Banquet to help provide services for expectant mothers
Friday, March 4, 2016
Pregnancy Choices is preparing for its annual banquet, scheduled for April 7 at WestGate at Crane Academy and Conferencing Center.The Christian-based, non-profit organization, located at 74 W. Vincennes St. in Linton, hosts the dinner to educate the community about its services and also serves as its biggest fundraiser of the year.
Pregnancy Choices offers a wide-range of services to women, ranging from pregnancy tests to ultrasounds to mentoring services for both the future mother and father.
While the meal is free, the reservations-only event will include an appeal at the conclusion, asking those in attendance to make a donation to the organization.
Director of Development Michelle Brown stressed the event is by reservation only.
“It is our main fundraiser for the year. It generates about 60 percent of our budget,” Brown said.
Of the facility’s annual budget, about 99 percent of it is generated through donation, which supports services and helps to pay bills. Although it does receive a few hundred dollars a year from the state, which comes from a portion of the sales of “Choose Life” license plates purchased in Greene County.
Pregnancy Choices operates under Medical Director Dr. Mike Gambill.
If a woman thinks she is pregnant, a free pregnancy test is given at the facility, followed by an ultrasound if the test is positive. Although the ultrasound services are limited — up to 20 weeks — Brown said she feels as though this is one of the most important steps.
“The ultrasounds are very powerful,” Brown said, noting many abortion-minded women often change their mind after seeing their baby on the ultrasound.
Pregnancy Choices offers a wide-range of services to help the expectant mother feel prepared for the birth of her child, as well as provides resources for those who may choose other options.
The organization allows mothers to “earn while they learn.” For each class they take through the center, they earn points toward a Pack ‘N Play, car seat and a diaper bag full of baby items. They are also given a punch card to receive so many diapers and wipes.
Nurse Manager Shaye Place said Pregnancy Choices is exploring the option of offering Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) testing through the State Department of Health. She stressed the importance of getting tested because many STIs, such as Chlamydia, can live dormant in your system, while causing damage to your reproductive system.
Pregnancy Choices not only offers a wide range of services within its walls, but also visits with local students to stress the importance of abstinence.
Future fathers are not left out of the equation with Pregnancy Choices. Brown said a group of male mentors from the community donate their time to ensure dads are on the right track.
A portion of this year’s banquet is going to be a moving testimony from a woman who chose life.
“We have a client testimony. We have a video this year that is going to be super great. This is a young woman who was abortion-minded and after seeing her child on the ultrasound, chose to give life to her baby,” Brown said.
“You get to see each step a woman will go through when they are at the Pregnancy Center, from the test to the ultrasound to the classes to getting all of her material aid.”
Brown said she and Director Karen Worland will be presenting an update on the ministry, followed by a presentation by activist Jill Stanek.
Stanek is a former nurse of a labor and delivery department in Illinois, but when she learned of the abortions and method of terminating the pregnancy, she spoke up. She risked her job to request the hospital stop the process and went public. Since standing up to the hospital leaders, she has become a national figure in protecting infants and children still in the womb.
To reserve a seat at the banquet, contact Pregnancy Choices at 812-847-4611.
If an individual cannot make it to the banquet, there are still ways to help. Donations of diapers and other baby items can be made on site, as well as donations made at the Linton location.
The center is also on the lookout for volunteers, which ranges from sorting items to cleaning to answering phone calls.
Brown added in the near future, Pregnancy Choices will be offering an online giving option on its website, www.gcpchoices.org.