Hope for Life begins fundraising for permanent center

By Kate Hayden, khayden@charlescitypress.com

A new crisis pregnancy center is fundraising to take root in Charles City.

Hope for Life Pregnancy Center is planning the New Beginnings Dessert Reception, June 11, 7-8:30 p.m. at the Youth Enrichment Center on the Floyd County Fairgrounds. The Christian faith-based organization is fundraising for a permanent center to offer pregnancy and new family services in Charles City, Director Nikki Steere said.

“We really hope that it provides a good service to the community. Our main goal is educating women on all of their options,” Steere said. “We really want to educate and empower women to make the best choice for them.”

A volunteer committee is working with Steere to organize the event, and local businesses in Osage and Clarksville are providing desserts for the night, including a gluten-free option. Star Parker, founder and president of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education (CURE) will be the keynote speaker of the event.

The organization has already reached it’s table sponsorship goal, but will accept freewill donations from those attending. Attendance is free. Those interested in attending can contact Hope for Life for a ticket free of charge at 563-880-4994, or by emailing Steere at hopeforlifepc@gmail.com. Sponsorships will still be accepted, Steere said.

“All of our funding comes from private donors,” Steere said. “We’re in no way government funded.”

“That’s really the purpose of this event that we’re having, to get a strong financial basis, get a building and get started.”

The developing non-profit is affiliated with Care Net, a national network of pro-life pregnancy centers.

Hope for Life is looking for a Charles City location that provides space for a private counseling room, an ultrasound room, a bathroom, a reception space and a room for the center’s “baby bucks” store. Steere is the current sole employee of Hope for Life, and works with a local five-member Board of Directors on the center’s needs.

“Once we are open, a lot of our services will be provided by volunteers,” Steere said.

The center will provide free pregnancy testing, counseling — provided by volunteers who undergo training — and limited diagnostic ultrasounds. Steere is a registered nurse who currently does ultrasounds at the Caring Pregnancy Center in Mason City. Hope for Life’s machine will be donated by a radiology equipment distributor once a location is secured.

“All of our services are at no cost to our clients,” Steere said.

“Women will still seek prenatal care with their physician, we are just a supplemental support.”

Clients can also participate in an “Earn While You Learn” program, which awards “baby bucks” points to clients. The “baby bucks” will be spent in the center’s store, which will be stocked with maternity and infant items, such as diapers or wipes.

Points can be earned by attending counseling sessions, classes on parenting, birthing, or life skills, or participating in father programs. Attending school, work or church outside of the program can also earn a participant’s “baby bucks”.

“Care Net isn’t just pro-life. Their motto is pro-abundant life,” Steere said.

Steere first learned about the center’s mission and search for a director in summer 2016 during a presentation at her church. She was hired by the board in January, and has since started working on fundraising to help secure a location.

Once Hope for Life has a permanent location, the center will consider hiring office staff, she said.

The Board of Directors did surveys in Floyd, Mitchell and Chickasaw counties prior to Steere’s hiring to evaluate the need level for this center, Steere said.

“There are already a lot of women from this area that are going to the Mason City center for services. We’re not in competition with these other pregnancy centers. We all have the same common goal,” Steere said. “Those women will be sent to us if this is a closer alternative for them, if they’re able to utilize the services better.”

“We’ll always be accepting new clients as the need arises,” she added.

FRIDAY, 3:18 p.m. — This story has been corrected to reflect where Steere does ultrasounds in Mason City.