Hope & Life June 2022
The biannual newsletter of Pregnancy Assistance Inc.
Person in Charge (PiC) Lisette Jas
About Us Message from the Chair
Deputy Person in Charge (DPiC) Carmel Randazzo
A Day in the Life of PA
National Volunteer Week
Together we can
A Garden Reflection
Our Lady of Guadalupe Perth Auxiliary Bishop Don Sproxton
Board Chair Deputy Chair Secretary Treasurer Board Member Board Member
Thomas Seeber Ryan Wiles Carina McPherson Ralph Bergmann Sarah Paverd-Joyce Veronica Bogoni
Contact Pregnancy Assistance Inc. Elizabeth’s House 195 Lord Street, East Perth 6004 T 9328 2929 E firstname.lastname@example.org Visiting Hours Mon - Fri 10am - 3pm Phone Hours Mon - Fri 9am - 3.30pm You are welcome to visit us in this quiet
oasis in the city. Mass is celebrated here and the Blessed Sacrament is reserved in our Chapel. If you would like to celebrate with us or spend an hour with Our Lord in adoration please contact Carmel or Lisette on 9328 2929.
After hours by appointment
About Us Who are we and what do we do? Pregnancy Assistance Inc. is an independent Catholic organisation initiated by Archbishop Emeritus Barry Hickey in 1996. We provide compassionate care and emotional, practical and informative support to women in need throughout their pregnancy and post birth. We also offer counselling for women and men impacted by pregnancy loss (miscarriage, still birth and abortion). Our services are extended to all people irrespective of religion, race, demographic or personal values. Our free and confidential services include: • Pregnancy testing • Pregnancy care consultation • Professional counselling • Post abortion care & grief counselling • Accommodation assistance • Practical support – bassinets, baths, nappies & clothes, maternity clothes • Financial assistance • Advocacy & support services referral Who knocks on our door? Anyone effected by pregnancy who is in need of support! We provide assistance to pregnant women who are distressed due to one or more of the following; • Unexpected pregnancy • Abortion concerns • Financial hardship • Domestic violence • Homelessness • Relationship breakdown • Mental health • Grief/loss • Drug addiction
Our Centre (lovingly nicknamed Elizabeth’s House) in East Perth is open for appointment (telephone or face to face) and allows for pop-ins. Individuals are also welcome to metaphorically ‘knock on our door’ by contacting us via e-mail or Facebook. What method do we use when talking about abortion? We utilise Heartbeat International’s L.O.V.E. approach when pregnant women come to us in distress over whether to keep, adopt out or abort their baby. Pregnancy Assistance was founded on Christian values and offers its services as an alternative to abortion. We believe our counselling approach allows the woman to focus on her own needs. We try to awaken a vision in her for a healthy life for herself and her baby. We share information about options she needs to consider to make a life-giving decision. However, under no circumstances do we believe we have the right to impose upon a woman’s decision. We will continue to support and welcome back individuals who have made choices that differ with the personal values of Pregnancy Assistance’s volunteer base. Who supports us? God supports the operations of Pregnancy Assistance by providing the right resources at the right time. And you are part of that providence! Pregnancy Assistance operates through the generosity of its supporters and we thank you. Your support gives Hope and Life, so please (if you haven’t already) donate and get involved. We especially thank the Catholic Archdiocese of Perth for providing our rental costs.
