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A habit of generosity (religion)

Baby needs: Care Net offers a baby store, where items can be “purchased” using points accumulated by attending informative sessions. (Photos by Chanel Bingham)

Baby needs: Care Net offers a baby store, where items can be “purchased” using points accumulated by attending informative sessions. (Photos by Chanel Bingham)

By Chanel Bingham

On Dec. 1, 71 countries around the world participated in Giving Tuesday—a day set aside to celebrate generosity and to help others through donations, time, goods or your voice. It was a wonderful initiative, and it planted a seed of hope among our global population, which if properly nurtured, can grow beyond just a first step.

However, as it stands now, we can do better.

Our modern culture is grounded in self-absorption and self-centeredness, leaving little space for the concern or welfare of others. We place such great emphasis on extrinsic values, such as money and status, while discarding those things with vitally important intrinsic values, such as friendships and volunteerism.

BINGHAM

BINGHAM

The Christmas season offers us a reprieve from our culture of self, but only if we will allow it.

Christmas is the season of giving, providing us with an opportunity to give to others beyond just an initiative. It allows us to be a better version of ourselves, with the hope that this time of giving will somehow translate into a habit of generosity.

During this Christmas season, I want to take the opportunity to introduce you to people and organizations who are making a difference and giving back to our community all year long. They have dedicated their lives to service and to making our small part of the world a better place for everyone.

Care Net Pregnancy Center opened its doors to our community in 2006. Their mission is to offer hope and help to those facing unplanned pregnancies and realistic alternatives to anyone considering abortion.

They provide many free services including pregnancy testing, ultrasounds, peer counseling, parenting classes, Bible studies, post-abortion Bible studies and adoption referrals.

Executive Director of Care Net Susan Scott said she can see the impact Care Net is having in our community.

“We had a young, married mother of three come in who was pregnant with her fourth child,” Scott said. “She and her husband were concerned about supporting this child, and they were thinking of aborting their baby. However, after providing them with an ultrasound, they changed their mind. They wanted to give life to their child, and they were going to find a way to support their baby.”

Eager to help: The Care Net staff includes Susan Scott, executive director; Kimberly Fenske, nurse manager; Marie Collier, administrative assistant; and Carole Christensen, volunteer.

Eager to help: The Care Net staff includes Susan Scott, executive director; Kimberly Fenske, nurse manager; Marie Collier, administrative assistant; and Carole Christensen, volunteer.

Another beautiful option for women facing unplanned pregnancies is adoption. Care Net successfully connects women with caring adoption agencies.

“My son is adopted, so I have a passion for presenting it as a positive option,” Scott said.

For those choosing to parent their child, Care Net can also provide them with many valuable resources.

Once such resource is a parenting class called Earn While You Learn. The program offers eight sessions where young mothers learn the basics of parenting, while earning points to shop at the center’s “baby store.” Moms can earn points to purchase clothing for their baby, along with blankets, diapers and wipes, bottles, bibs, toiletries and other baby items to help them prepare for caring for their little one.

Care Net also provides free prenatal vitamins to expectant mothers throughout their pregnancy and for an additional 6 months after birth if the mother is breast feeding.

Over the past year, Care Net had over 200 visits and served 170 clients. And while the services they provide are free to the clients, they need our help to be able to continue successfully serving our community.

“We are funded primarily through donations,” Scott explained. “Our center requires roughly $80,000 to provide services and keep our doors open.”

In addition to the three fundraising events Care Net hosts each year, monthly and quarterly donations are needed to help support this ministry.

Also, volunteers are needed on a weekly and biweekly basis to help fold newsletters, work at the front desk, answer phones and serve as client advocates, which involves client intake, peer counseling and gospel presentation.

Another way to make a difference in this ministry is through the donation of new or gently used baby items for the Earn While You Learn program. Diapers size 0-3 months are always a popular item, along with baby wipes and newborn clothes up to 6 months in size.

As we prepare to celebrate this season of giving, I pray that our charitableness will go beyond just a first step. It is my hope that we will develop a habit of generosity.

If you would like more information on making a donation or volunteering with Care Net, contact Susan Scott at 205-755-6767. Volunteers are required to fill out an application and submit to a background check.

“In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'” Acts 20:35 

Care Net donation information

$1200 (Save one baby!)

$1000 (Pay rent for one month)

$600 (Sponsor a day at the Center)

$250 (Sponsor Bibles given to clients)

$100 (Sponsor a post-abortion Bible study participant)

Chanel Bingham is a freelance writer, blogger and public speaker. She resides in Thorsby with her husband and four children. You can visit Chanel at www.thepolishedcanvas.com or on Facebook at “The Polished Canvas.” Her column publishes each Thursday.