The Lord is the one who goes ahead of us in this ministry of respect for life at all stages and ages, from conception to natural death to eternal life!
Receiving this Respect Life Award, I am very humbled and honored, and share this with the 100 amazing Alpha Center volunteers with whom I am blessed to work, and also the years prior at Catholic Charities working in Pregnancy and Adoption.
So often in conversations with others regarding life issues, it is brought up, “What will happen to the mother and baby after she chooses life and the baby is born?” My answer is, “Thank you for bringing that up because this is what Alpha Center is all about!”
Yes, we are assisting with tangible, necessary maternal, infant and toddler items like diapers up to size 5, formula, clothes up to size 5 toddler, etc. But ours is also the power of Christ’s presence with the moms, of one-on-one mentoring on a regular basis, building a rapport and trust with the client, as education is a vital component of our services! Two thirds of our expecting moms and dads are enrolled in our excellent “Mom and Me” and/or “Dad and Me” parenting education program. In order to receive a safe baby bed or car seat, they must be enrolled in this highly successful program.
Before beginning as Alpha Center’s Director in 2001, what an honor it also was working at Catholic Charities with young women and fathers who chose the lifegiving option of adoption for their unborn baby. How blessed I was to personally witness how adoption had evolved to a win/win/win, loving choice. As the standard, the mother was able to choose the adoptive couple from a non-identifying profile, meet with them during a sacred time of sharing, and set up a mutual agreement with the birthparents to receive letters and pictures on the child’s birthday and/or Christmas through the agency address.
God goes ahead of us in the work on behalf of life, connecting people through compassion and caring, all for the sake of that precious little one and his or her family!
It is up to each of us to help spread the message of the gift and miracle of life wherever we go! At Alpha Center we go into the community, providing presentations and exhibits, and find that people truly desire to do something tangible and donate on behalf of life! We are honored to witness small and large miracles in God’s perfect timing! Through the faithful generosity and support of the community, pro-life agencies such as Alpha Center and Catholic Charities are Christ’s compassionate presence well beyond the pregnancy!
Together in the service of life,
Valerie Schumm, Executive Director