During the shutdowns, we heard the terms “essential” and “non-essential” in the news every single day. But what did that mean and why is one organization essential and another not?
We were asked, “Is Mary's Pregnancy Resource Center essential, and if so, why?” In the beginning, this was a huge discussion as we fought to stay open. We understood our clients and their needs, we just had to convince officials that your needs were important.
We are thankful that our answer was satisfactory and Mary’s Pregnancy Resource Center was able to be deemed “essential” and remain open. We are proud to have served more women than any other PC during the COVID19 shutdown! This is not only an accomplishment, but it also proves that we are essential to the community.
Pregnancy Resource Centers deals with other issues besides pregnancy health issues. For many of our clients, we are a lifeline of essential support that other clinics (like Planned Parenthood) do not offer. Here are 6 services we offer for women that make PRC essential for the community.
1. Crisis and hardship don’t magically go away during a pandemic. If anything, hard times become harder for mothers. If programs that women rely on for free formula, diapers, and referrals are closed, women can turn to substance abuse, self-harm, or past abusive relationships for help. Pregnancy Resource Centers provide for vulnerable women and children which assists them in remaining safe during a crisis.
2. Clients can come to us for emotional support. As we all know, emotional wellbeing keeps women from depression and self-harm, particularly when our nation is under lockdown orders and many mothers are jobless. Our trained staff make sure mothers are still connected with us and that their needs are met with our services. If a woman is showing signs of distress we are trained to get her the help she needs! Our clients are like family, and we are here for each unique situation!
3. PRC helps women stay off the streets. Many of our clients need monetary assistance. If a woman has to make a choice between diapers and the electric bill, we can refer her or offer her donations so she won’t have to make that choice. Our center has donated groceries to many families in need throughout the past few months, leaving them free to pay their bills and provide for their children.
4. We help babies by educating and empowering their mothers. Many mothers need information like infant CPR and breastfeeding education, which are critical concepts for a new mother. For many mothers who can’t afford formula, breastfeeding is vital to their family’s financial situation and they need the education to do so. When women participate in our learning programs they receive “baby bucks” to shop in our baby boutique for clothing, diapers, formula, and baby items. This education is essential for a baby's wellbeing.
5. Many women don’t have good insurance, might have expensive copays, or cannot be seen by their regular doctor because of the pandemic. Our free ultrasound service allows us to know if their pregnancy is normal and without medical emergencies. Our trained sonographers can identify if a woman needs to go to the hospital for an ectopic or abnormal pregnancy. We also have an RN who can answer questions and help them with health and pregnancy-related issues. Our medical personnel also offers free parental vitamins that keep pregnant women healthy and is something many clients cannot affor on their own.
6. We offer HOPE! It’s been reported that millions of people have downloaded the “Bible app” on their phones since the pandemic started. My Bible app messaged me looking for volunteers and donors to help reach the huge influx of customers in the last few weeks. All humans are searching for answers and in desperate times we look for places of Hope and comfort. At MPRC, our first mission is to bring Hope to those who can’t find their way. Our nation is filled with fear, chaos, disagreements, and uncertainty but our hearts do not have to be. We find it an honor and an essential part of our work to hare the Good News with all of our clients, giving them spiritual support during a time of world crisis.
We love our work, our mothers, and our babies!