Locked up for babies

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT)-Around 50 people were arrested at the Chili's location in Paragould on Thursday.

The March of Dimes annual Jail N Bail kicked off when the restaurant opened.

Division Director for the March of Dimes, Melissa Gann, said a wide variety of people spent part of their day pitching in.

"We've got a lot of great community leaders," Gann said. "Business owners and people all throughout the community coming out and trying to raise money."

Bail for the arrestees was set at $1,000.

Prisoners scrambled through the contact list on their cell phones to raise enough money to get themselves out.

"The mission of the March of Dimes is to improve the health of babies," Gann stated. "We work to prevent birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality, which is anything that might cause the death of a baby in the first year of life."

The March of Dimes carries out that mission through programs of research and working to educate women, mothers, healthcare professionals and even the general public.

They also work in legislation, advocating for laws that protect the health of mothers and their babies.

Gann says without the help of volunteers, like their prisoners, they couldn't make the strides they do in helping others.

"The March of Dimes is funded by people who just care enough to give out of the kindness of their heart," Gann said. "So, without events like this jail n bail we would not be able to carry out our mission."

Vonnie Greer of Paragould says when they first asked her to participate she knew she wanted to help.

"I feel that it's a great cause," Greer said. "I'm all about children and helping kids out the best way we can. And so, when I was asked to do this there was no way I'd say no."

"It's a good organization to get involved in," Pastor Patrick Tucker of the Paragould Church of God stated. "The more people who get involved, the more money is raised so they can further their research."

Gann says prisoners raised around $16,000.

1 out of every 7 Arkansas babies is born too soon.

For more information about how you can help the March of Dimes, log onto their website.

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