As I write, all eyes appear to be on Washington, D.C. as we await a vote on Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court. I even wrote about this last week, and not surprisingly, got plenty of attention from Twitter and other social media outlets.
I chuckle at this because it is easy for any of us (me included), to miss the big picture here. This column touches on political stuff maybe one out of every ten weeks because I realize our future as pregnancy help ministries is sometimes affected by the political (i.e., NIFLA v. Becerra) but is not dependent upon politics.
My rule of thumb then, is to glance at politics while gazing upon what we do and how we accomplish our mission. If we do our job, we change a culture. If we truly change the culture, the political landscape takes care of itself. Because if we’re watching closely, we’ll see that with almost any social issue, the politicians follow the electorate; not the other way around.
So, while the attention may be on Washington, a subtle trend beyond the media’s scope is quietly telling me something big is happening. What’s interesting is that to figure it out, it takes connecting the dots. As I travel this fall—and answer emails—the dots are coming together.
Recently I got an email from a pregnancy help center in Arkansas, about its capital campaign. Without picking up on its implications, I typed out a response to the questions asked and went back to whatever I was doing.
Then, another from Indiana. That center is out of space—too many clients, too many services. They needed information on a capital campaign. I put together another reply.
And, a center in California just moved into a new building. They needed more space, too. Good for them.
Then, similar stories came across my desk from Oregon. From Tennessee. Texas, too. And in Alabama where I’ll be in a couple of weeks, a center is converting to a medical clinic and moving into a new home. They need—you guessed—more space.
As I write, I’m in Wilkesboro, NC for an event with Wilkes Pregnancy Care Center. Guess what the focus is for the event? Yep. I got to tour their current home, an 1,800-square-foot facility—then a more than 5,000 square foot office where they plan to move in January. They are simply out of room.
These stories won’t make the evening news. And this column won’t blow up the Twitterverse. Because this column isn’t about conflict, it isn’t about political upheaval and backroom deals. And to be honest, perhaps this is only “anecdotal” evidence of a trend.
But in my 27 years in this work, I’ve had the opportunity to see trends in their opening stages. This is one of them.
Our outreach is growing. We’re seeing more of the patients and clients who need us most; those in the valley of decision regarding a pregnancy. We—all of us—are growing in our impact as those struggling with a pregnancy decision look our way more often.
As a result, we are expanding our services. Which will lead to more who need us most coming to us.
Perhaps I’m overly optimistic. But connecting these anecdotal dots tells me the momentum is on our side—again. Ten years ago, capital campaigns certainly took place in pregnancy help organizations, but thinking in terms of hundreds of thousands of dollars was rare.
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No more. Talk of raising $250,000, $500,000 and much more (several $1 million-plus campaigns come to mind) is now considered reasonable. We—pregnancy help ministries—have more staying power than ever. We have more major donors who don’t flinch when we talk of high-level projects. We have credibility beyond what we could imagine years ago.
It is truly a new day.
No, our story of rapid growth won’t make the news. And no, this column will likely not “trend” on Twitter. Fine.
All I know is, the only trend which matters is our impact. It’s a trend worth following, because it’s on the way up.