Category Archives: mentoring

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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Volunteers Matter: Sarah Coffin

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 Sarah Coffin, one of our awesome volunteers!
Q: In what ways do you volunteer at CPO?
A: I began volunteering at CPO as a mentor for birth moms, began working as a birth doula and have since become one of Cheryl’s assistants helping facilitate adoptions.
Q: How long have you been volunteering with us?
A: Since 2009.
Q: How did you find out about CPO?
A: Marlita Camacho, one if the other birth doulas, invited me to attend and I fell in love with the girls and the ministry.
Q: Why did you choose to volunteer at CPO versus other organizations? What is it about crisis pregnancies that drew you to us?
A: I have always had a passion for empowering women and found an ideal ministry that empowers women in the midst of crisis to find their voice and receive the support they need regardless of parenting or making an adoption plan. This ministry goes beyond providing abortion alternatives and walks beside women in their greatest need, loves them and gives them the strength and support to take control of their lives.
Q: What have you learned about yourself since you began volunteering?
A: I have learned that God is a god full of grace. His heart yearns for these women to be loved and shown His grace on earth. We are all desperate for His grace.
Q: How have you seen God’s hand at work in the ministry of CPO?
A: His hand is evident every time a woman in crisis smiles, receives a compassionate hug, and is proud of her decisions.
Q: What would you say to anyone who may be considering becoming involved with CPO?
A: This is a wonderful ministry that brings you straight into the direct line of hope for so many people. You become an asset of God working in these precious women’s lives and an option beyond abortion when there seems to be no other way.

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A big thanks to Sarah Coffin for being a dedicated volunteer at CPO!


A Story of Mentorship

This article was originally published in August 2013, by Rhonda Fisher.

Andrea has been volunteering with CPO for several years now. She began working in the office, and eventually spent some time as the office manager. But her latest position is the one that has lasted the longest: mentor and friend to a birth mom, A*. Andrea has been a part of the mentoring program since April of 2011. A is her first “mentee”, and they were happy to share their story with us. By the time they met, A was only 4 weeks away from her due date, and had already decided to make an adoption plan. The two of them had to work quickly to build a strong relationship before the birth of little Sammy. Even though A lived more than an hour away, they spent a lot of time getting to know one another. A was determined to come to Tulsa every Tuesday for Birthmother Support Group, so they made the best of those days together. They had many coffee shop dates, and they spent much of A’s long drive on the phone, just chatting. Andrea was sure to visit A in the hospital during the time after Sammy’s birth. She wanted to provide plenty of support for her during that potentially difficult time. It’s been more than two years now, and now their relationship can definitely be categorized as a strong friendship, with mutual benefits for both parties.

With the help of CPO, Andrea, and her own desire to improve her life A has made wonderful strides since finding CPO. Andrea says of A, “She’s really grown into her adulthood. She’s moved to Tulsa, got a job, is so successful. She’s a mover and shaker in our community in terms of creating unity among people. It hasn’t always been great for her, and she’s reached out to me during those times. I just maintain the same attitude… ‘I’m just here, I don’t know what to say exactly to fix the problem,’ but I just point her back to Christ. She’s an exceptional person. I think Samuel’s entrance into the world was a life shifter for her. She stepped out alone and made some difficult changes. I couldn’t be more proud of her.”

A is grateful for CPO, our mentoring program, and even more grateful for Andrea herself. She says, “Andrea and the mentor program are so important because it provides you with someone who is in your corner. Andrea is someone I can go to with anything, and she’s only got my best interest at heart. She doesn’t pretend to have all of the answers, and through the adoption process, we were able to figure things out together. I think the mentor program provides role models that you form friendships with. I look up to Andrea immensely and I’m so lucky to call her a friend.”

Andrea has truly enjoyed her time in the mentoring program, and she encourages others to join in the fun as well. When asked how she has benefitted from volunteering in the mentorship program, Andrea didn’t hesitate. She knew right away how to answer. “I don’t come from the perspective of mentorship like I’ve got it all together and she doesn’t. It’s more like, ‘I’m just a few steps ahead of you in this. I’ve made my share of mistakes and I’m going to be real about that, and I’m here for you to just see my life. To see what it looks like just a few steps ahead of where you are.’ So, from that perspective, I think I have gotten so much from her. Just knowing her has made my life better. It’s made my life richer. I’ve never seen courage like she has, ever. I’ve seen a lot of courageous things in my life, but there’s something about the choice she made when she placed Samuel, and watching her walk that out. And now, as she pursues health and wholeness in her own life, I’m just inspired by her. She’s one of the best gifts I’ve ever been given in my life.”

To those considering mentorship with CPO, Andrea says, “Don’t think, ‘I can’t do that because I don’t have it all together.’ Just look at it as, ‘This is a chance for me to just walk with someone, to just walk beside them.’ Not like you have to tell them all the right things, or know exactly what to say. ‘Let’s just walk together. We’ll see what we can learn from each other.'”


*The names of the women CPO helps are always redacted for privacy purposes.