What is the most gratifying part of your work for Cradle of Hope?
I LOVE helping people. I feel most gratified when I sense that our funds have made a difference in someone's life. When a pregnancy counselor calls to tell me how much this meant to the client, my heart soars knowing that they are feeling God's blessing on their life and that a weight has been lifted from their shoulders.
...the most frustrating?
I have expressed frustration on occasion when dealing with difficult casesclients that don't provide enough information to process their applications, or people who just don't seem to be helping themselves.
What do you remember as the 'best case' of a woman we have helped?
I had a woman who had been working very hard to get ahead before her baby was born but ended up having her baby preterm and running out of money and resources. She really stood out to me because she was truly helping herself and ticking along when the rug was pulled out from under her. I knew our help would get her through, give her some peace of mind, and allow her to focus on that precious child.
. . .the 'most dire case'?
The most dire cases are always the ones involving women who are feeling pressured to abort. I can only hope that the money they receive from Cradle of Hope (COH) helps them to stand up to those pressures and realize that they don't have to abort, and that there are people out there who truly care about them and their babies.
Why do you keep doing it?
If my discernment regarding COH funds can help one woman to be able to keep her baby, choose to give her baby up to a home where he or she will be loved and cared for, or help a Mom be able to provide for her newborn baby, then I am doing God's work'and to me, that is what it is all about. It also is good for my kids to see me serving others and a great segue for teaching my kids how precious life really is. I am working to raise up the next generation of people with respect for all life!
Tell us about your experience with the client advocates who refer women for Cradle of Hope assistance.
I really enjoy working with the client advocates in helping agencies. They are on the front line, our eyes and ears. Since they meet directly with the clients, it is their gut feeling that helps them decide whether or not to apply for Cradle of Hope funding, and we have to trust in their decision making.
When making a decision whether or not to fund someone, what is the most common reason to fund and not to fund?
This is a tough one. If I feel our funding will save a baby from abortion or save a family from homelessness, abuse, or other situations detrimental to meeting the basic needs, I don't hesitate to approve funding as long as I feel the applicant is being forthright and truthful. Sometimes I think the funding might be of some help, but the woman's need is not really 'pregnancy-related'. With some applications, there are indicators that the applicant is caught in a downward spiral that they are creating for themselves. They may need to meet with a financial or family counselor in order to take more responsibility for their own lives. In these cases, I may choose not to fund at this time. It is never an easy decision to deny an application, but if the applicant isn't responsible with their own money, it is unlikely that they are going to be with someone else's.
What would you like to tell our donors?
I would tell our donors that they are truly making a difference in the lives of women and children all over the state. Times are tough and it is the vulnerable ones who are really suffering. When our society tells women that it is so easy to 'cure' a pregnancy (and the problem of one more mouth to feed) through abortion, we need warriors out there to tell them otherwise. The money that donors give to Cradle of Hope helps people realize that they matter, even when life tells them differently. I can only speak for myself, but am sure our other Funds Approval workers ask themselves the same question: 'Would I give this person the cash out of my own wallet?' After I read an application, I stop to pray for the family and then decide if I would give them the cash from my pocket. If the answer is yes, I do. If the answer is no, I delve into why not. I do a lot of digging before I make a decision. After all, every donor works hard for their money and they are choosing Cradle of Hope ' so I choose to be a good steward of their donation.
What Your Gift Can Do$1,500 One month's rent for 3 mothers facing eviction
$ 900 Low-cost prenatal & delivery care for 1 mother
$ 500 Initial month's rent to help mom relocate
$ 250 Bed frame & mattress for a pregnant woman
$ 100 Minor auto repair for safety of mother & child
$ 70 Portable crib & sheet with Safe Sleep message
$ 55 Bus card for travel to medical appointment/job
$ 25 Emergency food, gas, or diapers