Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

Gala dinner helps grow Hope

Hope Clinic for Women held its 19th Annual Inspiring Hope Gala March 15 at SonRise Christian Fellowship. With the support of the community, HCW has continued to offer its free services but needs help to keep growing along with the needs of its clients.

Executive Director Carolyn Koole reported that on the services provided in 2023: 23 babies were born to moms in the program; 1,040 client visits provided 4,050 free services; 71 free pregnancy tests and 88 free ultrasounds were given along with 789 individual educational classes.

Besides those services, nine abortion pill rescue treatments were given and over 2,500 volunteer hours were performed. Koole added that 80% of their clients have an annual income of less than $15,000, 69% are single and 52% are under the age of 24.

Last year, God blessed HCW with a matching grant through Zion Lutheran Church. It was also able to replace its 12-year old ultrasound machine and to start a fatherhood program which celebrated its first anniversary the next day. Eight father coaches are currently volunteering their time.

There are new challenges this year; Koole said they have three mountains to move. The first is political forces as the California Attorney General has accused pro life centers of fraud in regard to the abortion reversal pill. Constant prayer is needed here, she said.

At the beginning of the program at the Gala, testimony was given by a client who was forced, by her boyfriend, to take the abortion pill. She said she thought, "there was nothing I could do," but she researched her options online and found HCW.

She rushed there the next day where an ultrasound was given along with the progesterone treatment which allowed her to keep her baby. She had to move out of state and get a restraining order against her abusive boyfriend but her daughter is now 1 year old and recently took her first steps. The young mother is a college student and president of her campus' Students for Life group.

The second mountain HCW faces is financial challenges in the state, in healthcare, and the minimum wage going up 56%. So, for 2024, HCW needs to add 20 new $100 monthly donors and 10 churches with monthly support. It also needs support to remodel its building, $1,279,000 and for a 2-year campaign to pay off its building and secure its future, for $364,200.

The third mountain is the need for volunteers. For program services, male and female volunteers are needed, four to six Spanish speaking and four English speaking.

The clinic also needs two volunteer RNs to train in ultrasound, training to provide STD testing and treatment, and to add eight hours of evening and weekend pregnancy support and medical services. HCW is a volunteer-based ministry that operates on donations.

A young mother, Michelle, told about her experience with HCW, saying she really blessed by all the support she received, saying she didn't have to buy diapers for six months. But it was more than that; she said her advocate is more than just that; she's my friend who has done so much to support me in this.

Michelle recommends the program for its resources and weekly sessions that include 20 minute videos on subjects like teething. She brough her daughter Adeline with her for the event.

The main speaker was Heather Gemmen who was a young mother of two boys, living in an inner city neighborhood, when she was raped by an intruder one night when her husband was late in coming home, 28 years ago. She later discovered that she was pregnant because of the rape.

She knew she had three choices, she said. First, she felt that she couldn't keep the child, so that wasn't a choice. Second was abortion, which was tempting, but she grew up going to pro-life marches and couldn't do it. The third choice was adoption and her best friends were unable to conceive a baby, so she offered her baby to them.

They were ecstatic, but in the end, Gemmen couldn't give her baby away. She named her Rachel and the baby was so loved, adored and welcomed in the neighborhood. "She was always into things, into trouble, 'Gemmen said, but "she reminded me of God's power, God's greatness."

Her husband loved Rachel like she was his and they adopted one of the neighbor boys when he was left homeless. Even though her husband left her later on, her family causes her to "stand in awe of God" for the life he has given her. Rachel has given her two grandchildren and they live a mile away from Gemmen.

Her power point presentation includes this quote, "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to proper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future," – Jeremiah 29:11

She ended her talk by saying that "by standing side by side and supporting people, we feel God's beauty. It is a story of hope and grace."

As of March 27, HCW's fundraising was at $170,140 of the goal of $175,000. Koole said, "We've had wonderful responses from those attending for the speaker and our client and dad. Rape is such a difficult message to address. Heather was able to demonstrate God's ability to display his grace in her life leaving her with awe in the love she had for her daughter concerned by rape. Heather's daughter has blessed her with grandchildren adding to the legacy of her decision for life. So beautiful."

Anyone interested in volunteering or wanting more information about HCW can call 760-728-4105, ext. 10 or visit http://www.hopefallbrook.com/.

 

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