A milestone for Catholic Charities’ pro-life activities was announced at the July Luncheons for Life meeting where colleagues shared the exciting news of a generous gift: two mobile pregnancy units from God’s Resources, Inc., a nonprofit dedicated to reaching abortion-minded women and men with life-saving options in the midst of an unwanted pregnancy.
Founded in 2013, God’s Resources operated without any government funding, depending solely on donations from their supporters. Their volunteers possessed multifaceted skill sets: some had a medical background, some came from the corporate world, and others were former educators. All were dedicated to the cause of life.
The beauty of this kind of on-site mobility is the advantage of having a fully equipped, ultrasound mobile unit offering free medical-grade pregnancy tests, sonogram exams, proof of pregnancy, calculation of due date, pregnancy option counseling, STD awareness and STI education with community resource referrals and support systems while promoting the benefits of purity.
The power of this strategy is when a mother hears her baby’s heartbeat (in surround sound) for the first time and sees the life within on the monitor in real time. Her takeaway is receiving the baby’s imaging print to share with others — something Planned Parenthood will not do. When there is support, the client is able to determine her best path forward.
In his remarks, Francisco “Frankie” Chevere, CEO and executive director of Catholic Charities, shared his gratitude on behalf of the Diocese of Palm Beach to God’s Resources board of directors “for this golden opportunity to bring our Birthline/Lifeline pro-life ministry to a new dimension by expanding our pregnancy care services to a much wider geographic area.”
In announcing the news, Chevere dovetailed both ministries’ effectiveness — to offer free services to women caught in an impossible situation seeking a way out — with positive, life-affirming options they have no idea are available to them. Having brick-and-mortar sites in three locations, the West Palm Beach Birthline/Lifeline office is a mere two blocks from the abortion facility. The addition of the mobile units will increase the ultimate goal of making medically-induced abortions less likely to occur.
The mobile units are Sprinter Mercedes Benz vehicles, equipped by Save the Storks and outfitted as a rolling pregnancy clinic on wheels. Covered with a wrap signifying the free services available, the Solutions Mobile units (affectionately named “Linda” and “Mary Ann”) traveled extensively to locations in Palm Beach County on the mission of offering a message of life to women and men facing an unplanned pregnancy.
Often, in the midst of a perceived crisis, abortion-prone women can find hope and compassion through the love of Christ in this life-affirming outreach. The genius of the ministry was parking near abortion clinics, often in under-served communities, to reach the most abortion-minded population.
Staffed with state-certified sonogram technicians and trained client advocates, clients were served in an atmosphere of confidentiality, safety, love and compassion. Appointments were booked in one-hour increments. The mobile units offer privacy so each client was engaged with respect. Family members are permitted to accompany the client to their appointment.
When the pandemic sidelined a gala fundraising event, God’s Resrouces, Inc. continued to minister during COVID, according to Angela Simpson, executive director. Her years of hands-on experience in pro-life services, particularly with her expertise in mobile pregnancy center operations, laid the mainframe of the agency’s direct-action.
“God enabled us to keep doing our job,” she said.
In March, Terry Murphy, a Catholic Charities board member, approached God’s Resources to explore a business relationship, seeing an opportunity to join forces and took the role of facilitating the aspects of negotiations on behalf of the diocese. As the process developed, a plan became clear to Murphy that mobile access would give a wider reach to the counties within the Diocese.
Chevere said the scope of services Catholic Charities has established reaches the most vulnerable in their territory, comprising five counties: Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River and Okeechobee. Providing tangible help and assurance of hope, the staff and volunteers work to meet needs regardless of any profession of faith from those marginalized in society.
The Respect Life ministry promotes Catholic teaching that life begins at natural conception in its course to natural death. Shaped by prayer, education and pastoral programs, a legislative agenda heightens opposition to abortion through public policy efforts in defense of those who cannot defend themselves. In the words of Pope Francis, “Even the weakest and most vulnerable … are masterpieces of God’s creation made in His own image, destined to live forever and deserving of the utmost reverence and respect.”
Representing Catholic Charities, Diocese of Palm Beach Inc. at the luncheon were Deanna Herbst-Hoosac, respect life program administrator; Kris Rivera, operations director; Katherine Bowers, Birthline/Lifeline program director and Deacon Gregory Quinn, director of prison ministries who offered prayers. Also present at gathering was Paul Herron, area coordinator for Luncheons for Life, and members of God’s Resources, Inc.: board member David J. Thompson, sonographer Nicole Abdalaal, and founder David Olio.
In negotiations, God’s Resources’ board saw God opening a door. In his letter to their faithful supporters, Richard Kelly, 78, a passionate pro-life advocate, shared his appreciation for the many lives that were saved over the years. He said while in times of uncertainty, God remained ever faithful.
“We thank God for His steadfastness as He guided us daily to focus on His mission set before us” Kelly wrote. “We have a shared desire to see lives changed and babies saved through the incredible tool of our mobile pregnancy centers.”
God’s Resources ceased operations at the end of July.
Chevere added, “I want to thank Dick Kelly and Angela for allowing us to benefit from the wealth of knowledge that Angela has in mobile pregnancy services, as she will advise us and train our staff for the next several months to help insure a smooth transition.”
With hope, a progressive expansion will make Catholic Charities the model of pregnancy care mobile services in Florida. With funding in place for the next twelve months, Chevere urged the audience to pray that future donors will kindly support this “transcendental” mission.
To learn more about Catholic Charities and the work in our communities, go to www.ccdpb.org, or call the programs office at 561-345-2000; or the administrative offices at 561-775-9560.