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!