I recently interviewed and was accept to be part of a volunteer position to serve on the executive board for a local organization called Hastings Total Life Care (TLC Hastings). TLC of Hastings is a ministry that serves the community by providing life-affirming pregnancy and parenting education and support.
I was working on my intro/bio for their supporters facing webpage and crafting a simple paragraph has proven to be challenging. It’s not that I don’t know what to say, it’s that I have too much to say as my passion gets the best of me. While I did get my paragraph figured out I wanted to share some of my excitement with you and what sets TLC apart from other pregnancy resource centers.
TLC offers ultrasounds, counseling, referrals, and support. The support they provide is built on a multifaceted web of people let me explain.*Through a program called “Earn While You Learn” they educate and empower young women and men through classes. These free courses cover topics like child development, parenting styles, child safety, healthy eating and relationships. Often young parents are not surrounded with accurate information. Can you imagine being a young teen trying to navigate breastfeeding, proper car seat installation and usage, or figuring out how to soothe a colicky baby? Those are hard enough with proper support network but the misinformation, or lack of information altogether can make a challenging situation worse.
Armed with knowledge after each free class the young men and women earn “baby bucks” which in turn can be spent at the Baby Boutique. Things like maternity clothes, diapers, wipes, clothes, toys even new car seats and cribs. As with any parent providing for your child’s needs is not something that is done for free, it takes work. Additionally TLC helps the mom’s and dads-to-be create a web of support. They pair young women (or couple) with a mentor who meets with her (them) every week. Every lesson earns more baby bucks and if a partner (dad) comes with they both earn baby bucks-this encourages co-parenting, and dads to be involved too. The classes also come with optional homework and if completed can earns bonus “baby bucks”. Outside of TLC moms (or couples) are encouraged to attend a church as a way to surround themselves with family of believers support. If they bring a bulletin back to show they’ve attended this gets them additional baby bucks.
The whole idea is to help create a web of support, and understanding of responsibility for becoming a parent. What’s that saying? “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”
The impact of going beyond simply giving out free stuff but rather empowering young women and men through education is truly saving lives and changing hearts! It’s creating healthy habits and a lifelong impact on their children helps break cycles of isolation, struggle, neglect and abuse.
TLC at it’s core is pro-life, but the point of being “pro-life” is not to merely stop abortions. Fighting for an unborn child’s right to life flows from a Christian’s conviction that God is the author of all life, and it is not for us humans to determine whose life is worth living. Life is inherently good and sacred, and even the most vulnerable and weak are precious to God. As Christians we must advocate not simply “pro-life” but pro-quality of life even after a child comes into this world. It goes beyond infants and children we are called to maintain the dignity and God-given potential of every human life–and that’s what TLC of Hastings is about and why I’m so excited to be able to help and support this organization.
It hits close to home for Adam and I. We are a couple who, one day, will be on the receiving end of a women’s choice for life. We pray everyday for our birth mom, and unborn child. We pray protection upon both of them until we meet, but until then helping and supporting in organizations like TLC of Hastings bring us joy. It’s not just about babies or even TLC of Hastings but the sanctity of life. It’s about the marginalized, the kid at school being bullied, your backyard neighbor needing compassion… It’s about becoming ambassadors for the One who loves the little children, ALL the children of the world.
If you would like get involved with TLC of Hastings visit their volunteer page HERE. They are always looking for people to share their gifts and talents in ways to enhance their ministry (you may be the resource they are looking for) as well as mentors, maintenance repair crew, baby shower hosts, and prayer crew.