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Pregnancy Care Center experience leaves lasting impression

| April 29, 2005 12:00 AM

To the Editor:

I was drawn to the Pregnancy Care Center because I had what you would call a "crisis pregnancy" in my late teens. I was one of the lucky girls who had strong parents.

My parents may have been disappointed in the choices I made, but they loved me anyway. They never wavered, and they never failed me in the times when I needed them most. I was extremely lucky to have such a nonjudgmental support system. I am not naive to believe that everyone has had the same experiences that I have had. There are pregnant girls out there who are scared, and they have no one to turn to. These girls face what seems like overwhelming options. That is why the Pregnancy Care Center exists.

To fulfill college credit obligations, I volunteered to work at the Pregnancy Care Center with the thought that I would only be dealing with and helping pregnant teenagers. When I think of unplanned pregnancies, I immediately think of teenagers. I was wrong. The center offers a wide variety of services to women of all ages in the community. For the past few months, I was privy to see the center's volunteers at work helping the community.

During my work at the Pregnancy Care Center, it was easy to see why those who volunteered excelled at their jobs. Each and every one was friendly and nonjudgmental. They were open about their pasts and in turn were excellent listeners. From day one, I felt comfortable being there. In fact, I sometimes find myself missing those experiences now that I don't work at the center on a regular basis. I keep thinking that I will probably drop by every once in a while just to visit, or eventually I may again volunteer my time.

While volunteering, girls from all walks of life came to the center for help. The volunteers went beyond just giving pregnancy tests; they explained to the girls what their options were and tried to help them understand that their situation wasn't as overwhelming as it seemed. Sometimes the volunteers were the only people the girls could open up to. Other times, the volunteers were the only people who cared.

Pregnancy Care Center offers a variety of services with a pro-life emphasis. The center offers free pregnancy tests, friendship and support, education, maternity and baby items, prenatal items and post-abortion information. If the center is unable to help with something, they gladly pull out their "book of info" and find someone who can help. I have watched volunteers open their hearts. I have witnessed volunteers spend hours talking with women and trying to come up with a solution to a problem. Volunteers participate in phoning other organizations in the community to try and make women more secure in their decision-making. The Pregnancy Care Center is like "the little engine that could." Year after year, the center keeps going solely on donations from the community.

The focus of the Pregnancy Care Center is to share information, which could change a pregnant girl's life drastically and help them get their lives back in order. The girls who come to the center are lucky to have a place to go. I consider myself blessed to have worked with those girls who came to the Pregnancy Care Center; it definitely touched a small part of my life.

Melissa Chihosz