Acts of Hope prepares for Right to Life Month
Nationally, January is Right to Life Month (since Roe v. Wade occurred in January 1973), therefore Acts of Hope Executive Director Stacey Moss Harris and her staff are hosting a few events this month in order to raise public awareness while helping raise funds that they will use to help young Mississippi County woman. The events include their Fifth Annual Baby Bottle Campaign, two Right to Life Walks and various efforts to inform the public about the national effort. Acts of Hope, located at 525 North 10th Street (across the street from Blytheville High School), is a pregnancy resource center serving the entire county. The organization was founded in 2013 by Harris who, when in her 20’s, was alone going through a pregnancy and later felt the call to help others who find themselves in a similar situation. Harris said that they offer help in a confidential, non-judgmental way, striving to create an environment of acceptance, hope, love and safety.
The center is an independent, unaffiliated, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that “is working to change lives by offering justice to the innocent, mercy to the hurting, and hope in hopeless circumstances.” As a result, they receive no government assistance and depend solely upon the generosity of their supporters.
Their largest fundraising effort each year is their Baby Bottle Campaign. Each year the organization delivers somewhere between 1,500 to 1,700 baby bottles to area churches and businesses. Anyone that wants to take one, takes them home for a couple of weeks, filling them with loose change or donated money and then returns them.
Each January, since it is designated as Right to Life month, Acts of Hope makes a concerted effort to deliver baby bottles to area businesses that desire to help in their awareness campaign and in their fundraising efforts.
Additionally, working with the Blytheville and Osceola Ministerial Alliances this year, Acts of Hope will be sponsoring two Right to Life Walks on January 20.
The one in Blytheville will begin at the First Christian Church Prayer Garden and its participants will walk to the Blytheville Courthouse. The event in Osceola will begin at Calvary Baptist Church and its participants will walk to the Osceola Courthouse.
Some of the services offered at the center include free urine pregnancy tests to all new clients, birthing classes, abstinence classes (Acts of Hope employees and trained volunteers spend time in local public schools teaching "Concepts of Sexual Health," a curriculum approved by the state of Arkansas to teach the effects of premarital sex on the whole person, not just the physical consequences), abortion recovery classes (helping men and women overcome the emotional, psychological, and spiritual difficulties that are often experienced after an abortion), parenting classes (beginning with prenatal care and also covering childbirth and child-rearing through toddler years), as well as grief support for miscarriage and stillbirths.
When clients take their classes, they earn points. Those points can be “spent” at Acts of Hope to receive needed supplies ranging from diapers to blankets to car seats (and much more).
The items all help welcome a new baby and also help supply some of their many needs after birth.
While the center accepts direct tax deductible donations from those that desire to help young mothers of the area, the large expense of doing so is one of the reasons for the Baby Bottle Campaign, because all proceeds from the bottles go into the center’s general fund and are used to help the young ladies of Mississippi County.
They also connect young ladies with other resources they may need, but that they are unaware exists within the community, including counseling in cases of abuse or abuse.
For more information on Acts of Hope, to request a baby bottle or to help volunteer or donate, please call 780-623-8819 or visit www.actsofhopeprc.org