As an organization that serves the greater St. Charles community, Birthright is always grateful for opportunities to meet people within the community to share what we do and how their support can make an impact in the lives of those we serve.
These connections happen in a variety of ways, from participating in organizational fairs to presenting to various groups about our mission. During our time doing community outreach, we have found that many people are often surprised to learn the scope of our history and services.
We are often met with exclamations of “I didn’t know you provided that service!” or “I didn’t realize that about you all!”
Here are five facts about Birthright St. Charles, who we are and what we do, that just may surprise you!
1) Birthright of St. Charles is a small part of a larger Birthright community, Birthright International.
In fact, Birthright was originally founded in 1968 in Toronto, Canada by Louise Summerhill, a woman driven by the empathy she felt for women in need. Today, Birthright claims over 200 offices, covering 35 states and 3 countries the U.S., Canada and Africa!
The true beauty of Birthright is that while all affiliates of Birthright International work to serve women facing crisis pregnancies, each individual office is incredibly unique in the approach they will take to meeting the needs within their own community.
Some offices focus on practical support, others emotional support, but all are ultimately guided by the principle that it is “the right of every pregnant woman to give birth and the right of every child to be born.”
2) Birthright has served the St. Louis metropolitan community since1971
From the beginning, our mission has been to be a safe space for women in crisis, particularly those facing untimely pregnancies. Our Birthright office has been serving the St. Charles Community for over 35 years, originally as an extension of the St. Louis office, and formally as an independent affiliate since 2010.
3) Birthright is a 501©3 nonprofit organization whose sole funding is private donations and grants.
That means we do not receive funding from either the government or United Way.
Instead, thanks to the overwhelming generosity of our supporters, in the 2017 year alone we were able to provide over $79,400 in direct financial support to clients. This assistance covered everything from helping with medical and utility bills to education and housing assistance.
As our goal is to provide client-centered and directed care, we truly work to meet each individual woman where she is currently at in order to address her personal crisis and struggles and empower her to overcome those.
4. Unique to our office is the provision of confidential, professional counseling free of charge to every woman who walks through our doors.
We believe that not only can women facing crisis benefit from the opportunity to speak with a Masters leveled, licensed counselor or social worker, but they also deserve the level of support that this opportunity can provide.
Our counselors are equipped to walk each client through the specific questions she will have as she faces a set of circumstances unique to her, and have the experience necessary to empower her to overcome obstacles in order to make the best and healthiest decisions moving forward.
5. Birthright provides a range of free and confidential services to women in need.
When talking with people in the community, they are often surprised to learn that our services go above and beyond “handing out diapers”.
In addition to professional counseling, we also offer clients:
- Free, medically approved pregnancy tests
- Connections to hundreds of additional community resources via personal referrals
- Ongoing home-based support
- Financial assistance for everything from utility and medical bills to education and housing assistance
Once a woman becomes a Birthright client, she is immediately connected not only to the aforementioned resources, but to a network of other women. This support network takes the form of Birthright staff and volunteers who support her, who are there to cheer her on throughout her pregnancy, to laugh and cry with her and to help her be brave.
We are always glad to share about the work we are privileged to do in our little corner of the world and we continue to be blessed by the supporters, volunteers and staff who make it possible and the amazing clients whose stories and journeys remind us each day why we are proud and blessed to be here.