Category Archives: You can help us

Volunteers Matter: Thom and Christine Crowe

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 Thom and Christine Crowe, one of our adoptive families who have become very involved.

Q: How do you volunteer with CPO?
A: Christine and I [Thom] love CPO and have looked for any way to volunteer. I help with social media and we both volunteer with the girls at the CPO Transition House and Christine did a brief stint as the house mom and I helped quite a bit with the recent gala fundraiser.

Q: How long have you been volunteering with us?
A: We started volunteering with CPO in March of 2015.

Q: How did you find out about CPO?
A: Kinda funny story, Christine was cleaning out her old emails a few weeks ago and came across an email thread between the two of us about adopting and we talked quite a bit about CPO back in 2006. We weren’t ready yet but, unbeknownst to either of us, the seed had been planted in our brains. Fast forward to 2014, we decided we were ready to begin the adoption process and a family we knew had adopted through CPO recommended that we fill out our application. We applied and were accepted as a waiting family. As we learned more and more about the organization, we fell in love. The mission was something we could get behind and we jumped in with both feet and haven’t looked back!

Q: Why did you choose to volunteer with CPO vs. other organizations? What is it about crisis pregnancies that drew you to us?
A: My mom had me when she was a teenager and my sister had our nephew when she was 18, just out of high school. One thing I learned from this was that when a girl has an expected pregnancy, she needs love and support. There are other agencies that do that, but something about CPO just stuck with us. Once we learned it was a 100% volunteer agency and no one was paid so that all the money raised goes straight to the girls, I was sold.

Q: Why is our cause so close to your heart?
A: Having a family is really important to both Christine and me and adoption has always been something on my heart. As we’ve been able to work with and get to know the girls in the transition house, we’ve grown to care for them. They’re special girls and they are why we do what we do. We started out volunteering because we were supposed to, but now the birth moms are our passion.

Q: What have you learned about yourself since volunteering?
A: I think the biggest lesson I’ve learned is that I’m a huge pushover!  I’m not the best at saying no which is why I think we’re a great fit to befriend the girls and do fun stuff with them.  I should probably work on that before I have a teenager at home, but there’s plenty of time for that.

Q: How have you seen God’s hand at work in the ministry of CPO?
A: For me, probably the best gift we could have asked for came in the form of our birth mom and we know God was involved with how we met her. On a Friday night back in August, Christine and I had plans to go out.  A message was placed on the CPO Volunteer Facebook group about a girl who needed a ride from a dance back to the Transition House. Neither of us could shake the need to go, so we canceled our plans and got ready to go pick her up. We were waiting to meet a birth mom who was living in the house and wanted to interview us so we made sure it wasn’t her or any sort of conflict of interest for us to go, which it wasn’t but I’m a bit paranoid and a rule follower. We picked up who would be our birth mom and hit it off with her. She and Christine clicked really well and when we dropped her off, Christine, who is not a terribly emotional girl, started crying. Some connection was made. We were supposed to meet with the other birth mom and got the call while waiting for her at a restaurant that she picked another family. While there, we ran into Cheryl Bauman who had wonderful words of encouragement for us. The next day we got a call that the girl we had driven wanted to meet us. We went to dinner and she picked us as her adoptive parents. Since then spent time with her, we have been able to get to know her and now love her so much. She’s an invaluable part of our lives and our family now. We know God put it on our hearts to meet her that night and we’re so thankful we answered.

Q: What would you say to anyone considering becoming involved in CPO?
A: In whatever capacity you can, do it. If you can volunteer, there are unimaginable ways to make an impact. If you want to adopt and have a heart for the birth moms, this is the place to do it. CPO gives them and you the resources you need for a successful open adoption. If you don’t have time but have financial resources, give. CPO is a good steward of the gifts they are given. Just get involved. If you’re not sure or have questions, reach out and come see what CPO is doing. You’ll be sold hook, line, and sinker just like we are!

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Birth Mother’s Day at CPO

This year’s Birth Mother’s Day celebration at CPO was on April 30. It was a wonderful event!

