A group of about 400 people gathered Thursday evening for the annual Beginning Care for Life banquet. The theme was restoration – rebuilding homes and lives.
Judge David Coyle delivered the opening remarks with wit, humor and sobering truth. The truth he sees every day in his courtroom.
Life has been tough in recent years, Coyle said, but every generation in this country has faced challenges – WWI, WWII, the Korean and Vietnam Wars.
All recovered, but they had the strength of family life. Today, two-parent family life is rare, he says. And cited some statistics, including the decline in the percentage of people married compared to the past and the number of children born out of wedlock.
Where do these children go for family values? Coyle asked.
âThere is a need and a hunger in this country for family restoration,â he said.
Normally you don’t win a battle by surrendering, “but the only way to win this battle is to surrender.” Surrender to God, âCoyle said. ” Faith moves mountains. Faith wins the battle.
Beginnings Care is a faith-based ministry. Coyle’s message was reinforced by the stories of two Beginnings Care clients – Nicole and Justin.
Nicole is a former client, but she heard about the center when she was 15 and was pregnant with her first child. She did not drop out of school, but took the Earn and Learn program as seriously as a job, and was able to provide everything she needed for her baby while being covered by support from staff and volunteers.
When Nicole got pregnant a second time before leaving high school, she was back at the center, coping with the needs and building even stronger relationships with the staff.
She graduated from high school on time, went to college and is now an active and active member of the community, a mother of six – four biological children, a stepson and one she took with her. At her place.
Nicole attributes her success to Beginnings Care for the love and support she received during those early years.
Justin is a current Paternity Participation Program client. He came from a household where drug use was the norm and became addicted very early in his life.
Now the father of two daughters, he did not want to lose contact with them after his divorce and was advised to follow the Paternity Involvement Program.
âI didn’t mean to,â Justin said. “I thought it was another state-run program.”
What he has found is a group of men who care about him and with whom he has formed a deeper bond. Justin started attending Lockwood Community Church and was surrounded by more people who supported him. He is now active in the life of his daughters – a father. Justin gives credit to the support he found at Beginnings Care.
Director Jane Ford spoke about the programs they offer and âgracefully riding the waves of changeâ.
One of the waves of change was not a banquet last year, but Beginnings hosted small groups to tour the facilities.
They also didn’t close for long during the COVID-19 shutdown and have always been able to help customers who contacted them for physical needs.
All of their services are free to customers – pregnancy tests, ultrasound services, postabortion recovery, Blessing Shop filled with donations of lightly worn baby and children’s clothing.
Their Earnings & Learning Program allows clients to earn points by viewing parenting and personal growth videos, then discussing the topic with a peer counselor. Customers use the points they earn on basic necessities including diapers, car seats, personal care items, laundry detergent, gasoline and other gift cards, lightly used baby furniture.
Ford is also a guest presenter in local high school health classes with a section on healthy relationships.
âOur community is very generous,â Ford told the audience. “You are very generous.”
The center does not receive government funding and most of the staff are trained volunteers. With the exception of a few local grants, all of the necessities they provide for young families come from local donations, Ford said.