FALLBROOK – In July 2022, Zion Lutheran Church in Fallbrook approached Hope Clinic for Women (HCW) with an invitation to partner with them as a congregation of The Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod (LCMS) to seek a Million Dollar Life Match Grant.
It was a call to Zion to love women vulnerable to abortion, and families facing challenges at the beginning-of-life stages of their children, demonstrating this love through many acts of mercy in their communities. The Match Grant challenged Zion to raise up to $50,000 in congregational and community giving by April 1, 2023, that had the possibility of a match of up to $50,000 by the LCMS Office of National Mission.
Zion took on that challenge and together they and HCW submitted a grant request that if matched would provide a total of $100,000 for projects that HCW specified in the grant and that met LCMS eligibility. By April 1, this year, Zion attained their goal by collecting $50,048.40.
On May 24, Zion was notified that LCMS would award the Million Dollar Life Match Grant submitted by Zion and HCW in the amount of $50,000. In early June, HCW received a check from Zion for $50,048.40 and on June 7, Pastor Aaron Pingel of Zion delivered a check for $50,000 from LCMS completing the LCMS Matching Life Grant totaling $100,000 and presented it to staff and volunteers from HCW.
Projects eligible for The Million Dollar Life Match Grant included existing, expanding, or new projects that support the needs of families during the beginning-of-life stage of their children and help LCMS congregations provide spiritual, emotional, and physical care to strengthen families in communities across the United States.
The Million Dollar Life Match Grant submitted by Zion and HCW was titled, "Informed Moms and Dads Choose Life." The grant was successful in expanding Zion's local, beginning-of-life mercy efforts, and shared those efforts with the community as members of the congregation are engaged in regular volunteer opportunities at HCW. At HCW, it funded an existing project by adding an additional day of clinic and pregnancy services (Tuesdays) to the three days a week that HCW was open (Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday) allowing HCW to offer more services when they are needed.
It expanded an existing project by allowing HCW to add a second ultrasound to offer multiple ultrasounds each hour allowing more moms and dads to see their babies for the first time. The grant also funded a new project with the establishment of a new Fatherhood Program increasing the number of men utilizing services at HCW and encouraging and enabling them to build strong families.
Carolyn Koole, executive director of HCW said that the impact of local churches like Zion on HCW is immeasurable, "We were established by churches and individuals over 20 years ago that valued and supported the life of the mother, the father, and the baby. Then and now, moms and dads need listening ears and to have established relationships with men and women who can walk them through some of the most challenging days of their lives offering not just help but hope and a chance to grow their faith in something outside of their circumstances. They need to know, with God's help, seemingly impossible things are possible, and that they are stronger than they think."
For more information about the services provided at HCW and the volunteer opportunities available, call 760-728-4105, ext.10 or visit http://www.hopefallbrook.com.
Submitted by Hope Clinic for Women.