Category Archives: 24 hour phones

Volunteers Matter: Brooks Parker

Crisis Pregnancy Outreach has been 100% run by volunteers since its inception more than 30 years ago. No one has ever received a salary, which enables CPO to make an even bigger difference in the lives of Tulsa area women. We know that volunteers matter, and to honor them we periodically interview and highlight one of our volunteers. This week we hear from another dedicated volunteer, Brooks Parker.

Q: How do you volunteer with CPO?
A: I work in the office occasionally, gather and organize baby/maternity donations so they are easily accessible at the CPO storage unit. I helped with donations for the gala in April and I will soon be writing some blog posts.:)

Q: How long have you been volunteering with us?
A: I began volunteering the end of November, 2015.

Q: How did you find out about CPO?
A: I heard about CPO from various people over the past several years.  When my niece was pregnant a friend recommended she utilize CPO’s services since she was young with an unplanned pregnancy.  CPO was helpful for her at that time in her life.  There are also several CPO adoptive families at my kids’ school and I have several friend/acquaintances at CPO that are heavily involved in volunteering at the organization.  I have always heard wonderful comments.

Q: Why did you choose to volunteer with CPO vs. other organizations? What is it about crisis pregnancies that drew you to us?
A: Well, I wouldn’t say “versus”.;)  I still volunteer a lot at my kids’ school and I also assist with computer work and am on the finance team at my church.  I have wanted to get involved with CPO for some time but the main motivator at this time is because we are now a waiting adoptive family.  I love that CPO requires volunteer hours to complete an adoption.  For someone like me that may be reserved to jump into a situation I am not familiar with, it has pushed me to put myself out there and learn the ropes of CPO.

Q: Why is our cause so close to your heart?
A: CPO cares for many facets of ladies in crisis and I love that.  Again, it is the love in action.  It’s not only showing the girls alternatives to abortion but helping them walk it out..for life.  Help doesn’t end at a free pregnancy test or delivering a baby or placing a baby for adoption.  The CPO girls are offered counseling and support for life and that is huge.  I am excited to be able to participate in a ministry that doesn’t just focus on one small area of an unplanned pregnancy but that it offers an all encompassing level of support for women.

Q: What have you learned about yourself since volunteering?
A: I have solidified my introvert status by realizing I really don’t like to talk on the phone. Haha!

Q: How have you seen God’s hand at work in the ministry of CPO?
A: I am very new to being directly involved with the CPO ministry, but what I have always seen through friends that have been involved and what I see now that I am there is: true love and care for the girls that come to CPO for help.  I see love in action and that is what God calls us to do.

Q: What would you say to anyone considering becoming involved in CPO?
A: Do it. The likelihood of CPO being able to put your God-given gifts and talents to use is pretty high.

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Volunteers Matter: Kate Wicar

Crisis Pregnancy Outreach has been 100% run by volunteers since its inception more than 30 years ago. No one has ever received a salary, which enables CPO to make an even bigger difference in the lives of Tulsa area women. We know that volunteers matter, and to honor them we periodically interview and highlight one of our volunteers. This week we hear from another dedicated volunteer (even from a different state!), Kate Wicar.

Q: How do you volunteer with CPO?
A: I have volunteered in several ways over the years, but I currently serve on the leadership team, mentoring out-of-state adoptive families who are waiting to adopt. I am also going to start coordination the Waiting Families Workshop. The Waiting Families Workshop is a time for prospective adoptive couples to come to Tulsa for a three day intensive, to learn about the heat and ministry of CPO, as well as the beauty of open adoption. The Waiting Families Workshop was an absolutely life-changing weekend for me and my husband, so I am excited to help facilitate that same beautiful experiences for other couples who are new to CPO.

Q: How long have you been volunteering with us?
A: I have been volunteering with CPO since the beginning of 2009. Actually, one of my favorite parts of our season of living in Tulsa was being part of CPO. I absolutely loved it. When we moved back to Colorado in Fall of 2011, I assumed that I wouldn’t be able to volunteer with CPO anymore. Thankfully, Cheryl thought to ask me if I would be willing to mentor out-of-state families who are waiting to adopt. I was thrilled to get to stay plugged into CPO, and truly love getting to encourage adoptive families.

