When Brandie Hayden, CEO of Wise Choices Pregnancy Resource Center in Decatur, Texas, comes to work each morning, she knows there will be many opportunities for sharing the love of Jesus.
“No day is the same,” she said. “Every day is different.”
Opened in 2001, the Center’s mission is to save babies and proclaim Jesus Christ. They are part of a national group of pregnancy resource centers, but function autonomously.
Data shows that last year 170 girls who visited the center were “abortion-vulnerable.” But when they have an ultrasound and hear the baby’s heartbeat, “everything changes,” Hayden said.
Of the 170, 163 (95.9%) chose life.
Focusing on strategies
For 2021, statistics show 933 total client visits, 312 new clients, 328 pregnancy tests and 288 ultrasounds. More importantly among those numbers, however, 28 made professions of faith in Christ, five rededicated their faith and the gospel was presented 251 times.
Laurie Perkins, Wise Choice client services director, said the Center allows clients to earn coupons to purchase baby items, and services are provided for mothers and their babies up to three years of age. They get the coupons by participating in and completing classes, both in-person and virtual, with topics ranging from parenting and budgeting to Bible study and nutrition.
“Clients are encouraged to call and talk with a staff person for a complete listing of all the ways we stand ready to help care for their babies now, while also preparing for their future,” Perkins said.
Getting the baby’s father involved
One strategy at Wise Choice that is different from some centers is treating the baby’s father like a patient and helping him stay involved.
“We have male mentors who meet with the fathers and educate them as to the importance of being a dad,” Hayden said. “Mentors help the fathers deal with fears of being a dad, the excitement and the resources available. The mentor also provides spiritual leadership and shares the gospel.”
The Center offers free programs to clients:
- Pregnancy tests.
- Peer counseling services.
- Adoption information.
- “Earn While You Learn”.
- Parenting classes.
- Referrals for social service agencies.
- Pregnant/parenting teen program.
- Abortion pill reversal protocol.
- Sexual transmitted infection testing.
Another ministry offered by the Center is an abortion recovery program, which helps women come to terms with their choice and allow the Lord to heal and restore them. It is conducted by trained staff in one-on-one counseling, to help women walk in freedom and wholeness after an abortion.
Churches in Wise County support the center with Baby Bottle Boomerang and observing Sanctity of Human Life Sunday in January.
“We are just wrapping up the 2022 Baby Bottle Boomerang and this year’s total raised exceeded $22,000,” Hayden said. “We are so grateful to all who contributed as we have had several unexpected expenses this year.”
“If you have a gift or a talent it can be put to use,” Hayden declared. “This is not rocket science. We stand for life.”
Wise Choice needs advocates for both men and women, and bilingual volunteers or those who speak English as a second language. There always is a need for volunteers for classes, one-on-one education, an in-house boutique and prayer partners.
“In 2021 we gave out over 12,000 diapers, boxes of wet wipes, baby food and formula,” Hayden said. “The demand is great.
“I’ve seen a change in the women and men who volunteer,” she added. “This ministry has changed their lives.”
Hayden expects the number of clients to increase since the recent Roe v. Wade abortion decision by the Supreme Court.
“Wise Choice Pregnancy Center must be mindful of what we do,” Hayden said. “We share the truth.”
Women and girls who find themselves with an unplanned pregnancy have three choices, Hayden noted — abort, become parents or place the baby up for adoption.
“It is our goal to educate our clients and love on them no matter what choice they make,” she affirmed. “We want to walk alongside them in facing their fears.”
For more information on volunteering or donating call 940-627-6924 or visit www.mywisechoices.com.