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Staff picture, left to right, Julie Johnson, RN Executive Director, Carrie Kilen, RN Nurse Sonographer, Caroline Smiley, RN Nurse Manager at the Galveston Pregnancy Help Center.

Pregnancy and politics are in the news as rarely before, but few of any stripe would disagree that mothers-to-be should be welcome to help from the faithful. On the island, a primary source for such support is the Pregnancy Help Center of Galveston, 1601 23rd St.

The center is just over a year old, having opened in March 2018, but its origins go back several years to a group of praying pastors who saw the need and asked the Pregnancy Help Center of Brazosport for guidance.

“Their desire was to find a way to reach out to and assist young women and families with unplanned pregnancies in Galveston,” Julie Johnson, executive director here said. “It has been a wonderful and fulfilling year of helping many families not only choose life for their children, but to walk beside them and give them the assistance needed to become great parents.”

Now officially a medical clinic that offers ultrasound and other services, it’s staffed by registered nurses. Most such facilities do not have a full staff of medically trained members.

“We have seen double the amount of women and families in the last three days than we have in a previous month,” Johnson said. “It is exciting to have this opportunity to let the community know that we are here to offer these free services and we want to help.”

Johnson certainly has a baseline for her ministry. She invested two decades of her life as a nurse with considerable time serving as a labor and delivery nurse.

“My heart and passion has always been to help moms and dads in this life-changing moment of their lives,” she added. “I was also a single mom and had a rough time in my early adult years. I was blessed to have people enter my life who rallied around me to help me and through God’s help was able to overcome many obstacles.”

Adrienne, a client who asked that we not publish her last name, was not looking for the center when she found it. She just wanted a hamburger for lunch.

“God brought me to the center,” she said. “I saw it when I was looking for lunch. They have created a family that has supported me through.”

With her grandmother and mother both deceased and herself a new arrival to Galveston, she admitted that she was frightened and alone.

“There are people God puts in your life to help guide you and keep you on the right path, she said.

If you’d like to help the center, Johnson offered this list of possibilities.

“We have a lot of the smaller items that parents need, but we could use some of the bigger items that they definitely can not afford themselves,” Johnson said. “Items such as: cribs, bassinets, strollers, infant car seats and play pens. Parents can earn these items by attending our classes.”

The increased traffic, which seems to be a product of the new ultrasound, brings moms-to-be directly to Caroline Smiley, a newlywed who is the sonic expert for the center as well as a nurse.

“I feel so blessed to be a part of what God is doing here,” Smiley said. “God has blessed this place in so many ways, but for me personally the best part of doing ministry here is getting to provide ultrasounds to our clients. It is so exciting and special to be able to show some of our clients their baby for the first time. Seeing their little heartbeats is such a beautiful experience for the clients and their families.”

The center can be reached at 409-443-5059.

Next week in Our Faith: Could you or someone you know use a faithful friend. One with a wet nose?

Rick Cousins can be reached at rick.cousins@galvnews.com.

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