Q: How did you find out about CPO?
A: A lady in the nursing mothers room at our church told me that she answered phones for CPO and told me a little about the ministry. I had wanted to get involved with a pro-life ministry for a while, so I was really excited to see how I could volunteer. Some close friends of ours were starting the process of adopting through CPO around that same time too, and they told us that CPO really needed Native American families. Really?! Since I am Cherokee, this was very intriguing. We started praying about adopting through CPO, just as our biological son was turning 1. We both felt strongly that the answer was “yes” and “now”, which didn’t seem entirely logical since our little guy wasn’t even walking yet, but we were so excited and turned in our application a few weeks later. And we’ve been on an adoption adventure pretty much ever since!

Q: Why did you choose to volunteer with CPO vs. other organizations? What is it about crisis pregnancies that drew you to us?
A: I love how pure the ministry is at CPO, and how it is all about loving the birth moms. An adoption agency where no one receives a salary–just incredible! I also love that CPO serves both women who are parenting and women who are making adoption plans.

Q: Why is our cause so close to your heart?
A: I started out volunteering simply because I wanted to help with a pro-life effort. I had deep convictions about protecting life in the womb and being a voice for the voiceless since I was a young girl. But now, the cause is even closer to my heart because I am the mother of four boys, three of which were adopted through CPO. Since we live in Colorado, people sometimes ask why we don’t adopt a baby locally. We tell them that after working with CPO, other adoption agencies kind of pale in comparison. We have such peace adopting through CPO, because our sons’ birth mothers have access to free counseling for the rest of their lives, a weekly support group, a doula for their births, a wonderful community, and so much more. There simply isn’t a place like CPO where we live, and that is why we wait a little longer and travel a little farther to adopt our babies.

Q: What have you learned about yourself since volunteering?
A: I’ve learned that God can use me even with my quirky personality and inadequacies. I still get a little nervous each time I speak to a group, or interview a prospective family, but God is faithful. Once I push through a bit of fear, I’m always so glad I did. I’ve learned that it is okay to just be me, and that I don’t have to be perfect or have it all together for God to use me.

Q: How have you seen God’s hand at work in the ministry of CPO?
A: Oh, where do I start? God is awesome and being involved with CPO is like being on the front row of a really good movie. There are twists and turns, and ups and downs, but in the end God is good! I am always impressed at God’s attention to detail and encourage the families that I mentor to keep a journal while they are waiting. It is pretty amazing to see some of the timing that occurs, and to see what God was doing behind the scenes all along. His goodness is consistently weaved throughout the fabric of this ministry.

Q: What would you say to anyone considering becoming involved in CPO?
A: I would say with my whole heart: do it! Many hands make light work, and it is so fulfilling to be part of what God is doing at CPO. Even volunteering in the office for just two hours a month is a huge help. Also, don’t be afraid to involve your children or to drive to an unfamiliar part of town. Being part of CPO is being part of a family, and we are all there because we love Jesus and want to cheer women on who are choosing life. So if you are thinking about volunteering, I would encourage you to go ahead and jump in. You will be blessed and God will use you in mighty ways. And when you are volunteering, it might not always feel super significant, but with many volunteers working together in small ways, the overall results are pretty remarkable!

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Call or Text: 24/7

We’re pretty sure everyone knows that CPO’s phones are answered 24 hours a day thanks to our dedicated hotline volunteers. But did you know that CPO has a 24/7 texting hotline, too? It’s been active for about 9 months now.

Our Ministry Director, Rhonda Fisher, currently responds to all the texts received on this line. When asked why we decided to branch out into the texting world, Rhonda replied, “I felt like this was an important step for us to take. Many people (especially high school and college age) prefer texting over voice calls. I certainly don’t want a girl to refrain from getting our services because she didn’t feel comfortable dialing a number. If she prefers to text, so be it. We are happy to help her that way!”

Since CPO started the service in October 2015, she has corresponded with over 50 different women. Fisher says, “We occasionally get text messages from potential adoptive families and volunteers or people who are confused about the services we offer. But the majority of the texts are from women who are interested in our services (mostly pregnancy tests and ultrasounds) and want more information. When they send a text it goes to my phone via a special app and I can reply to them from our established CPO phone number. Depending on what they want, I can encourage them to make an appointment for an ultrasound, come to support group, or if they are interested in choosing adoption, I put them in contact with Stephanie, our Adoption Director.”

