This year on January 22nd, Roe v. Wade will be 40 years old. Roe v. Wade is the Supreme Court decision that ushered in legal abortion in our country. Since that time countless babies have been lost and women and men affected by an abortion decision. This decision was the impetus for the start of CareNet in 1981. Community leaders wanted to do something to help women in unplanned pregnancies and to minister to them. So they started CareNet as a hotline that rang in a local mechanic’s garage. Now CareNet of DuPage has grown to a multi-faceted ministry with four centers that impact thousands of lives every year teaching abstinence in our classrooms, providing counseling for women and their families, and many other vital services! CareNet has saved and changed tens of thousands of lives since its beginning with the help of our ministry friends and partners. While we don’t know the future of Roe, we DO know that God has provided a safe haven for women and their babies through CareNet of DuPage.
This special Sunday is coming January 20th. In 1984, then President Ronald Reagan issued a proclamation declaring that the 3rd Sunday of January would be Sanctity of Human Life Sunday. This Sunday would be closest to the anniversary date of Roe v. Wade which is January 22, 1973. Today, those that value life all around the country celebrate this Sunday as a reminder that all life is a gift from God. CareNet partners with the many churches in our area to offer speakers, DVD’s bulletin inserts, and displays. We also offer the little baby bottles for people to fill with coins as a way to help the moms and babies and to model to children the value of giving. We invite your participation in this celebration of life. Is your church involved?
We have all heard a lot these past two months about the “fiscal cliff”. What would happen if the U.S. went over it? Lots of discussion. It made me think about the women who come to CareNet for help. To a woman who has no support, carrying an unplanned pregnancy must seem like going over a cliff. She wants to keep her hold on that rocky cliff of life, keep working, going to school, keep her relationships intact. To avoid going over the edge of that cliff and risk losing her job, career or family, she believes she has to sacrifice her child to abortion. But with the help and expertise of our CareNet counselors and medical team, she can regain her footing, find resources, change her future and save the life of her child. Our counselors see a lot of women in danger of going over the cliff. Please continue to pray for our CareNet team and the women we are serving.
The world changed that night many years ago in Bethlehem. On that most holy night, the angels shouted for joy and the shepherds worshipped a tiny newborn baby, Jesus. Promised long ago, the Son of God had come into the world destined to suffer and die for all of our sins so that Heaven would someday be our home. As we celebrate his birth next week with family and friends, take time from your busy Christmas activities to reflect on this great gift that has been given to you and what it means for your life. As Christians we know that the truth of God humbling himself to become a man to save us is a life changer. How true are the words of the Christmas hymn, “Wise men still seek Him.”
Christmas blessings to you and your family! Thanks for all you do for CareNet’s moms and babies.
I am so grateful for our many CareNet ministry partners. This year two families issued a Challenge Matching Grant for $300,000 which was announced in October at our 2012 banquet. These two families had also provided a challenge match at the 2011 banquet, but this year they increased it by 50% demonstrating their confidence in the work of CareNet. The dollar for dollar match applies to gifts that are made in 2012 that are greater than gifts given in 2011. CareNet is a ministry of excellence that is making a difference in the lives of women in DuPage, Cook, Will and Kane counties. Look for the graphs in the video of my banquet speech which is located on the side pages of our website, www.carenetdupage.com . You can help us meet the Challenge Grant by mailing in your gift or making one online in an amount greater that you gave in 2011. Your gifts really do make a difference; just take a look at the stories on our webpage.
Many women who come to CareNet will have an ultrasound. What do they see? At 5 or 6 weeks, the baby is not as well developed, but a mom can see the beating heart of her baby and what many women call, “their baby bean.” By 10 weeks, little hands and feet can be seen and that little baby can put on quite a show, jumping and bouncing around in his home in his mom’s uterus. CareNet’s nurse spends a lot of time pointing out to the mother the beating heart and feet and hands of her tiny baby; encouraging her to connect with what she is seeing on the ultrasound screen. Most women are very impacted by what they see on that ultrasound screen. In 2011, 72% of pregnant women in danger of choosing abortion who came to CareNet for help chose life following an ultrasound.
CareNet’s abstinence until marriage program, Amplify, influences 8500 middle and high school students every year. As any parent knows, that is a daunting task! How do they do it? Amplify educators do more than point their fingers at students, saying “No! Don’t do it.” First of all they place the entire lesson within the context of learning to have healthier relationships. They include facts about pregnancy and the benefits of choosing abstinence as a lifestyle. Then they equip them with skills to resist peer pressure and make good decisions. Each educator relates personally to students by relaying their own experiences and how a good or bad decision impacted their life. Sprinkled throughout the curriculum are fun activities that bring the message home. “Beanboozled“ has the students trying different flavors of jelly bellies, some good and some bad, to demonstrate the importance of making good decisions. And the message gets through. “After this program I am so much more informed. I learned that abstinence is best for me and I will stay abstinent until marriage.”
Many women in unplanned pregnancies believe they face insurmountable obstacles to carrying their pregnancy to term. Then they come to CareNet. Here they find acceptance, love and real help for the problems they face. “Do you need help with medical care, a place to live or furniture?” CareNet can refer you to agencies that can help you with that. “Do you need help in telling your parents about the pregnancy or help in other relationship issues? CareNet counselors are ready to help and work hard to overcome the obstacles women face in continuing their pregnancy. When the needs of women are met, decisions change. This is a quote from a satisfied CareNet client. “The information given was extremely helpful and now I no longer have to get an abortion.” What an opportunity we have to make a huge impact on the life of a mom and her baby!
Live Chat is a way that a woman can “chat” with a counselor over the internet without actually having to pick up a phone and make a call. Communication continues to change dramatically. Most of us can remember when the only option was to try and call someone at home on a telephone. Today, our communication consists of texting or e-mail. If CareNet is to remain competitive in reaching young women, we need to communicate using the newest methods. A woman visiting our client website, www.pregnanthelp.com, has the option of clicking and connecting to an online “conversation” with a CareNet counselor. After testing the waters, she may then feel comfortable enough to actually make an appointment which can be done electronically. In 2011, CareNet had “chats” with almost 400 young women. In 2012, that number continues to grow.
CareNet’s Wood Dale Center is currently the busiest of our four centers. Located in a shopping center on Irving Park Road in the north eastern part of DuPage County, this center attracts more of a younger group of women from diverse backgrounds than some of our other centers. One of the largest groups of young women is students from the nearby high school, Fenton. Our Wood Dale Center also sees the highest number of women coming in who have not made an appointment, but decide to “walk-in” for CareNet’s free services. Being able to walk-in and be welcomed without an appointment to a CareNet center is a feature that brings many women in. This is one of the contact options along with Live Chat offered on our client website, www.pregnanthelp.com. Check it out. More on Live Chat later.