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For those that don’t remember, Birth Mother’s Day is an event planned to honor the women who have made adoption plans for their birth children through Crisis Pregnancy Outreach. It is a day set aside to acknowledge the courage and sacrifice it took for them to make a loving adoption plan for their birth child.

As birth mothers arrived, they were greeted with a smile by some of our volunteers.IMG_0790

They received gorgeous custom-made tote bags filled with fun make-up, accessories, and coupons to a local salon. The tote design was hand-drawn by one of our very own CPO birth mothers, Angela McLaughlin, and printed by a CPO adoptive mother, Carrie Jones.

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Birth mothers were also encouraged to sign up for door prizes. Among the prizes were designer bags, robes, bath supplies, gift certificates, and more. Wow!IMG_0789

After being greeted, birth mothers were treated to a delicious meal. Dedicated volunteers Tracie Roesslein and Jeff Bauman (along with a crew of others) served fresh smoked BBQ meats, salad, baked potatoes, and mini bundt cakes for dessert. Of course, there were hot dogs on hand for the many kiddos in attendance, too. The food was absolutely perfect. Yum!IMG_0936

After the meal was devoured, the “pampering and photos” portion of the day began. The CPO Day Spa officially opened.IMG_0788

There were sign up sheets for nails, massage, and make up. We had 5 professional pamperers who graciously volunteered their time, supplies, and skills to make our birth mothers feel special. IMG_0791The lobby outside of the “spa” was full of birth mothers, adoptive families, and volunteers all chatting as the girls happily waited for their turn to be pampered. Some adoptive families chose this time to give Birth Mother’s Day gifts to the women they love.IMG_0934

Meanwhile, a nursery was provided for children under 4 years, and a volunteer-supervised bounce house was available to entertain kids of all ages.

We also had 3 professional photographers volunteer their services: Melissa Barnes, Melinda Hunley, and Ashley Ledbetter. IMG_0792They each had their own style, and birth mothers were able to choose what kind of photos they wanted: indoor or outdoor, lots of props or simpler, etc. They were also able to choose who would be in the photos with them: just their birth child, all of their children (those they placed for adoption and those they parent), or the entire adoptive family. This variety made for some beautiful photos the birth mothers (and adoptive families!) will cherish for years to come.

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In all, it was a wonderful day, and we couldn’t have done it without an amazing set of about 30 volunteers. We hope the birth mothers from CPO felt as special as we all know they are!


Celebrate Life Gala 2016 Recap

The recent Celebrate Life Gala was a huge success. The event was held at the Mayo Hotel on Friday, April 30th. What a beautiful venue!
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The evening began with a silent auction and light hors d’oeuvres. This year our silent auction utilized software from GalaBid.com. This allowed our attendees to bid on their phones, which made the whole experience very fun and interactive!
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Thanks to the interactive software, the silent auction continued as dinner began. This allowed users to visit with their tablemates, eat their dinner, and continue bidding on their favorite auction items.

Dinner was delicious, and everyone had a great time!
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Meanwhile, a dessert auction was ongoing. What a fun way to decide what your table will enjoy after the meal!
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During and after dinner, Karen Larson again served as our emcee. She explained our mission and our needs. There were other speakers as well as videos and live music.
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The final part of the evening was perhaps the most exciting: the live auction! What a fun way to get some awesome items and support CPO at the same time!
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In all, it was a lovely evening. If you missed it, check out even more photos on our Celebrate Life Gala 2016 page, and be sure to attend next year!


Coming Up: Birth Mother’s Day 2016

Birth Mother’s Day has always been a very special day at CPO. It is likely the most important CPO event all year, as our birth mothers need and deserve all the love and appreciation we can show them.

If you know a CPO birth mother or adoptive family, please pass this blog on to them so they can make plans to attend. If you are not a birth mother and/or adoptive family that plans to attend, please consider volunteering to help with this fun event. The volunteer sign up page can be found here.