Fisher feels the text line could be useful if a woman wants to “talk” about her pregnancy but doesn’t want her parents, roommate, boyfriend, or others to know what’s going on. Sometimes she’s just not ready to share the news with everyone yet, and texting allows her to feel safe while communicating. 6497720753_fbaea0598e_b


Retro CPO: “This Day Could Be My Last”

Each month we will feature a “retro” CPO article, one that is pulled from our archives of quarterly newsletters. Whenever possible we will provide details regarding the author and date of publication. This month’s Retro CPO article was written by Teresa, a beautiful birth mother. It was written in spring of 2008.

I look inside myself, desperate to see-
on a mission to discover the “brand new” me.

Am I so different than I was before,
when crack was my god and his servant a whore.

In my memories, I can see the streets.
I feel the loneliness, despair, and defeat.

My body was always exhausted.
I was forever on the move,
money to make,
things to take,
not a second to lose.

The trick was to stay in motion,
not to let thoughts enter my head.
There was a baby growing inside of me.
ALIVE,
when I was so dead.

Did I know I was hurting the baby?
I had to be aware.
The problem was deep inside of me.
I didn’t have the ability to care.

I moved without direction,
no concern for my path.
Why plan for the next day,
when today could be my last.

……….

The following is the “rest of the story”, as told by Cheryl Bauman in 2008.

At that point, Teresa called out to God and asked Him to send someone into her room at Hillcrest, someone that she could trust. Within seconds, He sent a wonderful nurse into her room, and within an hour, I was at the hospital with life books and a promise that CPO would not only find the perfect family for her baby boy, but that we would provide her with all she needed to turn her life around.
Today, Teresa has an excellent job, is growing emotionally and spiritually, and trusts the Lord with her life. She has an awesome relationship with her son’s adoptive parents, and has a renewed relationship with two of her daughters, who live in another state. She has 10 months of being clean and sober, and lives in our transitional home. Gone are the days of being in prison, using drugs to numb the pain of an excruciatingly horrid childhood, and making money however she could. Today, Teresa has begun to believe us when we tell her how precious she is to God, and to us. When I look at her, everything CPO has done to minister to girls and women in crisis pregnancies in the last 25 years seems totally “worth it.” God is so incredibly faithful.

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“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in Him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 NLT


How YOU Can Help

As the new year draws nigh, some of you may be resolving to volunteer more. If so, keep CPO in mind!
Remember, CPO has ALWAYS been 100% run by volunteers. No one has ever received a salary. That means we need fantastic people like YOU to keep us going!
We always need more volunteers, so consider joining us and be sure to share this with any friends or family members you think might like to join the fun, too!
Below is a list of ways you can help out around CPO. Contact Claire, our Volunteer Director, to ask questions or sign up. Her email is claire@cpotulsa.org. Can’t wait to see you around!

Office
Our office is open Monday-Friday from 10-4. We have shifts in 2-hour increments (10-12, 12-2, 2-4) and we need you to answer the phones and greet any girls who may come in for a pregnancy test or a chat.

Transportation
Drive girls to doctor’s appointments, counseling, support group, church, attorney appointments, or any other CPO-approved event.

Grace Girls Mentor
Be a mentor to a girl in CPO’s Mentoring Program.

Blog Writer/Contributor
Help create content for our weekly blog posts.

Shower Refreshments
Provide a baked item or vegetable tray, etc. for personal or baby shower for the girls.

Item Pickup
Pick up baby equipment, maternity and baby clothes donated to CPO.

Newsletters
Provide assistance preparing newsletters for mailing.

Gala Fundraiser
Help obtain live and silent auction items, solicit corporate sponsorships, host event, serve behind the scenes before, during, and after the event.

Event Support
CPO hosts several events throughout the year including an Easter Egg Hunt, Birth Mother’s Day Celebration and Christmas Party. We can always use extra hands to make these events a success.

Host Family
Find out more about becoming a host family to adoptive couples from out of town or opening your home to pregnant girls.

 Other Talents?
Do you have a skill or service you would like to volunteer? Email claire@cpotulsa.org with your ideas!

