ASHLAND — The Ashland Pregnancy Care Center celebrated its 14th Annual Banquet event on August 6, which invited over 850 participants to share in the center’s phenomenal work for families.
The event was held virtually with over 70 table hosts including more that 15 churches in the Ashland area that hosted watch parties.
“But what's really nice about it is that we didn't have a limit to the number of people who can join and watch the event,” said Melanie Miller, Ashland Pregnancy Care Center executive director.
Throughout the night, guests heard from speakers who’ve been positively affected by the APCC and volunteered to share their stories. They also heard from Abby Johnson, former Planned Parenthood director and now founder of And Then There Were None ministry.
During her speech, Johnson announced that she will be the keynote speaker for the APCC 40th anniversary celebration next April.
As of Monday, the APCC has met 76% of its goal, raising $114,000 and counting with a goal of $150,000.
More announcements included that the APCC will be hiring a registered nurse to join its staff upon receiving grant money through the Community Foundation as well as the COVID-19 Relief Fund.
“Truly COVID-19 has really created an urgent need to have a designated staff person on the medical side like a registered nurse to be able to add that professionalism and credibility to the ministry that we are offering women that come through our doors that need help,” Miller said.
The banquet is the largest fundraising event for the ministry. Due to not receiving any government funding, the APCC is completely backed by their community and has been serving them for 39 years.
Jackie Beatty, client care coordinator, who’s worked at the APCC for over eight years, couldn’t ask to be in a better role of helping mothers and families through difficult times.
“There’s a lot of hurting people that just need somebody that will listen and care. And, yeah, they all have very unique stories and a unique journey in life, and so it’s a privilege to be able to just hear their stories and be able to be a part of this journey with them,” Beatty said.
Despite COVID-19, the APCC has done everything they can to remain a vital resource for many families, including providing diapers, wipes, baby clothes and safety items. They also provide personal care kits for mothers and fathers.
Recently the APCC has also received a generous donation: a box truck filled with brand new maternity clothes, valued at almost $20,000 in inventory.
During these hard times, Miller is grateful for the blessings the center has continued to receive.
“Yes, it is about saving lives and saving babies, but it’s so much more than that,” Miller said. “Our ministry is about empowering families to live life according to God’s plan. It’s not just about the baby, it’s about the woman, and reminding her of her value and her worth and that she is loved, and also empowering the father and equipping him to be a good dad.”
The APCC continues to take donations. For contributions or see a replay of the banquet, visit the website or call 419-281-1111.