NRL News

Celebrating those who often serve at a cost – Pregnancy Help Appreciation Week kicks off

by | Nov 8, 2021

By Lisa Bourne

Being the presence of life-affirming support each day for countless women facing unplanned pregnancy across the world is a vital undertaking, as lives born and unborn hang in the balance when a pregnancy decision is at hand. 

Pregnancy help staff and volunteers take the formidable task on, doing so much of the time with long hours and nominal budgets, minus large salaries or praises. In fact, this frequently means for them becoming the object of disparagement and misrepresentation, as providing a means for women to choose life draws the ire of those invested in abortion.

Pregnancy help servants know they are doing God’s work, which means both fostering life and accompanying human suffering.

“Sometimes we get to see and hold a baby whose life was saved and sometimes we get to watch women become wonderful moms,” said Betty McDowell, vice president of Ministry Services for Heartbeat International. “Other times we walk through loss and even tragedy.”

Pregnancy help organizations (PHOs) are made up of pregnancy help medical clinics and resource centers, maternity homes, and non-profit adoption agencies. They persist in their work, day in and day out, even as pro-abortion forces in the culture try to cast aspersions on them and the remarkable service, care and support they provide. 

The human rewards of pregnancy help can be immeasurable, and the challenges significant, even outside pro-abortion offensives. 

“The work of the pregnancy help community has often been overlooked and lately even vilified,” McDowell said. “The good people who serve did not sign up for the applause but rather because of a calling and often times a costly one.”

That’s why the world’s largest network of pregnancy help organizations takes time each year to honor the pregnancy help community and celebrate those who serve in it. 

Pregnancy Help Appreciation Week is designed and presented by Heartbeat International to honor those working in the pregnancy help movement.  

Women and their families receive the compassionate support they need when facing a life-changing decision through the work of the people behind these PHOs. 

The pregnancy help community walks alongside families throughout the pregnancy and beyond, blessing them with care and support in the form of pregnancy tests, emotional support, ultrasounds, parenting classes, and much more – at no cost.

In the U.S. alone, some 2,700-plus pregnancy centers served almost two million people in 2019, providing crucial medical, education, support, and material service and saving communities an estimated $270 million, according to the latest bi-annual report from the Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI). 

In addition to providing essential service, pregnancy centers have shown themselves to be valuable and effective in doing the work they do. 

Prior research from CLI showed that an overwhelming majority of Americans, whether they identify as “pro-life” or “pro-choice,” view pregnancy centers as a valuable community resource. Post-visit surveys denote that centers have extraordinarily high rates of client satisfaction.

From volunteers, staff, and executive directors, to nurses, ultrasonographers, receptionists, and board members, each individual serving with the thousands of pregnancy help organizations across the world demonstrates the passion to advance the culture of life. 

“Every day, doors open in communities worldwide to serve the needs of women facing unexpected pregnancies,” said Heartbeat’s Director of Communications and Marketing Andrea Trudden. 

“The people who work in these pregnancy help organizations do not do it for the accolades,” Trudden said. “They do not do it for the fame. They do it because they were called to serve.” 

Heartbeat’s Director of Affiliate Services Beth Diemert remarked on the significance of recognizing the work of pregnancy help organizations with Pregnancy Help Appreciation Week.

“Pregnancy help organizations are filled with the brightest and best people in the world,” Diemert said. “For their caring, loving, non-judgmental ways as they sacrificially give above & beyond everyday, they deserve to be appreciated and celebrated!”

This year’s Pregnancy Help Appreciation Week is November 8-12, 2021.

There are a number of ways to encourage and support those serving in pregnancy help during this special week and beyond.

First and perhaps foremost is to pray for their spiritual strength and refreshment.

Connecting with a local pregnancy help organization to see what their needs are and considering volunteering is another way.

Local pregnancy help organizations always need donated items to bless a new mother (such as diapers or maternity clothes), so donating materials is an effective form of support.   

Financial gifts are also critical, for without the generous donations of those within the community, pregnancy centers would not be able to provide their services for free.

Another mode of support is to share the good work of the pregnancy help community with social networks. Heartbeat International has resources to share on Facebook and Instagram.

PHOs will be offered special deals, thank-you messages, and extra prayers throughout Pregnancy Help Appreciation Week. They can tell their story and have access to thank you messages from various figures in the pro-life movement.

New this year, Heartbeat is offering daily devotionals for PHOs via Facebook live each day of the week. In addition to prayer and devotion, participants will be offered encouragement and updates on the week.

Heartbeat will hold a drawing at the end of the week for a gift basket and share news about upcoming Heartbeat initiatives.

McDowell and Trudden said that Pregnancy Help Appreciation Week is a favorite for Heartbeat International, and the Heartbeat team extends abundant gratitude to the many pregnancy help servants all over the world.

“At Heartbeat we support those serving in pregnancy help through our many resources such as Option Line, the Abortion Pill Rescue® NetworkNext Level and Extend,” McDowell said, “through prayer and training, and by just being a listening ear.” 

“We weep with pregnancy help leaders through the tough times and rejoice with pregnancy help leaders as they succeed,” said McDowell. “Every day we applaud and cheer on those serving on the front lines.” 

“While they humbly work in towns, villages, and cities all over the world, we proudly honor them and celebrate their great work through Pregnancy Help Appreciation Week,” Trudden added. “Thank you for embracing life and encouraging positive choices to women, men, and families in your hometown.”

Editor’s note: Heartbeat International manages Pregnancy Help News where this appeared. Reposted with permission.

Categories: Pro-Lifers