By Gayle Irwin
The numbers are sobering and sad. More than 3 million cases of coronavirus have been reported around the world with more than 250,000 deaths. In the United States, nearly 1 million cases of the deadly disease are documented with more 69,000 deaths – that’s more than the population of the Wyoming town in which I live.
Yet, within the tragedy, sorrow and anxiety that prevail due to this pandemic, kindness and compassion also reign.
Whether people are creating masks for frontline healthcare workers or emptying animal shelters through fostering and adopting pets, thousands are exhibiting care for others.
That care and compassion is no less prevalent among pro-life pregnancy centers.
At True Care Women’s Resource Center in Casper, Wyoming, where I work, we, like many centers, have changed the way we interact with clients.
What hasn’t changed is the care and compassion, the love and concern we have for women experiencing unplanned pregnancies. Their plights are even greater now, between the pandemic and health concerns and loss of income due to the extreme layoffs amid business closings.
Wyoming is experiencing a double-whammy in terms of hits to employment: our state is a heavily energy-industry economy, and with the price of oil plunging recently, what once was a major boom is now a major bust.
This not only affects the oil companies but other oil-dependent businesses, including welding, culvert and pipeline companies, and equipment manufacturers.
The women True Care serves are now without jobs, whether they worked in the service industry or the energy business.
We have found additional, innovative ways to help them, and we are blessed to partner with our donors and other community organizations to do so. Here are some highlights:
1. Trusting Professionals
Before COVID-19, True Care used the Advocate-Patient-Nurse-Patient platform. A volunteer or staff patient advocate met with the client, asked questions to understand her circumstances, and listened to her to more greatly recognize ways to help her with education and resources. The nurses’ role was medical only.
Now, to better protect clients and staff from COVID-19 through reducing the number of staff interactions, our nurses conduct the entire appointment. And because a nurse is a medical professional, the level of trust can go deeper. I’ve heard our nurses educate on abortion and I’ve heard them laugh with the clients as a funny story is shared. I believe the credibility of our center has been fostered as the clients recognize the professionalism and compassion they experience with our nurses.
2. Giving Groceries
Because so many of the women we see are out of work, we implemented a Groceries for Patients Fund. Our compassionate staff and our caring donors have come together to help nearly 12 women who have lost their jobs, blessing them with grocery store gift cards. These special gifts have been happily and gratefully accepted, and we look forward to helping more of our clients in this loving way.
3. Added Funds
Coinciding with the groceries, two donors stepped forward to especially help one woman whose story we shared in a recent newsletter.
“Rachel” came to True Care a few weeks ago, and she told her nurse that her boyfriend wanted her to abort. “I said, no way,” she told the nurse, “and he left.” Despite that pressure and the abandonment, Rachel, who already has two children and is one of those job loss statistics, said she planned to parent. Two True Care donors, including one from out-of-town, sent money to specifically help this courageous young mom. She will receive a gift card to Walmart to buy items she and her children need.
4. Embracing and Extending Grace
One of the local churches at which Embrace Grace is going on this spring has implemented Zoom meetings to continue connecting weekly with participants. Not only has everyone embraced the new platform, but the church members and co-leaders have taken the extra step to bless the ‘blooms’ with gently used maternity clothes and baby items as well as some food.
One of the co-leaders packaged up these items and left them on the front porch of each Embrace Grace participant. Notes of gratitude poured in. Showering these women with the love of Christ is impacting lives, perhaps for eternity.
5. Diaper Duty
Over the past month, a couple of high schoolers have come into the office when there are no clients and put together bags of diapers and wipes. We’ve distributed many to our current and former clients. We have several more bags of diapers and wipes, and on the Saturday before Mother’s Day, we’ll have a community giveaway.
Many families are hurting and are in need; this is one way we as a pro-life pregnancy center can help people who don’t need our services but who need a helping hand at this critical time.
Jesus tells us “Whatever you do for the least of these, you do for me” (Matthew 25:40). Compassion amid COVID-19 is alive and well in our world. The news doesn’t always report it and people around us may be too scared to see it.
However, compassion, care, grace, and giving exist, and we as pregnancy centers are on that team, showcasing the love and grace of Christ. I’m honored and humbled to be one of the crew.
Editor’s note. This appeared at Pregnancy Help News and is reposted with permission.