Exciting Update on Promoting Life in the Wabash Valley
February 10, 2017
Editor’s Note: We love sharing the good work of pro-life advocates in communities around Indiana. The blog below is from Ann L. Coker, secretary of Wabash Valley Right to Life. Read it and be encouraged by the good work pregnancy resource centers do. Also, consider how amazing it is that college students are finding help at a pregnancy resource center rather than a Planned Parenthood facility, whose business model is built on abortions. Finally, congrats to Sharon Carey, executive director of the Crisis Pregnancy Center of the Wabash Valley, who has dedicated much of her life to helping her neighbors.
Exciting Update on Promoting Life in the Wabash Valley
By Ann L. Coker, secretary of Wabash Valley Right to Life
Since 2008, Wabash Valley Right to Life (WVRTL), based in Terre Haute, has presented a Respect for Life award to a person nominated by someone in the community. At their annual Benefit Dinner held on January 26 at O’Shaughnessy Hall, St. Mary-of-the-Woods College, WVRTL presented the 2016 Thomas J. Marzen Respect for Life award to Sharon Carey, Executive Director of the Crisis Pregnancy Center of the Wabash Valley (CPC of WV). Criteria for receiving this award includes being dedicated to the sanctity of human life, longevity of service and having a servant attitude within a pro-life organization, faithfulness to the promised tasks related to pro-life work, and going the extra mile in the current year of recognition and involvement in additional services in the community.
Sharon Carey has served at the CPC of WV in many different capacities since being hired in May of 1990. She has held her current position as executive director since 2001.
When Carey first learned she had been nominated for the WVRTL Respect for Life award, she thought of those the award represented – all individuals who work so hard for the CPC to make an impact on the community. She said, “Simultaneously I thought of the great opportunity to take this special award and give it to my Lord. He loves this community and it’s evident in how He’s provided our new location to meet the needs of the community.”
The most significant accomplishment of the CPC of WV happened in 2015 when it moved from the center on Poplar Street and into a new facility on Wabash Avenue, the largest free standing pregnancy center in the nation. This new CPC is a 7000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility.
“The whole community has been behind this project,” stated Carey. The CPC has received a great outpouring of support from the community, especially with finances. The new facility, built debt free, cost a little less than $2 million and every bit came from local support. Money came from individuals, churches, local grants, and from businesses. Comments included: “We’ve seen the CPC work in our community and know that it makes our community better.”
During the six-year period of decision making and preparing for this move, Carey asked, “Are we hearing God’s voice?” The questions mounted: Where to build, how large, how to finance it? God moved in unexpected ways. Carey, staff, and board had to depend on God more and more. “God didn’t need me. I was only along for the ride,” Carey stated.
The board and staff chose this particular location because of it accessibility to college students, both female and male. Since moving to the new building the client load has significantly increased, offering more medical services beyond the standard ultrasound to various STD testing and pap smears as directed by a doctor. Hence, the medical staff has also grown.
2016 was a landmark year for the pro-life movement in Terre Haute. CPC had its first full year of operation at the new location. Planned Parenthood also closed its doors. According to CEO Betty Cockrum of Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky, the Planned Parenthood center of Terre Haute was operating in the red. From 2005–2015 Planned Parenthood had a 62 percent decline in appointments while the CPC of WV had a 57 percent increase. After Planned Parenthood closed, CPC of WV’s August statistics showed a 75 percent increase in STD screening for college students and 167 percent increase in sonograms. This resulted in many abortion-vulnerable clients carrying their babies. These increases in medical services moved the CPC to expand its 2017 medical budget to $14,000, providing 244 nursing hours and a projected 660 medical tests.
The CPC of WV presented this appeal at the January 2017 WVRTL Benefit Dinner. Guests donated generously to this and two other appeals. Attendance was good and donations the best ever. Event speaker Mike Spencer from Life Training Institute gave a passionate message about the worth of the human person: “Who Counts as One of Us?”
Sharon Carey emphasized that the CPC of WV is here to meet needs, to help with life choices – the clients’ sexuality as well as pregnancy issues. Expanded services have opened opportunities for the CPC of WV to give help and hope where it’s needed. For example, a negative pregnancy test might give a client a false sense of security. Peer-counselors talk with clients about their struggles of being sexually active. The discovery of an STD is a critical moment in life. They have to face the prospect of change and will often listen and adapt to a lifestyle adjustment.
The compassion ministries of the CPC of WV also add to community outreach. Creating Positive Relationships (CPR) reaches five to six thousand middle and high school students in Vigo and surrounding counties with the advantages of abstinence. For the support of new moms and dads, programs include Encouraging Parents Together (EPT), Earn While You Learn (EWYL), and 24/7 Dads. There’s even a prison ministry called Inside/Out Dads.
The Wabash Valley Right to Life is proud to add Sharon Carey to the list of others who have received the Thomas J. Marzen Respect for Life award: Thomas J. Marzen (memorial), Msg. Lawrence Moran, Ron Curtis (founder of the CPC of WV), Cecelia Lundstrom, Donna Brinkley, Susan Graham, Rick Mascari, and Evelyn Ring.