The Hope Center: Raising Awareness and Support for Unplanned Pregnancies

By CHRISTINA HEATON

Cindy O’Leary laughed as she described her retreat from the corporate world.

“I worked in that field for far too long,” she said.  “As the job title became bigger, the stress also became higher.”

O’Leary spent 12 years working for a large corporation before finally leaving to pursue other options. It was then she came across a job opportunity as the executive director for a nonprofit organization, known as The HOPE Center.  She now serves the community by helping young men and women involved in unplanned pregnancies and hosting charity-sponsored events, such as the Walk for Life to raise local awareness and funds.

O’Leary says that it was prayer that finally pushed her toward leaving the corporate world and taking the job working for a nonprofit organization – which ultimately paid her a fraction of her former salary.

The HOPE Center, located in Woodstock, Ga., is an organization that specializes in unplanned pregnancies and provides counselors and guidance to anyone in need of support.  The center is able to accommodate these young men and women in part due to annual fund raisers and charity events, like the Walk for Life.

The Walk for Life is an upcoming event designed to increase local awareness and raise money for The HOPE Center; it will take place at Woodstock High School on Saturday, April 27, 2013.  Supporters are being asked to sign up online at http://www.supporthopecenter.com.

“There will be a link that will say “life is beautiful,” and those interested can just click and sign up as a walker, sponsor, or to simply make a pledge,” O’Leary said.

Volunteers will arrive at The Walk for Life around 8:30 a.m. for registration, and the walk will begin at approximately 9:00 a.m.  According to O’Leary, the event will take roughly one hour to complete.  Donations for the Walk for Life can be made via The HOPE Center’s website, http://www.hopectr.com.  O’Leary is also asking that supporters create a profile and advertise the event via social media and internet outlets.

“We are moving forward with something called ICU mobile, which is a recreational vehicle that’s equipped with an ultrasound and flat screen monitors that will allow us to go outside the walls of The HOPE Center,” O’Leary said. “It has a three-fold purpose: To go serve women, to go save lives, and to go share Jesus.”

The ICU mobile will also be present at the Walk for Life.  Eventually, ICU mobile will be traveling to several local college campuses to raise awareness and offer free services to any students who may be in need.

The HOPE Center is always looking for volunteer helpers.  Last year they had a total of 202 volunteers, which together donated 9,975 hours of time.

“There is no way we could ever do this ministry without our volunteers,” O’Leary said.

There is such a wide variety of things people can do to get involved at The HOPE Center, including becoming a sponsor for a walker in the upcoming event, acting as a client advocate, or simply volunteering a few hours at the center.

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