Saturday, December 7, 2013

Bring us your ONESIES!!

First Way is in great need of ONESIES right now! We need more baby clothes in general. Have your little ones outgrown theirs? Or do you have a few extra dollars, when you're out shopping, to pick up a few?

We put onesies in the layettes for our new mothers when they have their babies, to help welcome them into the world. They don't have to be cute like the pictures I put here, just small and snuggly. They can be plain white as long as they don't have stains. We don't give stained clothes to our clients.

We also need volunteers. 

Looking for something charitable to do this holiday season? Consider us! 
We love babies and their mamas too.
Babies are us!
Do something special this Christmas...
even if it's just 
one onesie! 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Changes at 1st Way

I'd like to introduce some changes I think you'll (Hopefully!) like. The first is our change to a new web-site- 

Newly designed and optimized for mobile. Try it on your smartphone. It actually looks a lot like an app on the new phones.

I'm also including here my interview done with our director Terry, which is being published by halves in this month's newsletter and next month, regarding my new president position with 1st Way. Terry's still director of the center itself, but I'm handling a lot of other admin responsibilities. My new position entails a great deal more responsibility and I am honored and really excited about the challenge!

Why did you choose to volunteer here rather than working for another group?

I had just become Catholic and had a dramatic conversion. I wanted to devote my life to God, but I didn't really know what He wanted from me. I was praying a lot, and asking God what way He most wanted me to serve Him. I had no idea what that would look like. So, I said, “God, I will do the next thing I am asked to do.” So, someone asked me if I wanted to volunteer at 1st Way. I didn't think I'd be any good at it. Still, I felt God wanted me to do it, so I did. Volunteer counseling wasn't the best fit for me but social media development and helping with other aspects of First Way work was.

What have you enjoyed most about volunteering for first way and serving on the board?

1st Way has become an integral part of me and who I am. I can say with complete conviction that helping women find ways to give birth rather than abort is the right thing to do and that is critical to our future as a national community. I have a fire inside me now and it burns with the desire to help human life be valued and protected. I love what I do. I'm filled with joy to have found an apostolate that fits well with my principles and abilities.

What is your vision for 1st Way over the next year?

I would like to discover ways to best utilize the vast talents of our board members and find the assistance we need to be more effective in fund-raising and obtaining a mobile pregnancy clinic. A mobile pregnancy unit will bring us to the women who need us, to make free ultrasound as close as her front door or a shopping center. The mobile unit will help us help more women in more ways.

What have you learned over the past year?

When I started volunteering, I knew almost nothing. I actually thought life in the first trimester was just a bunch of tissue or cells! The more I learned about the truth of biological development, abortion procedures, and Planned Parenthood's dishonest tactics, the more I grew to become a warrior for the cause of pro-life. I became an avid researcher and reader and a strong pro-life apologist. I attended the Right to Life Conference in Portland. I've participated in several marches and pro-life protests. Most of all, I know with all my heart I'm doing what God wants me to do. Serving on the board has been fun because of working creatively with people who have good ideas, to develop plans that can take 1st Way's mission further. I have great respect and love for my fellow board members and look forward to working with the 1st Way Organization to expand our vision further to serve more women in need.

I'm grateful for the opportunity to serve!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


Monday, November 18, 2013

We're Looking for Professionals to Volunteer!

Have a few extra hours in your week? Looking for something to do that will add more meaning and purpose to your life? We have many ways to use your unique talents and special skills through volunteer opportunities.

1st Way volunteers share a passion for helping mothers who are faced with making difficult decisions regarding the lives of their unborn children. In order to carry out our purpose, many activities need to be done “behind the scenes” to make it possible for 1st Way to grow, thrive and serve more women in our community.

Specifically, we are seeking people with skills in many areas of talent, especially including-

*grant research
*grant writing
*grant proofing
*social media
*event organizing
*social networking
*designing ads and brochures
*creative thinkers
*community service volunteering
***Mail Merge (If you can do mail merge, we will love you forever!)*

If you have any of these skills and would be willing to donate at least 4 hours per month toward helping 1st Way, he will be happy to talk with you about how we can make the best use of your talents. 

1st Way grows and thrives each time we involve a new volunteer and his or her passion to our team!

We look forward to hearing from you!

Thank you!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

A Mother's Story

Read a beautiful testimonial by one of 1st Way's longtime clients. She spoke at our Fundraiser at River's Edge this summer and she brought her children, ages 1 and 2. Graciously, she allowed us to share her letter and excerpts from it, summing up how 1st Way's approach to helping women definitely does not end when the baby is born. We sometimes maintain long-term relationships with women who come to us for other needs and support after birth.

Here story is here:

Monday, October 14, 2013

1st Way Needs Volunteers- Join us!

When I volunteered for 1st Way of Eugene, I found it to be a mind-expanding and heart-expanding experience.

I didn't know that much about pregnancy or pro-life issues. I remember the day Terry hired me, she stacked my arms up with brochures and articles and said, "Take this home and read this!" Of course, she didn't mean to read it all at once. She only wanted me to have the resources I needed to counsel women who had questions, and that learning still continues to this day.

Part of my training was simply to answer questions- never to give unsolicited education or information. Working there, I was happy to see that fellow counselors were warm and positive and just trying to find ways to be helpful. No family support? Financial struggles? Healthcare concerns? How can we connect women to the resources they need? How can we be there for her when she is scared and upset and just wants someone to talk to? How can we help make her life a little better?

Being a crisis pregnancy counselor at 1st Way is about being an educator when women have questions. Working for 1st Way was also heart-expanding for me.  I saw some happy women who realized it was possible to find resources they needed to carry their babies to term. I loved putting together layettes for new mothers and getting to know people.

Being a volunteer at 1st Way is only a three hour commitment per week and all training is provided. I knew nothing when I started and now I can't seem to learn enough information. It's really satisfying to know that you are serving the needs of pregnant women and their unborn babies. Ultimately, you don't know the decision she will make when she walks out the door. But, you will know that you told her the truth and showed her it is possible to find life-affirming ways to cope with unplanned pregnancy.

CALL 541.687.8651 to find out more about how you can help.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

We meet mothers where they are, where they need.

“Our passion is far reaching, yet it only needs to reach as far as the individual woman. We eschew political intrigues for the real action instead. We meet mothers where they are, where they need.”

The above quote is by Terry Ianora, Eugene 1st Way director, from her book, Ordinary Heroes- Creating a Culture of Life. Terry has been my inspiration as long as I've worked with helping 1st Way. She is a woman of action and a woman of caring. She puts women first in all things and her attitude and approach permeate 1st Way on every level.

A leader sets a tone for everyone. Because Terry sincerely cares about women, she expects that same attitude of non-judgment and compassion from her staff. She is correct that we meet mothers where they are, where they need. We give them the information they ask for. We help women find solutions to difficult social, family, medical and financial problems. We try to help improve the life of the women who come to us, so that they will be able to be parents for their children. We offer baby and toddler clothes, diapers and other supplies. 1st Way is truly a women's center, where women feel heard and appreciated.

1st Way needs donations to purchase a mobile pregnancy unit to serve women in areas all over Eugene. Set up a pledge with us to make automatic payments.

Get a copy of Terry's book from Amazon. You'll read Terry's story of 40 years of work with crisis pregnancy centers, her passion, her love and her vision. Carmel Heart Media serves 1st Way for no profit and donates $9 or more from every book sale to 1st Way.