Cincinnati football team helps pregnancy center build a culture of life

By Kim Hayes 

Together Everyone Achieves More (T.E.A.M.) is the acronym worn proudly on the gear of University of Cincinnati’s (UC) head football coach, Luke Fickell. In 2021 Fickell received seven different national coach of the year awards, taking most of the major awards of this category. 

This was Fickell’s fifth season as the Bearcats’ head coach and not only has he elevated the team to the top of college football with the Bearcats’ 13-0 season taking them into the College Football Playoff championship series, but he has done it with excellence in all things. 

The seven awards this season speaks to something much deeper than wins. It speaks to the intentional way Fickell is building a culture of family and excellence into UC Football.

Pregnancy Center East (PCE) in Cincinnati is intentionally building a culture of life in everything they do, so it has become quite natural for Amy and Luke Fickell to be supportive of this organization which is winning on a different level.

Luke and Amy gave the introduction of the PCE Virtual Banquet for Life in April 2021. The video includes a tour of the new PCE facility. April 11, 2022, is the next Banquet for Life, with more information available HERE.“Let us first acknowledge we are all created in the likeness and image of God,” stated Fickell as his opening remarks for the PCE 2021 virtual banquet. “The secret to the work that I do is finding the right people and making sure they are prepared for the challenges ahead.”

But the Fickells’ actions speak even louder than their words in regard to their support of creating a culture of life. Since coming to UC, they have requested the coaching staff give material aid to PCE for the center’s clients rather than giving the Fickells a Christmas gift.

This year, that gifting ballooned into 100 diaper bags filled with baby items for new parents—a virtual baby shower crammed into one bag.

Tracy Green is the development director of PCE. 

“They’ve done this several years in a row,” reported Green. “The bags are full of material aid that would be needed for new parents. These are young, hip, high quality diaper bags that our clients absolutely love.” 

This project was completed in the midst of the coaches preparing the team for the NCAA national championship playoffs. Amy Fickell and Sherry Murray, the associate to the head football coach, filled the bags with the purchased items.

Student Football Manager AJ Wessel and Associate Athletic Director in charge of Football Operations John Widecan filled a truck with the diaper bags and delivered them to PCE.

PCE posted a photo of the delivery of the 100 diaper bags, stating, “We are awestruck by everyone’s heartfelt commitment to others during this exciting, busy time!”

PCE has focused on reimagining the role of pregnancy centers in the lives of vulnerable young women in order to change the trajectory of young families in unplanned pregnancies. 

This vision was centered around the opening of its new 12,600 sq. ft. home on Madison Road, in Cincinnati. They added an on-site adoption agency, which includes adoption counseling and legal services.

Laura Curran, executive director of PCE stated in the virtual tour video:

“Pregnancy Center East will be the first thought, the next step and a most trusted resource for the abortion-vulnerable woman or man facing an untimely pregnancy. Our community will know there’s a one-stop center, guided by the Holy Spirit, caring for expectant parents from the crisis to the cradle and into responsible parenthood.”

“What we’re trying to do is build a hub to expand vertical service menu to help families thrive,” said Green.

Another innovative element of the PCE facility is the use of tele-medicine on site. Medical professionals from the Tri-Health system conduct OB appointments on the spot for clients.

The vision is really beyond survival in a crisis situation to creating a hub to build a culture of life. In regard to adoption, PCE’s partnership with an onsite adoption agency enables them to take the “mystery” out of adoption. 

All these efforts foster excellence in pregnancy help, paralleling the Bearcats demonstrating excellence in football.

“Building a culture of life is more than words it is activities, money, prayers—the UC coaching staff are doing this,” Green said. “Nobody does this alone, it is about giving back and helping the team.” 

“Because we are apolitical, we are the field hospital people need in a crisis, we listen and love in a confidential setting, empower women and men to make a choice for life,” she said. “Even if they don’t choose life, we still follow up.” 

“We don’t charge for any of our services,” she added. “We walk with them; we don’t just tell them what to do but walk with them on their journey.”

“We have a client survey, everybody gets it, our numbers are 99.5% approval rating because we are loving them regardless of the choice they make,” Green concluded. “They still come back, refer friends, and would recommend PCE.”

PCE’s client stories are powerful testimonies to the center’s work. Championship level care supported by the championship level coaching staff of UC Bearcat Football.

Editor’s note. This appeared at Pregnancy Help News and is reposted with permission.