Dear Friends and Volunteers,
Fourteen years ago, I went back home to Eugene, Oregon to say goodbye to my Daddy. He was in the process of his “home going” and I wanted time with him. Time to reminisce, sing to him, laugh and pray with him, love him and bring the love of my four young children to him. At the time we were obsessed with the musical Wicked. My 11-year-old twin boy and girl made cards for me to bring to him. Both had a quote from Wicked on their cards. “You will be with me like a hand-print on my heart.”
Six months ago, we were introduced to COVID-19, masks, distancing and a loss of hugging, close contact and emotional connection. This loss was especially deep for me with two new grand babies I could not hold. The Center stayed open with new protocols. Mainly, a gate at the door (to limit physical contact) and face masks. No hugging moms or babies. No sitting face-to-face with a family sharing the difficulties they were navigating. The need grew by leaps and bounds. Desperate for diapers, formula, clothing, equipment, food and a place they could count on, we were there – we were open. Even though we had to limit who could enter the Center, the phones kept ringing and we would go outside, masks on and greet and shower mommas with the love that we had to give. Love comes in many forms, sometimes diapers or a car seat. We couldn’t hold them or spend time with them, but we gave from our hearts. The demand was overwhelming, the phones never stopped ringing. We knew we didn’t have enough to meet the growing and continuous need, but we were able to bounteously give. Why?
A call went out to our volunteers and YOU responded – you, who give from your resources and from the bounty of your homes. We said, “We need diapers, formula, car seats, pack n plays, clothing and money.” The response from your hearts was overwhelming, continuous, daily and beyond measure. Every day for two months, many boxes of diapers and wipes would arrive. We were able to give greater amounts because we had more to give. I asked for ten cars seats and in two weeks we had 35. Your response became “the hand-print on our hearts” when we were overwhelmed and in great need. You carried us through when we felt empty and exhausted. Your “hand-prints” will forever be with us. It has strengthened us to keep going, and together we leave a lasting imprint on those we serve. We can reach them because of you. On behalf of all our volunteers, we thank you – from the bottom of our hearts!
Insights from Our Younger Volunteers
Volunteers are the very backbone of The MaRiH Center. Here are some insights from one college student and one high school student who volunteered over the summer. We thank them for their time, commitment and thoughtful offering to this e-newsletter.
From Griffin (age 19): “In my time at MaRiH this summer, I learned about the power of community and relationships. I learned that being pro-life can be as simple as making sure a family has diapers for their little ones. MaRiH is a place where women feel loved and cared for, no matter what their situation is. At MaRiH, I came to realize that being pro-life is more than just bringing children into the world, but caring for them once they are born and making sure their needs are met. Lastly, I was moved to see that there are women who volunteer their time just waiting to speak with expectant mothers, to encourage them in their journey of motherhood.”
From Corbet (age 16): “At the beginning of the summer, I had the opportunity to join my mother in volunteering at MaRiH. My high school requires community service hours, and this was a good opportunity to earn some hours while helping my mother in a volunteer role she takes very seriously. During my time at MaRiH, I was reminded that often times, issues become so politicized that you forget about the actual people who are affected by the decisions society makes. My volunteer time showed me that I do have the power to affect other people’s lives, even if those actions seem small at the time. I think about how abortion providers like Planned Parenthood have the resources and the reach that make them seem insurmountable, especially in vulnerable minority communities. But I saw what I can do to combat their predatory tactics and their appeal to convenience. And what I can do, is serve.”
P.S. We send this e-newsletter twice a year – once in March and once in September. We are strong advocates of your privacy. We share your information with no one – ever! If, for some reason, you did not want us to send you emails or you prefer another kind of communication from us, please let us know and we will update your preferences or remove you from our email list. We care deeply about your preferences and your privacy. Thank you.
P. S.S. The MaRiH Center is an all-volunteer organization and no person has or ever will be paid for their time or efforts – this helps keep our costs low. We rely 100% on the generosity of our donors to operate and deliver on our important mission. Find out how to donate today.