The Southern Ohio Pregnancy Center (SOPC) largest annual fundraising event will have a different format this Sunday. Rather than the usual banquet, there will be three different time slots that people can choose from — 3 to 3:45 p.m., 4 to 4:45 p.m. or 5 to 5:45 p.m. The event will take place in the Atrium at Good News Gathering.
Cathy Griffith, SOPC executive director, said the event will consist of hors d’oeuvres, two videos made specifically for the event, listening to a short ministry update which is 20 minutes long after each time slot starts, and to pray on the financial gift to the ministry of the SOPC.
Griffith said she will tell people they should know they are “loved and appreciated” and that they are “one of the reasons that our story of life continues to unfold. Lives are saved and new stories begin every day at the SOPC.”
She said for those that can’t attend or don’t feel comfortable, they can attend virtually. Call 937-393-2990 to get more information on doing so. The change isn’t just for this year, with Griffith said the organization is “amazed” at the number of people who are virtual attendees and donate.
She said the annual spring event raises “over” one-third of the organization’s annual budget and that the organization’s goal for the event is $60,000.
Griffith said the SOPC was founded on Feb. 4, 1991, to “provide practical assistance, encouragement and unconditional love to women and families in need.” She said, however, that its story began several years before that as concerned people in the community started the work that was needed to start a crisis pregnancy center in Highland County.
“Their hearts were broken by the devastation they were seeing not just in our community, but all over our country because of abortion,” she said. “Their hearts were broken because of the millions of lives that had already been lost. They felt the need to do something, and they did. In January of 1989, they formed a steering committee. They began with a dream. They began with faith, prayer, determination and with $185 in the bank. That’s where the story begins.”
Griffith said since then, the budget for the organization has grown to almost $200,000. It has around 600 to 1,000 client visits every year, and since 1991 has served more than 4,000 different men and women. She also said that before COVID-19 it served between 1,400 and 2,500 students in the classroom every school year.
Griffith detailed the free and confidential services the organization offers, including: Self-administered pregnancy tests, one-on-One peer counseling, post abortion counseling, abstinence education in the schools, Circle of Friends and Road to Fatherhood classes, and Helping You Grow Strong (HUGS) parenting classes.
Griffith said the center started teaching abstinence in Highland County middle and high schools 14 years ago. When it started the programs, the county was fourth in the state in teen pregnancy. Now it is ranked 29th.
“We are so blessed to be in such a loving and giving community,” she said. “Our goal is to save as many babies as we can from abortion, to walk with women who are going through unplanned pregnancies before their babies are born and afterward as well, to help young moms and dads be the best parents that they can be, to grow healthy families in this community, and to be in our schools teaching the life-saving message of abstinence to our young people.”
Reach Jacob Clary at 937-402-2570.