Pregnancy Center's mission personal, not political

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National Sanctity of Human Life Week was Jan. 17-24. We at Yampa Valley Pregnancy Center (YVPC) would like to invite you to honor with us the valuable gift of life. It is our mission at YVPC to educate and assist our community in encouraging life.

When talking to others about Yampa Valley Pregnancy Center, I often hear the question, "Do you like working in such a political job?" I realize this question is usually made out of ignorance. Without someone coming in to visit us, it is hard to explain how non-political we are. I hope you will take some time and visit us as we review what we did the week before Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, Nov. 17, 1999 office hours, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. I had an appointment with the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) at 8:30 a.m. They invited me to share about YVPC. This was a good time for me to meet these wonderful women and learn a little about what they do. Through this meeting, we hope we can continue to help each other help the families of Craig and the surrounding area. Robin, our new receptionist, came in early to cover for me while I was at the meeting. A client came in to exchange her "preemie" diapers for newborn and asked about Roxanna, the counselor who helped her through this pregnancy. Roxanna usually comes in each Friday so the client will try to come in another day and show Roxanna her beautiful baby. Jim came in to pick up SCRIP, a gift certificate and fund-raising program through local grocery stores. Another client and her husband came in to pick up diapers and while she visited she found a cute pair of shoes for their son. Two supporters of the YVPC brought in bags of clothes to be sorted. Some went to the baby room and maternity room to be given to our clients and the rest are boxed for our Spring Rummage Sale. Two clients came in for car seats. Unfortunately, we did not have any so we put them on our waiting list. A client called and asked about our shepherding homes. Earlita (a Wednesday afternoon volunteer counselor) came in and continued to revamp the filing system.

Thursday, Nov. 18 We are usually closed Thursday, but Barb received a call and was asked if she could schedule a client for today. This is the only day this client's friend can bring her in. I met them that afternoon and gave her a pregnancy test.

Friday, Nov. 19 office hours, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. We had a going-away party for Cheryl Reese. She was a wonderful volunteer counselor who really had a heart for Craig and the center. Many people came in to wish her blessings. A client came in to be retested for pregnancy. I was able to visit with a lovely woman who is interested in adopting another child. Although we do not offer adoption services through YVPC, I was able to send her to several other places that can help her and her family.

Monday, Nov. 22 office hours, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Barbara, Robin and Roxanna are busy today. A group met for a study on Boundaries. This study not only helps us with our boundaries, but it also helps us show our clients how to form boundaries. Barb helped a client with a free pregnancy test. The Colorado State Patrol brought in two car seats to be given through the CAHSL program and they were distributed to two clients. Roxanna gave a free pregnancy test to a client. Robin and Roxanna delivered six SHARE Colorado packages to several clients and had a great time giving them.

As I review these last few days, I can see nothing political. There is no lobbying, no picket lines, and no blasting other centers. Yes, we are an abortion alternative center and we believe in affirming life at all stages. But when a person (male or female) comes in to see us we are here to support and serve them. We not only give free pregnancy tests, but we also take time in the counseling room to share with them the importance of the life within them. Hopefully, they will decide to carry this child, and we want them to have the practical needs of pregnancy. When they decide to parent, we provide services and items for parenting. And if a woman makes a decision that is contrary to our belief, we want her to leave knowing that we are here to support her if she should encounter post-abortion grief. So, when I am asked, "Do you like working in such a political job?" my answer is, "Yes, because it is not political it's personal."

The Yampa Valley Pregnancy Center is located at 501 Russell St. in Craig. It has been a part of the community for 16 years, serving more than 1,700 families. Services include pregnancy testing, peer counseling, a loan closet for baby and maternity clothes, cribs and equipment, and diapers and formula for emergency situations. All services are free, and are supported by local churches and private donations, as well as fund-raising events. Anyone who would like to be a part of this ministry by donating time sorting clothes, counseling, helping with fund-raising events, or other areas, may call the YVPC at 824-5204. (Barbara May is the director of Yampa Valley Pregnancy Center.)

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