November 4, 2022
Supporting, informing, and empowering: this is the calling of The Hope Center, located in downtown Boone. The Hope Center demonstrates the love of Christ to women from across the High Country facing an unplanned pregnancy, offering medical, emotional, and practical services and support in a compassionate and non-judgmental environment, all at no cost.
According to Kelsie Summers, Executive Director at The Hope Center, about 60% of women who visit The Hope Center are seeking pregnancy confirmation to qualify for pregnancy Medicaid, get a first look at their baby, and connect with resources needed for a thriving pregnancy. This meets tangible needs of women and their families as they prepare for the journey ahead. However, about 40% of women who come through Hope’s doors are undecided about their pregnancy.
When faced with an unintended pregnancy, women may feel there is no clear way forward. Hope provides these clients clarity with an ultrasound to date and confirm pregnancy, medically accurate information about all pregnancy outcomes, and a comprehensive referral list of both Hope and community resources.
But Hope’s mission extends far beyond helping women make an informed initial decision; the Center furnishes support to women and their families at each stage of their journey, through mentorship, clinical mental health counseling, childbirth education class, and abortion recovery. Each service Hope offers is a tangible expression of God’s heart for women and their unborn children and equips clients with the information they need to make a life choice.
Women who do carry their pregnancy to term have a wealth of resources available to help them navigate the road ahead and overcome barriers to a thriving pregnancy and birth. For women considering adoption, Hope offers licensed adoption referrals. For women who choose to parent, there is an abundance of educational and community-building opportunities, and even financial aid, including the “Yes, She Can!” Student Scholarship, aimed at helping mothers pursuing an Associate’s, Bachelor’s, or Master’s degree.
Despite the care and resources Hope provides, clients still make decisions to terminate their pregnancies. Hope still deeply cares for these women, offering group therapy and one-on-one counseling, creating a safe space where they can process their various thoughts, emotions, and experiences. This is a forever-standing offer to every High Country woman.
Educating the public on what The Hope Center exists to do is cited by Kelsie as one of the most difficult challenges faced by Hope. There are still many misconceptions about the work of pregnancy centers, and Kelsie desires to build bridges in the community so that the High Country Community understands the value and importance of Hope’s work.
Wherever they may find themselves, women who come to Hope receive empathetic support and Christ-like care, equipping them to not only meet the situations they face but to thrive amidst them and grow through them.
The Future of Hope
The Hope Center has several goals and dreams for the future. In the upcoming year, they hope to pursue continuing educational opportunities for their staff, including training on how to more effectively reach and communicate with women who are undecided about their pregnancy. They also hope to increase their partnership with organizations on Appalachian State’s campus and offer resources to students on how to talk to friends and fellow students dealing with an unexpected pregnancy.
The long-term vision of The Hope Center is to reach every woman in the High Country who is undecided about her pregnancy with the resources and services she needs to make a life choice. It was their vision 32 years ago, and that vision continues today.
How to get Involved
Volunteer: One of Hope’s most significant needs is for mothers in the community willing to serve as mentors. For more information about how to serve, contact Hope at choosehope.org/support.
Attend: Hope hosts many fundraising initiatives throughout the year, including Dodgeball for Hope each year in March, and an upcoming benefit concert featuring Sandra McCracken on December 16 here at Alliance.
Stay informed on upcoming events by signing up for Hope emails at choosehope.org/support.
Give: The Hope Center is 100% privately funded by donations from individuals, businesses, and churches in the community. Make a donation today at choosehope.org/giving-opportunities.