It will be a very fun, celebratory day and we’ll be sure to post photos of the festivities after the big day. Until then, enjoy the photos from last year’s Birth Mother’s Day

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Volunteers Matter: Jackie Potter

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 long-time volunteer, Jackie Potter.

Q: How do you volunteer with CPO?
A: Currently, I am the Gala Sponsor Chair for our annual Celebrate Life Gala.  I’m responsible for securing table sponsors for the event, as well as a lot of behind the scenes gala work.  In the past Chad and I were mentors for the transition house, and I have also coordinated host families for birth moms, and out of town families.

Q: How long have you been volunteering with us?
A: I began volunteering with CPO in January of 2005, so 11 years ago!

Q: How did you find out about CPO?
A:My husband, Chad and I had experienced an interrupted adoption through another agency, and went to see Teri Burnett for some guidance.  She introduced us to CPO, at that time.  However, I’ve known of CPO since about 4th grade, when Cheryl’s daughter Natalie and I would carpool and go to Tracie’s house for after school snacks!  🙂

Q: Why did you choose to volunteer with CPO vs. other organizations? What is it about crisis pregnancies that drew you to us?
A: CPO just fell in my lap, after talking with Teri Burnett.  We first came here because of our desire to adopt, and then it quickly turned into more than that.  You see the work being done and how much more work needs to happen and you can’t help but want to be a part of that ministry.  The one thing that keeps me volunteering at CPO is the constant need.  There are so many hurting women and children in our community and I want to be part of their healing, and that’s what CPO does.

Q: Why is our cause so close to your heart?
A: CPO is so close to my heart because it stands for LIFE.  Plain and simple.  CPO respects the lives of the birthmoms coming for help, knowing they are worthy of goodness in their lives.  They respect the lives of the babies, finding them their perfect forever family.  And CPO respects the lives of the adoptive parents; knowing that God placed the desire to adopt on their hearts.  And in such a seamless way, CPO unites all of these lives together.

Q: What have you learned about yourself since volunteering?
A: Through volunteering at CPO, I’ve learned that it’s ok to step outside my comfort zone.  Because when I do that, God stretches me, and continues to form me into the person He created me to be.

Q: How have you seen God’s hand at work in the ministry of CPO?
A: God’s hand is in constant work at CPO.  From the financial donations that keep our organization running, to the volunteers in the nursery so that we can meet without interruption, to the birthmoms that turn their lives around, to the adoptive families that have received answers to prayer…God is in constant work with those involved with CPO.  He orchestrates it all so beautifully!!

Q: What would you say to anyone considering becoming involved in CPO?
A: If you’re interested in volunteering with CPO, I say go for it, please come help!  The more we have doing His work, the more women and children we can help.  We can’t do this alone.  But, I would also say, be prepared for your life to change.  God’s doing big things here!

Jackie Potter


Loving People: The Most Meaningful Work in the World

Valentine’s Day

Today’s post, written by Denise Dietz, is just in time for Valentine’s Day. If there is ever a time to focus on Loving People, this would be it. 

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Have you ever felt an itch in your heart to do something meaningful? Making a difference seems to be somewhere in the hierarchy of basic human needs. Amidst the ho-hum of my everyday life, I’ve stumbled upon a very satisfying component to living life more fully. I say stumbled, because what initially brought me to the opportunity was an obligation to fulfill volunteer services hours for our adoption with Crisis Pregnancy Outreach (CPO).   Those initial steps lead me down the road of happiness. My service hours involved answering phones, giving rides to appointments, most often with people living in neighborhoods I would otherwise avoid or taking a meal/food to someone in need. These steps lead into bigger steps where I began helping women in crisis develop plans to work through difficult circumstances in their life. I quickly learned to assemble teams of support for them and identify resources that would empower their decision. Something happened as I stepped away from my posh life and into this circle. A richness grew in my heart. The challenges faced, victories won and pure messiness drew me to love, cherish and admire them. By being there they validated my existence in ways I’d never considered worthy of being. Each year as I facilitated a Christmas Giving Opportunity for others to join the mission of brightening spirits during Christmas, I heard countless reports of this phenomena in action. As miraculous provisions flood the lives of those in need, the givers/those serving are experiencing an even greater joy in being a part of what’s happening; thereby, making their Christmas the most meaningful. It’s richness, packed with the substance of pure love!!!

