Pregnancy Resource Center gears up for fundraiser
At the Estacada Pregnancy Resource Center, there is a space where women who think they might be expecting can receive support. There's a room filled with instructional videos for expecting parents, and another room houses a supply of baby clothes, furniture and other supplies.
"When they come through the door they are greeted friendly. I want (them) to feel very welcomed, almost loved, " said Annette Davis, director of the Estacada Pregnancy Resource Center, which has a main branch located in Sandy. Center leaders describe the organization as a Christian pro-life ministry that strives to assist women and men who are unprepared for pregnancy.
"I want them to be able to talk to us and know we're not judging them," Davis continued.
To support operations at the Pregnancy Resource Center, a nonprofit organization that is sustained completely by churches and other local benefactors, there will be a dinner and silent auction fundraiser from 6-9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 13, at Estacada First Baptist Church, 29101 S.E. Eagle Creek Road. For each attendee, tickets are $30 if purchased in advance or $35 at the door.
Typically, the event raises around $13,000 for the center's locations in both Sandy and Estacada. This year, 91 auction items have been donated thus far. The dinner, catered by the Colton High School culinary program, will feature pork, mashed potatoes, green beans, salad and several cakes.
"It's fun to meet people and talk about the PRC if they didn't know who we were
what we're about," said Davis.
The Pregnancy Resource Center has been in Estacada since 2007 and in Sandy since the 1980s. The Estacada Pregnancy Resource Center is located at 107 N.E. Fifth Avenue, in a building given to them by Estacada First Baptist Church.
The centers strive to help young soon-to-be parents through every step of their journey, providing free pregnancy tests, information on their options if they are pregnant, educational materials and items for expecting mothers and their future children. In September of this year, the Estacada Pregnancy Resource Center served approximately 18 women between the ages of 15 and 30.
For those who are pregnant, the center provides information on parenting, adoption and abortion — though no services or referrals are provided for abortion.
Davis believes the limited ultrasounds — available through the first 12 weeks of pregnancy — are one of the most valuable services the center provides.
"It shows the young lady and the young man the baby," she said. "A lot of people don't realize the heart's already beating at day 21. They just think 'I can't have this, I can't do this.' But I think when they have that ultrasound and see the baby moving, and see the heart beating, it's really kind of crazy. After that ultrasound they end up making their decisions, but at least they got to see it."
The majority of the center's services are free, though there is a charge for STD tests after the first time they had been administered.
"Obviously we promote abstinence and really encourage abstinence, but if they're continuing to be sexually active, that's their choice," Davis said.
The center encourages expecting parents who are interested to drop in and watch informational videos pertaining to birthing, parenting, discipline and other subjects. Participating in these classes and completing homework allows participants to earn "Mommy Money," which can be used for maternity clothes, baby clothes and baby furniture, among other items from the center's resource room.
Aditionally, for those who are eight months pregnant or have a baby two is two months or younger, the center gives free layettes, which typically include sleepers, gowns, shirts, pants, onesies, socks, blankets and a quilt.
In addition to managing operations at the center, Davis also speaks to health classes at Estacada, Oregon City and Colton high schools, promoting abstinence and discussing the risks of STDs, among other topics.
For more information about the Estacada and Sandy Pregnancy Resource Centers or to purchase tickets for the upcoming dinner and auction, visit www.prcofsandy.org.