Pregnancy Center in Joplin, Missouri Still Stands, Helps Others

State   Steven Ertelt   May 24, 2011   |   5:37PM    Joplin, MO

Following the deadly tornadoes that ravaged this Missouri city, a pregnancy center that provides help for women seeking alternatives to abortions is still standing. Now, it is helping the local community that has seen so much suffering.

The center is located just blocks from the some of the worst-hit areas, but it was spared any damage and its staff and volunteers were not injured.

Stacy Massey, the president of Abortion Recovery International, a group that provides hope and healing for women who regret their abortions, detailed the information she gleaned from a call to Angel Otero at LifeChoices Medical Clinic in Joplin.

“I called her as I wanted to make sure they had survived the tornado and if there was anything ARIN could do to help. Praise God, both their centers were okay,” she said. “Unfortunately, some of LifeChoice’s staff and volunteers have lost their homes. Obviously the destruction to the community is beyond comprehension.”

“Through it all, Angel said that LifeChoices was becoming a center of help for the neighborhood… handing out baby supplies: clothes, diapers, food, wipes, etc,” Massey said. “When I asked her what we could do to help, she said two things, “Donate baby supplies or help us financially purchase the items to help the young families.”

“I can’t possibly imagine ever losing my home and all my personal belonging. But then to have to worry about how to buy formula or diapers, or what to use to clothe and clean my infant son. I hung up the phone in tears,” Massey said. “And so I send this email out to ask for your assistance to help LifeChoice Medical Clinic in Joplin, MO. We can hold them up in prayer, we can send them baby supplies and/or we can send them financial resources to purchase exactly what they need to help those devastated by this disaster.”

Officials with the pregnancy center say they are gratified by the outpouring of support they have already received.

“LifeChoices would like to thank all those who have graciously offered material and financial gifts during this season of recovery from the devastating tornadoes here in Joplin,” it said in a statement. “We are working tirelessly to assess needs and disseminate materials to those in need.”

“At this time, LifeChoices is continuing to collect baby items (diapers, formula, clothing, bottles, sippy cups, blankets, baby wash, toys, etc.) and gift cards (Wal-Mart, Target, local restaurants) that we will distribute to local families,” the center added. “We are sharing every resource we have (including our facilities) with affected clients, community members, and the medical community with whom we serve who have lost everything.  If anyone has a need for baby care items, please send them to our office (531 E. 7th Street, Joplin) or they may call 417-623-0131.”

“As the recovery proceeds, LifeChoices will need the support of the nation to sustain our ministry in this community as many local funds will be redirected toward those in the direct path of the disaster – the economic impact of this loss is predicted to be astronomical. Any gifts that can be given will be used to continue the life-breathing ministry of LifeChoices in this hurting community. We are so grateful that we were spared, but humbled at the task that is before us to serve our brothers and sisters.  We will need your prayers and support to be able to fulfill that call,” the center added.

Send your donation to:  LifeChoices Medical Clinic, 531 E. 7th Street, Joplin, Missouri 64801. You can donate online at https://www.lifevoices.org/