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Volunteers Matter: Ashley Ledbetter

Crisis Pregnancy Outreach has been 100% run by volunteers since its inception more than 30 years ago. No one has ever received a salary, which enables CPO to make an even bigger difference in the lives of Tulsa area women. We know that volunteers matter, and to honor them we periodically interview and highlight one of our volunteers. This week we hear from a dedicated volunteer, Ashley Ledbetter.

Q: How do you volunteer with CPO?
A: After hours phone calls, interviewing parenting moms and writing their stories for the blog, photography for CPO events like the Easter party and Birth Mother’s Day.

Q: How long have you been volunteering with us?
A: Since the beginning of this year.

Q: How did you find out about CPO?
A: We have friends who have adopted through CPO and my friend  mentors a CPO birth mom.  We also found CPO on the internet when trying to choose an adoption agency. After we pursued DHS adoptions, God told us we needed to use CPO.

Q: Why did you choose to volunteer with CPO vs. other organizations? What is it about CPO that drew you to us?
A: Well, because we have to for our adoption to be finalized! But it worked out because I actually wanted to volunteer last year but I had just delivered Siren and we were still settling into Tulsa. I ended up putting it on the back burner and then we became a waiting family so it was time to volunteer!

Q: What is it about crisis pregnancies that drew you to us?
A: The opportunity to serve a baby AND birth mother. The opportunity to have an open adoption and try to experience that reality.  Initially we thought of adoption as a “win,” because the baby is being rescued from a home that can’t take care of it, and because we gain a child into our family.  Later we started seeing it more as a “loss,” because the baby has this deep innate need for their biological parents and the solution for the brokenness coming from that separation should be reunification.  The solution should be an equipped mom and dad, a healthy household, a clean, safe, loving environment… so without that adoption felt like a “loss” for everyone.  Ultimately, we are now seeing open adoption as “adoption.”  Not a win or loss, just the receiving of an entire family unit (however big or small in each case) into our family unit.  Through open adoptions we can experience the win and joy of receiving a child into our home, we can redefine reunification by encouraging and nurturing healthy relationships between our adopted child and their birthfamily while also developing a new union between ourselves and our adopted child’s birth family.  And since CPO is a Christian ministry, we can do all of this with Jesus at the forefront of our plans, relationships and actions, without which, all of these hopes would ultimately be unattainable.  Because God is at work in this organization, we are eager to be at work in it too.

Q: Why is our cause so close to your heart?
A: I think because God has put it there, but also because I can relate.  I grew up in a non-Christian home and I have made most of the mistakes I have heard some of the birth moms mention in their own lives.  I can relate to broken relationships, sometimes wreckless behavior etc. Also, I love babies and children (nannied for 5 years before having Siren), so both beneficiaries of CPO’s focus are people that are close to my heart.

Q: What have you learned about yourself since volunteering?
A: I put way too much pressure on myself- because I was glued to my phone all day on Valentine’s Day worried I might miss a call!  Maybe also that is hard to motivate myself sometimes to serve, until I am serving, and then its easy and fun and I can’t wait to do more. So I guess I have learned that my heart really does WANT to serve, and it’s important to carve away everyday obstacles and distractions to really protect that time to give to others and to give to the Lord. Because I need to serve more than I need to wash the dishes… but I forget that’s true when the sink is full of last night’s pots and pans.

Q: How have you seen God’s hand at work through CPO?
A: Oh gosh, I have seen one of my closest friends raise a baby boy they adopted through CPO, that could be enough right there. I think any time I hear a story, of adoption or parenting, it’s pretty evident that God has planned these families with intense attention to detail and personality and circumstance and timing.  Even when we didn’t have a baby yet I kept hanging on the day in October that I KNEW God wanted us to use CPO. I was crying and telling Chase we have to drop DHS and use Crisis Pregnancy Outreach instead and he was like “I know.”  Those days are God’s hand at work.

