to set up a weekly pick-up. She accepts pick-up orders until 4 p.m. every Wednesday, and pick-ups are carried out between 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Friday.
A standard set up package includes diapers, baby clothes up to one month-old, blankets, bottles, bottle cleaners, hygiene products, a car seat, and a Walmart gift card with enough funds to buy a crib and mattress. Altogether, the initial set up is worth around $500.
Allison purchases a bulk of the supplies, but she also relies on the donations of the parishioners of the St. Vincent de Paul Church.
Allison said, “I like to provide these mothers with nice clothing and nice items because we want to show them that they are worth more than beaten up hand-me-downs. When you give a mother something nice for their child it inspires them to help that baby live a happy life. When you make the mothers feel loved, you make their babies feel loved. It’s all about showing these mothers that they are worth it and their child’s life is worth it. Just like any pro-life organization, you want to make sure these women feel safe.”
Allison’s goal for The Gabriel Project is to be a pro-life organization that does more than just provides a couple of packs of diapers, but the beginnings of a life.
She said, “These women and their babies deserve happy lives and it’s the greatest accomplishment of my life being able to help do that.”
Alexis Lunardi is a 19 year-old freshman at Penn State University who came back to her hometown of State College, PA, for her college years. From January through March of 2015, Lunardi performed community service alongside Arlene Allison and The Gabriel Project. Lunardi describes Allison as a “stereotypical grandma,” and her experiences alongside the Diaper Dealer are nothing short of entertaining.