From the birth of the Okanagan Valley Pregnancy Care Centre in May 2006, we’ve boasted about our elite volunteer force. They’ve given us cause.
The heart of every OVPCC volunteer is 100 per cent for her—the distressed woman seeking support to face an unexpected pregnancy. The volunteer’s primary concern, as a non-medical peer counsellor, is always for her health and safety.
In eight years, 800 client-friends have found free and confidential support at the Pregnancy Centre in the Southgate Centre on Pandosy. Most have been referred by medical and social service professionals. Many self-refer, calling first or coming in unannounced, alone or with friends or family support.
No matter her age or circumstance, she is welcomed to a safe and respectful environment. Offered information on pregnancy options, she receives the gift of time to listen to her heart. She sees a reflection of the radically kind and generous character of Jesus.
Ranging from college to retirement age, volunteers contribute to options peer counsel and pregnancy loss recovery, to running parenting and personal integrity programs; from stocking baby supplies to assisting with administrative tasks.
Asked to note high points of their OVPCC tenure, volunteers presented an extensive list. Here’s a sampling:
• Helping a client deliver her baby
• Seeing the lives of women and men transformed for the better
• Being amazed at the giving hearts of people in the community
• Growing into a better person from the training course and ongoing teaching
• Seeing miracles in changed lives, including in my own
• Working as community, in its healthiest and purest form
• Training new volunteers and watching them shine with clients
• Being a part of life-saving hope-restoring work
• Stepping into the gap to support a birth mom placing for adoption
• Working with a terrific group of women
• Knowing some days are total victory.
The Pregnancy Care Centre salutes our volunteer team, along with all community heroes who are meeting great needs with great love.
Theresa White, is the executive director and Jeannie Rodgers is the centre operations manager of the Okanagan Valley Pregnancy Care Centre.