Q: What would you say to anyone considering becoming involved in CPO?
A: There are so many different ways to help. You can be involved a whole lot or you can do something very small once a month or once every few months.  It’s worth it. Just check it out and find a place where you fit.  I came in willing to do anything, even though one of the only things I was secretly hoping to get to do was photography.  I didn’t think there would be a need for photos because there is such a need for phone answering and office type work, and I found out on one of my first days that CPO was actually in need of some photographers for BMD!  Praise the Lord!  So, even if you think there might not be a place for you, God probably has a place for you.  And if He DOES have a place for you, it’s probably a place you would love to be in.  So check it out.md4a


Volunteers Matter: Kelly Jacobson

Crisis Pregnancy Outreach has been 100% run by volunteers since its inception more than 30 years ago. No one has ever received a salary, which enables CPO to make an even bigger difference in the lives of Tulsa area women. We know that volunteers matter, and to honor them we periodically interview and highlight one of our volunteers. This week we hear from a volunteer who has been extremely dedicated to CPO for years and years: Kelly Jacobson.

Q: In what ways do you volunteer at CPO?
A: Right now I am only planning the Waiting Families Workshop but I have done just about everything at least once in the past.
Q: How long have you been volunteering with us?
A: Since 1996 with a three year break when we lived in Colorado.
Q: How did you find out about CPO?
A: Through a friend of a friend, Patti Schatzmann.
Q: Why did you choose to volunteer at CPO versus other organizations? What is it about crisis pregnancies that drew you to us?
A: When I was 19, I had an abortion. I struggled for many years to heal from it. Volunteering for a crisis pregnancy ministry helped me heal. So when we moved to Tulsa, I was on the look out for a place to volunteer.
Q: Why is our cause so close to your heart?
A: I can’t help but wonder that if I had been able to get help from a place like CPO when I was 19, I may have chosen life for my baby. I want all girls to feel like they can choose life if they want to.
Q: What have you learned about yourself since you began volunteering?
A: That God can use me in ways I never imagined! That his plans are so much better than my own.
Q: How have you seen God’s hand at work in the ministry of CPO?
A: Too many ways to count, really. In my own family, I have four adopted babies that I wouldn’t have without CPO. I have seen couples become families and birth mothers’ lives turned around. I have seen women choose life for their babies when they found out that they wouldn’t have to do it alone. I have seen God provide funds we needed in the nick of time. I have seen God provide space for us so that we didn’t have to office out of Cheryl’s car. I have seen lives saved by CPO providing women a place to live when they were truly pregnant and homeless. I could go on and on.
Q: What would you say to anyone who may be considering becoming involved with CPO?
A: Serving CPO is a privilege. Sometimes it is like God is filming a movie and He asks me if I want to be in it. It is incredible to watch it unfold before your eyes. My life has been incredibly enriched by serving here. Sometimes it is hard. Sometimes it is very sad. But it is always worth it!101_0279 (2)


Volunteers Matter: Alaina Butler

Crisis Pregnancy Outreach has been 100% run by volunteers since its inception more than 30 years ago. No one has ever received a salary, which enables CPO to make an even bigger difference in the lives of Tulsa area women. We know that volunteers matter, and to honor them we periodically interview and highlight one of our volunteers.
This week we hear from someone whose work you dear readers see regularly… occasional writer for our blog and frequent photographer for all things CPO: Alaina Butler.
Q: In what ways do you volunteer at CPO?
A: I have an office shift every month to answer the phones and help people that come in. I also do some of the photography work for the blog.
Q: How long have you been volunteer with us?
A: I have been volunteering for 15 months now.
Q: How did you find out about CPO?
A: I found out about CPO through my friends, the Justice family who adopted their triplets about two years ago.
Q: Why did you choose to volunteer at CPO versus other organizations? What is it about crisis pregnancies that drew you to us?
A: Honestly it was because of the Justices. I wanted to give back to the organization that had brought their sweet little lives into our church family. I had been wanting to volunteer at a pregnancy center for some time and chose CPO because I had that connection with it.
Q: Why is our cause so close to your heart?
A: Every single person deserves to be loved and part of a family. Every one. Birth mothers, and adopted babies, and adopting families. I love being a part of an organization that cares so deeply about all the people groups involved.
Q: What have you learned about yourself since you began volunteering?
A: I have learned that I can do all things through Christ. My first day in the office I spent most of my shift praying that the phone would not ring, but the longer I have been at CPO the more I have realized that I am just a vessel that God has put here for such a time as this and He can work in and through me in any way that He needs to.
Q: What would you say to anyone who might be considering becoming involved with CPO?
A: Do it! You never know the impact and testimony that you can have in someone’s life! We are called to be the hands and feet of Christ to a lost and dying world. Let’s stop worrying about being qualified and get to work loving people for Jesus.

