In 1984, when Hope Women’s Center opened its first center in Apache Junction, AZ, we had one mission: to help women experiencing unexpected pregnancy. Since that day, Hope has grown to six centers and a maternity home, and as we’ve expanded, our mission has, too. We still offer free pregnancy testing and support, prenatal classes, and baby items in our Boutique, but we also provide shelter to pregnant and postpartum moms (Camp Verde) and supportive services beyond pregnancy. Our classes and groups address postpartum health, abuse prevention, evidence-based parenting education, life skills training, and more. We want every mom to feel supported in every stage of parenting – all 18 years of it. When you look at it that way, parenting support and encouragement can mean many things.
For P, a teen mom, it was a family portrait of her and her infant son. When she received the framed portrait as a Mother’s Day gift from one of our Community Partners, she cried. “I’ve never thought of us as a family before today. Seeing this first picture of us together makes me hopeful.”
For E, it was using her points for gift cards, candy, and party supplies for her 16 year old’s birthday. “This is my first year sober, so my son never had a real birthday. No party, no gifts. I can’t believe how I wasted these years, but now I have the chance to give him the birthday he always wanted. It’s a new chapter for both of us.”
For M, it’s our classes. “I got pregnant in high school and didn’t graduate. The Hope @ Work classes are preparing me for a good job, so that one day, my girls and I can get a place of our own. I’m taking cooking classes, too, and I’m getting pretty good! Hope is bringing my joy back.”
For W, it was emergency diapers – and a little surprise donated by a local church. “I’m a single mom, and this month, I really hit hard times. All I needed was diapers, but Hope gave me a welcome bag and flowers, too. I was sobbing. Those gifts meant so much to me.”
At Hope, we value both mother and baby equally, and we provide holistic care and services that address a breadth of needs, including the seemingly small ones. Why? Because it’s often the little things we do that comfort and encourage women and moms. It’s the little things that whisper, “There is hope.”