When people from 40 different Madison area churches come together to celebrate, something unusual is going on. But that’s typical for the annual Care Net Pregnancy Center of Dane County banquet. The center has enjoyed widespread support from the Madison church community, both Protestant and Catholic, over its more than three decades of operation.
Kirk Walden, Advancement Director for Heartbeat International, an international Christian association of 2,200 crisis pregnancy centers, told the 500 people gathered at Monona Terrace for last Thursday’s banquet that the Madison center is one of the best in the country. “You need to know this,” he said. “You’re the model for what we do. God is doing some amazing things here.”
Walden said crisis pregnancy centers nationally are an untold success story. There were only 200 of them in 1980, compared with 2,000 abortion clinics. Today there are 2,700 prolife centers and the number of abortion clinics is down to 724.
“We are seeing a culture of life growing in this country,” he said. “We are becoming the first choice, and we want to see the second choice disappear.”
One of the reasons for the turnaround, Walden said, is that abortionists don’t listen. It’s just a ten minute business transaction. “We listen and that is so important,” he added, noting that prolife centers don’t just try to prevent abortions. “We are serving people who are broken inside.”
Care Net CEO Liz Osborn said the same thing. “It’s not just the baby’s life we’re saving, it’s the mother’s life as well,” she said. As in other years, two women shared with the banquet attendees their stories of a crisis pregnancy and how Care Net not only helped them with their baby but helped them turn their lives around (top photo).
Care Net benefitted from 6,200 volunteer hours of assistance in the past year as they provided a home for 24 mothers and their babies, received 935 client visits, and provided 86 ultrasounds and 175 pregnancy tests.
Care Net’s fundraising goal for the 2017 banquet was $240,000.
UPDATE: Care Net reported $277,000 raised in gifts and pledges, 35 percent of Care Net’s annual operating budget.