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Volunteers Matter: Claire Theriot

Crisis Pregnancy Outreach has been 100% run by volunteers since its inception more than 30 years ago. No one has ever received a salary, which enables CPO to make an even bigger difference in the lives of Tulsa area women. We know that volunteers matter, and to honor them we periodically interview and highlight one of our volunteers.
This week we learn about Claire Theriot, the Director of Volunteers and of course, a volunteer herself!
Q: In what ways do you volunteer at CPO?
A: I am the Director of Volunteers, helping new volunteers get plugged in and find the best place they can utilize their gifts and talents within Crisis Pregnancy Outreach. I also work around 5-7 office shifts a month.
Q: How long have you been volunteering with us?
A: I have been volunteering since August 2014. I started out as an intern while working on my bachelor’s degree in Social Work at NSU. I am still currently “interning”, but am so blessed to have found a position within CPO that gives me an ample amount of hours, but also the opportunity to interact with all of the amazing volunteers!
Q: How did you find out about CPO?
A: I first heard about CPO a couple of years ago, or so. I attend Church on the Move and during a women’s bible study, we all got together for a service project. The service project ended up being to help remodel the transitional home at Crisis Pregnancy Outreach. I remember sitting in COTM’s auditorium on a July Sunday morning, watching the video about CPO and couldn’t hold back the tears or ignore the tugging on my heart. I knew somehow, someway, I was going to be a part of this organization.
Q: Why did you choose to volunteer at CPO versus other organizations? What is it about crisis pregnancies that drew you to us?
A: Ever since that first exposure, CPO had always been on my heart. Being a single mom, in college, and working, I haven’t ever found time for extra activities. Once I started my senior semester, and found out that we were required to do an internship in order to graduate, I immediately called CPO, almost a year after hearing about them! They weren’t on the list of approved agencies, but I chatted with my professor and got the okay to begin my internship at CPO. I was SO THRILLED!
Q: Why is our cause so close to your heart?
A: CPO has such a special place in my heart. Almost five years ago, I found myself in a crisis pregnancy. 19, pregnant, not married… I remember thinking how my life was over. It wasn’t until I found Jesus and learned how God was going to turn all my sin, all my hurt, all my pain into something good and beautiful. I was back in college, landed a dream job, and was doing everything I could to provide the best life for my son, Ryder, and I. I have so much love and so much passion for these girls. I want them all to know that they are loved. They have purpose. They can continue on with life and become the greatest of the great at whatever God has planned for them. They just have to trust him.
CPO does this SO. WELL.
Everyone affiliated with CPO loves these girls and children so much, and want them all to know their worth! The fact that they have a 24/7 hotline? WOW! CPO truly thinks about every detail and makes this agency the best it can be for the clients.
Q: What have you learned about yourself since you began volunteering?
A: Since volunteering at CPO, I have learned a lot about humility and flexibility. Jesus said to love. For me to truly show my love, I needed to jump right in. Get my hands dirty. Use my gifts, rather than just staying in the comfort of my quiet space praying. I serve Him by serving others. I found out just how much I can benefit from a little flexibility. I am a very type A, black and white type of person, and at CPO you never know what might come up. God has shown me that it is okay to be a little unprepared and a little flustered, and even confused, because He has it all taken care of.  CPO has shown me that it’s okay when things don’t go my way… because they are going HIS way.
Q: How have you seen God’s hand at work in the ministry of CPO?
A: I have seen God’s hand in so many areas of this ministry. I am blown away daily with the fact that this entire agency is ran by volunteers. This world has beautiful, beautiful people with the kindest of hearts who keep this remarkable agency running. Hearing testimonies, seeing birth mothers in person whose lives have been completely transformed, seeing adoptive couples hold their new baby for the first time can’t be explained any other way than our almighty God’s hand at work. Even down to the fact of my DoV position. I was very behind in hours, and was wondering if CPO might not have been the best choice for the type of internship I was required to have. I knew how much I loved it, and I knew in my heart this was where I belonged. I prayed about it, and it wasn’t but a week or two later that I was asked if I would be interested in the position. It ended up that I was actually OVER my hours this past semester.
Q: What would you say to anyone who may be considering becoming involved with CPO
A: Contact me! 😉 But really, if you feel God placing this agency on your heart, you will not regret any time spent here. Not every situation is perfect, but at the end of the day, thinking about all the lives that have been transformed within this agency makes everything worth it. Also, it’s good for you!! Volunteering provides physical and mental rewards. It helps to reduce stress: I’ve learned that when you focus on someone other than yourself, it interrupts usual tension-producing patterns. Volunteering also makes you healthier! Moods and emotions, like optimism, joy, and control over one’s fate, strengthen the immune system. Optimism and joy definitely go hand in hand with CPO!

