Pregnancy Help Institute inspires fruitful long distance collaboration

Pregnancy Help Institute inspires fruitful long distance collaborationUndefeated Courage Nurse Manager and sonographer Susan Keeny, pro-life strategist and banquet keynote Alison Centofante, Created With Purpose of West Texas Executive Director Annette Frye, Undefeated Courage founder and Executive Director Becky Biter, and Created With Purpose Board President Annie Williams (Created With Purpose of West Texas)

Two pregnancy help center directors met at Heartbeat International’s Pregnancy Help Institute (PHI) this past summer and instantly formed a friendship that would bless the ministry of both abundantly.

Annette Frye is executive director of Created With Purpose of West Texas, a four-year-old pregnancy help center. 

Becky Biter is founder and executive director of Undefeated Courage out of Enola, Pa. 

PHI is a week-long program offering training, connection, camaraderie, and confidence building in pregnancy help. Heartbeat International, the largest network of pregnancy help organizations in the U.S. and the world, has offered the training each year since 2007.

Both Frye and Biter attended the PHI New Director track this year. 

Biter’s center is exclusively a mobile unit. As the two directors exchanged information about their organizations, Frye was enthralled to hear about Biter’s work utilizing a mobile unit to offer pregnancy help.

This past fall Biter traveled with Susan Keeny, who is the nurse manager and sonographer for the Undefeated Courage mobile unit, to West Texas from Pennsylvania for Created With Purpose’s banquet. It was the deep friendship formed between the two pregnancy help directors at PHI which led to Biter making such a sacrifice. 

Frye had numerous take aways from the PHI training and the connection with Biter fueled her a determination to add a mobile unit to her West Texas center. 

In preparation for the fall fundraising banquet, Frye sought out the availability of a local mobile unit to display at the event but could not find one.

Frye asked Biter if she would be willing to bring their vehicle to the banquet and Biter agreed. Biter had initially suggested this during a lunchtime discussion at the PHI training in July. 

Biter noted the importance of showing donors a mobile unit to garner the support needed to pursue this ministry expansion. It seemed a huge ask to bring the mobile unit all the way from Pennsylvania.

Frye teared up recounting the conversation. She feels such deep gratitude toward Biter for her willingness to make the trip.

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Biter was even willing to give a sales pitch to attendees from the podium during the banquet.

“I have not even told Annette this,” she began her comments, “but when we were at conference and I was offering to come, I thought she lived in Ohio.”

The room erupted in laughter.

“Texans are very hospitable,” Keeny told Pregnancy Help News, noting an offering of pecan pie and the generosity of a donor paying their travel expenses. “It was a really good opportunity to meet like-minded people and to encourage them to consider expanding their services.”

Having traveled 1,700 miles one way from Harrisburg, Pa., to Bovina, Texas, Biter and Keeny arrived for the Created With Purpose banquet prepared for donors to tour the unit and witness a live ultrasound.

“It was a long and tiring trip,” Keeny said, but she would do it again.

Biter fondly refers to their mobile unit as “Little Bee.” The unit is wrapped brightly with photos and graphics promoting their services and offering Abortion Pill Reversal (APR) information.

Biter’s group acquired the unit at an auction. Originally an emergency vehicle, it was then customized to be a pregnancy help medical unit. 

Biter recalled touring the Created With Purpose brick and mortar pregnancy center.

Complete with a medical area to offer pregnancy tests and ultrasounds, as well as a baby boutique in the bottom level of the building, the staff, volunteers, and donors at Created With Purpose have rehabbed a facility that was donated to the ministry. 

“We went on a tour of their beautiful pregnancy center,” she said. “What a blessing. It’s absolutely gorgeous!”

Yet there is a need to expand the pregnancy help ministry to include a mobile unit to reach those who cannot travel to the facility.

Biter’s trip to the banquet highlighted the possibilities for supporters to see and experience. 

“The trip west was an awesome experience, and I would do it again because it was the right thing to do—to invest in the success of Created With Purpose,” Biter stated. “We were tickled to be a part of their God story and excited to see what He does!”

“What a perfect way to promote the life-saving APR hotline than to travel in a moving billboard for 3,400-plus miles and to do it in style!” said Biter.

Later after the banquet around 11:30 p.m. back at Biter and Keeny’s hotel, they had been locked out of the mobile unit. Biter texted Frye alerting them of the dilemma, and the Fryes drove over to try to help. After many unsuccessful tries, Biter went around to the other side of the unit, and it miraculously opened. 

“We were praising God in that parking lot,” recalled Frye, who attributes the incident as just another part of the overall God story.

With a committee formed, Created With Purpose is moving forward to find a mobile unit and get it prepared to be the next steps in their pregnancy help offerings. 

When asked about her takeaways from the PHI training, Frye said they are too numerous to say. 

“For me since I was so new, just knowing all the support firsthand that is offered by Heartbeat is amazing,” she offered.

“Our time with Heartbeat was well spent,” Biter reflected, “a great investment!”

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“Heartbeat gives the tools, skills and support necessary from forming a healthy board to ensuring a successful mission,” she said.

“Networking is a favorite part,” Biter added, “meeting so many great, like-minded people. Connecting and bonding with new friends that will last a lifetime. Invaluable.”

Editor's note: Heartbeat International manages the Abortion Pill Rescue® Network (APRN) and Pregnancy Help News.

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