CELEBRATING 20 YEARS OF HOPE

Written by Janice Jones

Choices Pregnancy Resource Clinic, Inc. is celebrating their 20th anniversary serving Russellville and the surrounding area with caring and compassionate support for the

Choices Executive Director, Sherry Berger, will also be celebrating her 20th year as Executive Director for Choices. An annual fundraising banquet is held each year and this year’s theme will be “Celebrating 20 Years of HOPE.”

The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 12, at First Baptist Church, Second and El Paso, Russellville. Guest speaker will be Sherry Berger, executive director of Choices Pregnancy Resource Clinic. The Duggar Family of “19 Kids & Counting” will be the featured musical guests.

Deadline for reservations is Monday, April 4. Seating is limited and those in attendance must be 18 years of age or older to attend. Reservations are required and available by calling Choices at (479) 967-2255 or online at www.choicespregnancyresourceclinic.org. Dress is business attire.

There is no charge to attend the banquet, however, reservations are required. The meal will be catered by Italian Gardens. Guests are asked to help raise funds by making tax-deductible donations that evening.

Choices PRC offers educational and counseling support to young women faced with unplanned pregnancies. Along with providing pregnancy testing and confirmation through limited ultrasounds, they offer pregnancy options education, abstinence support, parenting classes, adoption and medical referrals.

Choices PRC also offers a 12-Week Earn While You Learn mentoring program in a “support group” setting that meets one day weekly. Earn While You Learn classes help prepare clients for their new parenting role as “mom” and explores life style changes that provide a healthier and safer family environment. Moms gain knowledge about a wide range of subjects that enable them to make lasting changes in their lives as well as equip them as parents; this education can decrease many risk factors associated with teen pregnancies, such as neglect and abuse.

Parenting classes are offered to young moms and dads to equip them with practical parenting skills that nurture the parent-child relations. Parenting classes differ from the mentoring program as these classes include dads and their role as provider and protector of their family. Parenting classes offer interaction with other young parents, encouraging and challenging parenting viewpoints. Parenting classes now facilitate approximately 135 client visits.

Both the Earn While You Learn program and Parenting Classes offer “Parenting Bucks” to accumulate and spend in the “Thrift Store” which is open to clients only. Rather than just “taking a handout” clients are given the opportunity to work for much needed baby items, which enhances their self-respect and rewards their hard work. Choices PRC provides new cribs and car seats through the “Earn While You Learn” program.

As clients are given the knowledge needed to develop healthy relationships, they can become better parents and managers of their households. Choices PRC is seeing more families equipped to become successful members of our community as they participate in these programs.

In 2010, Choices PRC experienced 609 client visits and provided 131 pregnancy tests and 101 limited ultrasounds; Choices PRC also saw 48 clients participate in the Earn While You Learn Program and/or Parenting Classes.

Choices PRC is located at 311 East 3rd Street in Russellville. Office Hours are: Monday, 2 p.m. until 7 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday, 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. After hours appointments are available. The phone number is: (479) 967-2255.

For those interested in making a tax-deductible donation at anytime, the mailing address is: Choices PRC, P. O. Box 394, Russellville, AR 72811. Information is available online at: www. choicespregnancyresourceclinic.org. Additional information about Choices PRC is available on their website.

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