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The CPO Gala: A Night of Huge Importance

Written by Angela McLaughlin

When a woman comes to Crisis Pregnancy Outreach, a tremendous weight can be lifted from her shoulders. She will receive love, understanding, compassion and assistance throughout her entire journey. This assistance comes in many forms. It may be something as simple as clothing to wear during her pregnancy, or something as large as a safe environment to live in during and after choosing to make an adoption plan for her child. Some women need help to keep the lights on at their homes; some women simply need the comfort of a shoulder to cry on. Whatever the needs of the women who come through CPO’s doors are, they will be met. I write from experience, as someone who has been truly touched and changed by the help I received from this organization.

Like many non-profits, CPO holds an annual fundraiser, which allows them to continue their amazing ministry. It’s an inspiring evening, filled with stories from birth mothers, adoptive families and their children, volunteers, and women who are parenting their children. It’s a chance for the many lives that have been transformed by CPO to come together and celebrate this amazing, life affirming organization.

Unlike many other organizations, no one at CPO receives a salary. Volunteers who care deeply about the mission and the families they serve are the driving force behind all the amazing things that CPO accomplishes. And the same goes for the Gala. As Stephanie Johnson (a member of the gala planning committee) told me, “The secret to putting the gala together is volunteers! There is a committee each year that works for months on every little detail. Other volunteers help by picking up donations, working at basket wrap day, setting up the day of the event, working the event and even cleaning up afterward. If it weren’t for our CPO volunteers and the team at Hampton Creative, the Gala would not be possible.”

One of my the most extraordinary and inspiring moments of the Gala each year is the video testimonial. Volunteers work to put together a video, capturing the resilience and strength of the women who have been healed, helped, and loved through their crisis pregnancy. The video is always a show stopper, bringing tears and laughter, and reminding everyone in attendance of the tremendous impact of their help, whether the donation comes in the form of time or money. Stephanie describes it as “the moment we at CPO can share what our ministry is all about and why it is so amazing!”

The response is equally amazing. In 2013, CPO raised $80,000, enough to pay off the Transitional Home, ensuring that women who choose to make adoption plans for their children are able to rest and begin the next chapter of their lives in a safe and loving environment, something some of them have never experienced before. In 2014, CPO raised $100,000, enabling the organization to purchase a van, allowing them to provide reliable transportation to counseling, group meetings, and doctors appointments. This allows the mission of CPO to be delivered in an even more efficient manner, ensuring that no woman has to miss an opportunity for help and healing due to transportation issues.

As a birth mom whose life was changed dramatically by making an adoption plan for my beloved Samuel, I hope to lend my voice to this event for years to come. While the most valuable services provided by CPO are indeed free, it’s difficult to focus on healing when you’re unsure of your living situations, burdened by medical issues, or unable to attend much needed counseling because you don’t have transportation. The CPO Gala is a wonderful and beatific event, with a silent auction, delicious food and fabulous decor. But it’s more than that. It’s a request, a request for the ability to continue to provide birth moms, adoptive families and the children they love with the support that they need and deserve. It’s a party, definitely, but it’s also a vital fundraiser for a cause that truly transforms lives. And what could be more important?

Want to get involved? There are still opportunities to help with this year’s gala. We will have a silent auction prep session (wrapping up the baskets and items) on February 19th from 10-2 at the CPO office. Childcare and lunch are provided.
Help is also needed the day of the gala setting up for the night, working the event and cleaning up. If you would like to help please email stephanie@cpotulsa.org.

Want to attend? All the info you need is included on the invitation below. Here’s the link to purchase tickets: cpotulsa.org/rsvp.

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