Pro-life pregnancy centers brings ‘happy tears’ this Christmas for women and families

 

A mom receives a donation of free gifts at ABC Pregnancy Resource Center in Lake Charles, Louisiana. / Pregnancy Resource Center

Boston, Mass., Dec 29, 2022 / 12:00 pm (CNA).

Pro-life pregnancy centers are bringing joy and blessings to women and families in need across the nation this Christmas season.

Through several different charitable initiatives, these centers are providing women with a surprise that brings many to tears and a Christmas they will never forget.

Becky Girola, director of ABC Pregnancy Resource Center in Lake Charles, Louisiana, said that each Christmas season, the center has a program called Christmas Blessings in which pregnant women involved in the center’s parenting classes receive Christmas gifts for their whole family from generous donors who “adopt” them.

“It’s a challenge for many of them to provide basic needs for their babies, much less, you know, toys and presents and things for Christmas,” Girola said.

ABC has a mission to share the love of Jesus while offering alternatives to abortion, she said. The center offers free pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, support signing up for medicaid and community college, parenting classes, Bible studies, and more.

“We want to champion our moms. That’s what we’re always saying. Like, we want to come alongside them and say, ‘You’re doing a great job, you got this’ and help them in any way that we can. And so Christmas is just such a beautiful time to do that,” she said.

The Christmas Blessings program is supporting 42 pregnant moms this year, she said.

Girola said that more than 90% of the women the pregnancy center serves are Medicaid recipients. For the center’s Christmas initiative, anonymous donors are supporting families ranging from those with first-time mothers to families of pregnant moms with six children.

Girola said she was a bit nervous about finding donors to support each of the 42 families whom the center pledged to support during Christmas, but added that the staff at the center prayed that “the Lord will provide,” and within a few days, he did.

“So this week we’re saying, ‘We’re buried in the Christmas blessings,’ because there’s so many presents here,” she said.

“Our moms come in each week to get their baby supplies. So as they’re coming in to get baby supplies, their cars are loaded down with bikes and presents and clothes and pajamas and you name it,” she said.

The donors wrap all the presents and put the moms’ names on the gifts so the “moms can take it directly and put it right under their tree to be able to have Christmas with their families.”

When the pregnant moms see the gifts waiting for them — presents they otherwise would not be able to afford — there are “lots and lots of tears,” Girola said. “It’s just happy tears.”

Moms walk away with a ‘garbage bag full of presents’

Tamra Axworthy, CEO of A Caring Pregnancy Center, said that her clinic in Pueblo, Colorado, also offers an “Angel Tree” in which donors can support a mom and her family with gifts for Christmas.

“We will take gift ideas from mom and dad, or whoever our client is, then submit those to the donor families and they’ll go shopping and essentially provide Christmas for the entire family,” Axworthy told CNA.

A Caring Pregnancy Center has a mission of empowering women and families with the resources they need to choose life. The center offers free pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, childbirth classes, adoption referrals, education on sexually transmitted diseases, and several other services.

Axworthy said that when the pregnant moms come to the center to pick up their gifts, they’re often expecting one or two gifts that have been donated to them.

“But when they walk out with like a garbage bag full of presents, they’re just blown away and are incredibly grateful,” she said. “They are floored.”

“It’s nice to be able to bless them and then pass on that blessing to the donors. We’ll take pictures of those that will allow it and share that with the donor family so that they can see the impact that they’ve had.”

The center also has a “giving tree” in which moms and families in need are free to come by the clinic and pick up items such as coats or Christmas decorations for free.

Axworthy said that given the high poverty rate in Pueblo, there is a great need in the area to provide these Christmas services to pregnant moms in need.

“It hurts our heart to see those that are struggling and do not even have boots for their kids or winter coats for their babies. And that’s something that we have the ability to bless somebody with,” she said.

“And it blesses us to be able to do that as well. So we know that there is a need and it’s … awesome that we’re able to fill that need for so many in our community.”

A free Christmas store tells ‘the true meaning of Christmas’

Another clinic, Lockport Care Net Pregnancy Center in Lockport, New York, has been serving women and families with its free Christmas store since 2015.

Cindra Enzinna, executive director of the center, told CNA that each year the center sets up the store in the basement with a plethora of toys, Bibles, stuffed animals, and other gifts that parents or guardians can come and take for free.

The basement of the center is set up with lights and Christmas decorations and Christmas music, she said. The gifts are all donated by individuals or local churches in the community.

“When we first started it in 2015, we noticed that there was a big need,” she said.

Enzinna said that the staff at the center work to “fill the gap in their community,” adding that there was a need among her clients for Christmas gifts because of financial issues. Most of the center’s clients are Medicaid recipients, she said.

Lockport Care Net Pregnancy Center has a mission of “affirming the value of life by providing compassionate peer counsel, truthful resources, practical assistance, and the hope of Christ to those experiencing pregnancy-related decisions,” she said.

The center provides free pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, adoption referrals, peer counseling, material aid, and several other services.

“Everything’s free. We don’t charge for any of our services,” Enzinna said.

As of Dec. 13, the center has served 77 families and has given away 816 free Christmas gifts. Ten more families are expected to come through the center to accept donations, she added.

“Some people cry, some people, we just pray with them. I think it’s the best time of year. They’re so appreciative and go out with arms full of things and to just be able to bless on them,” she said.

Enzinna said that on the wall of the Christmas store there is a sign that says “The true meaning of Christmas” is the birth of Jesus Christ.

“The whole true meaning of Christmas is all wrapped up in the Christmas store,” she said.


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