Love. The power that motivates us to reach beyond limitations, step into dark places and cross great human divides. Love in action radically puts change in motion. Its impact is felt on every dimension; those giving it, those receiving it and those standing by. It’s charging like an atom, positively bringing life to everyone attached.

It’s no wonder that in all the profound truths God entrusted to us in the Bible He puts exceptional emphasis on one being greater than all others. When asked by the Pharisees which is the greatest commandment in the law of Moses:

“Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” – Matthew 22:37-40

Remember that itch I mentioned at the beginning? I suspect it is from God to move us closer to an abundant life. May what was intended to be a Valentine’s Day post… become a morsel of life you can devour each and every day. Your sweet spot will be satisfied continually. Much love to you beloved friends!!!

Please Consider: CPO has always operated as an all-volunteer organization. There are diverse opportunities to serve based on your skills and time.   If you’ve felt a nudge in your heart, please consider investing in CPO. I promise the commitment will respect the delicate balance of your family. There are so many miraculous reports of people’s lives being transformed through their serving. It reaches far beyond the accomplishment of a job and takes on a beautifully redemptive quality. Our Volunteer Coordinator will introduce you to where to start. Her name is Claire Theriot. You can reach her at claire@cpotulsa.org  


Celebrate Life Gala 2016

Celebrate Life Gala 2016

It’s that time of the year and we are excited to announce our 12th Annual Celebrate Life Gala! This one night event is right around the corner and preparations are in full swing! We hope you can join us for this wonderful night of celebration. Below we have listed all the details you need for this event as well as how to sponsor a table. Even if you are just wanting to attend on an individual ticket, we hope to see you there!

Who: YOU, and other CPO supporters
What: Celebrate Life Gala
Where: Mayo Hotel, Downtown Tulsa
When: Friday, April 1st at 6pm
Why: Delicious meal. Lovely location. Live auction. Silent auction. Multiple fun donation opportunities. Join us to support Crisis Pregnancy Outreach!

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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: Melinda Hunley

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 wonderful volunteer, Melinda Hunley.

Q: How do you volunteer with CPO?
A: I have volunteered in a number of different areas for almost 9 years. Initially as a mentor, then I became the mentor coordinator for about 4 years. I also planned many holiday parties for CPO and Grace Girls. Now I do a lot of volunteer coordinating for some of our fundraising events.

Q: How long have you been volunteering with us?
A: About 9 years.

Q: How did you find out about CPO?
A: Through my church, Christian Chapel.

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 was drawn to CPO because of the stories I heard during the CPO Sundays at my church. I was completely struck by how God brought families together through open adoption and stories from the birth moms about how CPO helped to change their lives completely moved me!!!

Q: Why is our cause so close to your heart?
A: Because CPO provides real/tangible solutions and help to girls going through crisis pregnancies.

Q: What have you learned about yourself since volunteering?
A: By helping with CPO I feel like I truly have a hand in helping God’s cause on earth!!! And that I’m pretty good at party planning!!! But on a serious note I’ve learned to rely more on God when sharing about the gospel. Working with CPO through the years I’ve had several opportunities to minister to girls in desperate situations and I always feel so incapable on my own. But these were the times that I just let go and let God! This was a huge boost to my own spiritual walk.

Q: How have you seen God’s hand at work in the ministry of CPO?
A: I’ve seen girls transformed from addiction and living of the streets to becoming a stable wife and awesome mother… all because of what God has done through CPO!!!

Q: What would you say to anyone considering becoming involved in CPO?
A: I would tell them to do it and prepare to watch God’s grace transform girls’ lives… and their own!

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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