By Celine Klosterman
WAPELLO – Sometimes, the Birthright office in this town of 2,000 sees one client a week. But no matter how many women visit this cozy branch of the international pro-life organization, Lida Derry said she knows God wants her and other volunteers to be there.
She and Sandy Hewitt, co-directors of the Wapello office; its five other in-office volunteers; and a board of directors are looking forward to celebrating its 10th anniversary on March 23. For Derry, the occasion offers an opportunity to raise awareness of their ministry and highlight the ongoing need for pro-life advocates to donate time to crisis pregnancy centers.
“It takes a commitment from people even when their personal lives are busy,” said Marilee Richardson, co-regional consultant for Birthright of Iowa and Nebraska. A member of St. Anthony Parish in Knoxville, she said several directors of Iowa’s 19 Birthright offices work full-time outside of the ministry. Some volunteers have kept branches – like a Birthright in Dubuque — open for 40 years.
To read the rest of this article, subscribe to The Catholic Messenger’s e-edition.