Volunteers Matter: Shelby Williams

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 Shelby Williams, one of our great volunteers!

Q: In what ways do you volunteer at CPO?
A: I am the on call for CPO’s hotline every Thursday, but hopefully can begin helping out more in the upcoming months as a mentor or organizing one of the many groups at CPO.
Q: How long have you been volunteering with us?
A: I began volunteering with CPO January of 2014.
Q: How did you find out about CPO?
A: I have a dear friend who has adopted through CPO twice and he told me about the ministry.
Q: Why did you choose to volunteer at CPO versus other organizations?
A: After having my son last November I felt a certain need to help children once I held my own in my arms for the first time. It was an experience that I think every person should be able to have, to hold their beloved child. I want to give the children and babies a voice. I want to help anyone who walks through CPO’s doors or calls me on Thursday nights. Whether they just need someone to talk to or they need options. I want to be there to tell them they are not alone in any decisions they make and someone will always be there for them no matter what.
Q: What is it about crisis pregnancies that drew you to us?
A: CPO helps anyone. They are willing to help you no matter your past or present. CPO volunteers are quick to help out in any situation. For instance, we don’t care if you are purple colored and triangle shaped. It doesn’t matter what color or shape you are, you are always welcome at CPO.  That is what draws me to CPO.
Q: Why is our cause so close to your heart?
A: CPO is so close to my heart because my husband and I originally looked into CPO before we had our son, Weston. We had miscarried multiple times and had given up hope of ever having a family of our own. That is when I talked to a friend about his and his wife’s adoption through CPO and began looking into adoption. As we began our research that is when we found out we were pregnant again. After specialists, a lot of praying and worrying, and a long 9 months as a high risk pregnancy, we welcomed our only child, Weston Ryan, on 11/12/13. Unfortunately for most families, they do not have such a happy ending as we did. Some never get that chance to pack for the hospital or decorate a nursery like we did and we are so fortunate and blessed. I love seeing families made through CPO adoptions and women having the courage and strength to parent.
Q: What have you learned about yourself since you began volunteering?
A: I have learned that what I say can go a long way. That I am the first voice that someone will hear when they may be calling in a time of desperation and confusion. I try my absolute hardest to connect with the people on the other end of the hotline and make sure that they know that number is always there to call. I’ve learned that I don’t have to be perfect in my own life, that I can have flaws because we all do. I’ve learned to appreciate so much more what God has given to me and my family and that spilling my coffee in my car is not the worst thing that could happen. I at least have a car to spill coffee in. I at least have a coffee maker to make coffee in. I have a home that my coffee maker can be in. I took so much for granted until I realized that a lot of the girls we help at CPO don’t have the simple luxuries that I do and I really need to stop complaining about my pitiful problems. That someone out there has much larger problems than I do and I need to help them. They need someone and I need to be that someone.
Q: How have you seen God’s hand at work in the ministry of CPO?
A: The beautiful life and fullness seen in the eyes of the children and moms at CPO. Some of the babies that may have otherwise been aborted are smiling peacefully in their sleep, swaddled in their mom’s arms. A mom who chose to parent with the biggest smile on their face with their newborn baby. A smile of accomplishment. A birth mom and an adoptive mom embracing each other in a strong hug after the birth of their baby. The friendships amongst the birth and adoptive moms is a relationship only God could have created. It’s so amazing to see the different relationships built and the bonds that are shared at CPO.
Q: What would you say to anyone who may be considering becoming involved with CPO?
A: Don’t wait! Get involved and jump right into it. You will not regret it, I promise! It is the most rewarding thing you can do. Volunteers are what keep CPO running and continuing to help women and children. You are valued and needed. We would love for you to join CPO and make a difference!

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A big thanks to Shelby Williams for being a dedicated volunteer at CPO!