The Real Options Partner Team Feels the Effects of a Pandemic
As I sit down to write this, I am in awe of a God who loves and works through us to accomplish His work, especially when we act with generous hearts out of compassion for the vulnerable. Chase Oaks Church partners with Real Options, a local pregnancy center in Allen, TX, to be here for good for expecting moms in our community. During COVID-19, it looked as though the Real Options Partner Team would have little to do, but God had different plans.
At the end of February, the Real Options Partner Team had great plans to be here for good by supporting various spring and summer events, including a Real Options pop-up clinic at the Chase Oaks Family Center, and by partnering with One by One Ministries to offer expecting moms more individual support through a mentorship program.
Then COVID-19 hit. And staff and volunteer events were cancelled. Clinic services were adjusted to virtual consultations and limited clinic appointments with a very limited staff onsite. The Real Options Partner Team was left with little to do but pray and try to encourage from a distance.
A New Idea to Be Here For Good During a Pandemic
During a Zoom partner team meeting, I shared an email I received from Real Options about a rising need for moms who were unable to purchase baby items or for hard-hit families and friends who were unable to provide traditional baby showers. Could Chase Oaks help with this need in any way?
Inspired by drive-thru birthday parties, one of our team members, Amy Butler, quickly suggested hosting a drive-thru shower where we would gather donated items and have them ready for moms to pick up at the clinic. The other members jumped in, and the idea quickly started to gain momentum. Erin, another team member, joined Amy in leading this initiative.
Amy and Erin met with the Real Options staff, who loved the idea, and set a goal to provide 12 women items they specifically needed on Saturday, May 30. Amy created an Amazon Registry for the drive-thru baby shower. Afterwards, we posted a shower invite on social media and the Partner Team Leader GroupMe while Real Options spread the word amongst their other partners.
Orders started coming right away. Soon though, we would experience the glorious excitement of God moving beyond us to show His unexpected love through so many more people than we had ever imagined.
God Multiplies Our Effort When We Are Here For Good
To make sure the needs of the women would be met, God used an endearing Instagram post by Erin (@coffeemamabear) to spur one of her followers to action. Her follower posted about her own heart for women facing unexpected pregnancies and shared what the Real Options Partner Team was doing. In it, she encouraged her very large number of followers to “blow this up.”
Her followers purchased all the items on the registry within an hour and a half! Over the next week, Amy added to the registry multiple times as people wanted to give generously to help these expecting moms in our community.
In a little over two weeks, social media followers and Chase Oakers from 44 different states and two provinces in Canada came together and provided:
- Almost 600 baby items (over $6,000 worth), including all the big-ticket items needed.
- An abundance of smaller items for Real Options to use in the gift totes they give after the birth of a baby.
- $2,400 in gift cards for future needs!
The Impact of Being Here For Good for Expecting Moms
God used Amy and Erin and their passion for these women to bring people across North America together to be here for good for expecting moms. He used the generous hearts of so many Chase Oakers, social media followers, and the Real Options Partner Team and staff to touch the hearts of women in our community in a really special way.
But God didn’t want us to just provide things. He wanted these women to know they are loved and He was honored by their choice to carry and love these children whom He created. He affirmed the lives of these children and His love for these moms by giving them real help and real hope. They know they are not alone.
More Opportunities to Be Here For Good for Expecting Moms
Amazing as it was to see (check out the video), the shower was only a part of God’s plan. Through the Real Options Partner Team, He also wanted to offer His love to these women through personal relationships with other moms who could help educate and encourage them as they tackle motherhood.
Because One by One Ministries changed their training methods from in-person to virtual, the Real Options Partner Team has continued to recruit mentors and prayer partners. By the time of the shower, we had four mentors, two coordinators, and three prayer partners trained. As a result of the shower, we now have three mentors matched with moms and prayer partners. One by One continues to offer online training for our partner team members who want to walk alongside a mom, empowering and encouraging her to be the best mom she can be.
While we look forward to when this pandemic is over and we can offer the kind of support we did before COVID-19, we will continue to explore new ways to be here for good for expecting moms as well as the staff and volunteers of Real Options.
We would love for you to join us to be here for good for our community. As we continue to fight the pandemic together, there are so many opportunities to give generously, serve our neighbors and the most vulnerable, and include our friends to be here for good with us! Check out how you can be here for good today!