Message from the Chair Dear friends of Pregnancy Assistance, 2022 has been notable with the inevitable arrival of COVID 19 in WA. At Pregnancy Assistance, this has not necessarily resulted in reduced demand for our services! We have put plans in place to keep the risk of transmission low, and are doing what we can to keep our doors open. This allows us to continue to serve the vulnerable members of our community who require help during pregnancy. I wish to thank our staff and volunteers for being flexible and understanding whilst we try to navigate all the requirements. We are more grateful than ever to all our donors who make our work possible. We rely heavily on donations from the public to keep this charity afloat. Surprisingly, we are not eligible for government funding or for many private trusts. We receive a modest grant from Lotterywest which is specifically used for practical assistance. That is, food and groceries for families in need. The grant comes to us unencumbered. However, it accounts for less than 20% of our costs. Please continue to support us with your generosity, and remember at the end of financial year that all monetary donations to Pregnancy Assistance are tax deductable. On March 26 we celebrated the Day of the Unborn Child, at St Mary’s Cathedral in Perth. Saint Pope John Paul II established the International Day of the Unborn Child to coincide with the Feast of the Annunciation. This moment gives an opportunity to honour all unborn children, especially those who may have died prior to birth. Grieving for the loss of a child during pregnancy is normal, yet is often not discussed openly. Guiding women and families through these feelings is another important service that Pregnancy Assistance offers, so if you or anyone you know might benefit from this, please do refer us or reach out. Thomas Seeber, Chair
Hope and Life
Rachel’s Vineyard Rachel’s Vineyard is a safe place to renew, rebuild and redeem hearts broken by abortion. Unfortunately, due to ongoing pandemic and restrictions, Rachel’s Vineyard Ministeries in Perth has had to make the difficult decision to close indefinitely. God willing, there will be a time when they can reopen in the future. Pregnancy Assistance has had a close and positive relationship with Rachel’s Vineyard Ministries over the years. Several current and past board members and volunteers of Pregnancy Assistance are either on the Governance Board of Rachel’s Vineyard or are actively involved otherwise.
In their official message to their clients and the general public, Rachel’s Vineyard Ministries is redirecting people for post-abortion grief counselling services to other likeminded organisations, including Pregnancy Assistance. Post abortion counselling is about a woman’s experience and giving her ‘permission’ to talk about her feelings if she so wishes. Many women feel they have no right to any help as they have brought this situation upon themselves. The pain of abortion is real, and women and men do not have to suffer alone. Abortion is an intense event in someone’s life however, it is possible to thoughtfully integrate this experience into one’s life. This is not easy, and it requires great fortitude and honesty. If you had an abortion and life is hard for you, please know that there is hope for you in the midst of your struggles. When you think you are ready to move through your grief and return to a place of peace, please know we are here to support you. Lisette Jas Counsellor
Hope and Life
A Day in the Life of Pregnancy Assistance
A day in the life of PA could feasibly consist of a pregnant mum, with several children, having found herself down on her luck. We will sit down with the mum, and listen to her story, talk through with her what her needs are, and meet them according to the donations received.
Hospitals, DCP, Red Cross and many other organisations refer women to us, and an equal number who come through our doors are also locals, again having very little in the way of practical support for their newborn. Most particularly in the last few years, there has been a real rise in poverty and suffering.
We have women who come to us having escaped domestic violence, leaving their home in the clothes they are wearing and having nothing for their baby. We have refugees who are referred to us, having escaped the violence of their own countries. Again, often they have nothing for themselves or baby. Some of the countries we most regularly see women from are Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran.
It would be very hard to talk about a typical day at Pregnancy Assistance without gratitude to those supporters and donors whose financial and practical generosity makes what we do possible. Without this support, we could give nothing to meet the many needs of the different women who come through our doors.
Hope and Life
For those who regularly donate to us with such wonderful and open handed generosity, we owe a huge debt of gratitude. Here are some of the ways we use what is given to us:
New baby clothing and items are made into a gift hamper for each new mum. All other good quality clothes are bagged up into age groups and ready to hand out as and when needed. Bedding, wraps and blankets are held in the store room ready to be handed out. Nappies and wipes (after clothes) are perhaps the fastest moving commodity we most rely on to be donated. They are always asked for by mums who find them expensive to provide regularly. Formula has been harder to come by these days, and again, mums regularly ask for it. Whenever we have it, we give it. We are always grateful for maternity wear. Bassinets and baby seats are also much sought after, and handed on quickly to new mums.
In addition, financial donations go towards helping us put together food parcels for emergency relief when a mum will come having nothing to feed her family with. Financial donations as well as practical donations, also help us buy/hand out toiletries.
There are many success stories linked to our ability to give, and none could happen without the staunch financial and practical support given to us. We are very grateful, so thank you all for your help, and please spread the word, we need your support and our mums need you too. Liz Bergmann Pregnancy Care Consultant
Hope and Life
National Volunteer Week
Sunday 15 May was the start of the annual celebration of National Volunteer week. What does it mean to be a volunteer at Pregnancy Assistance? Personally for me it has been a time of healing, grace, commitment, growth, and reward. Working at Elizabeth’s House has enabled me to serve the women and their families by giving my time, to listen and see the needs of everyone who walks through the door. I see God’s generosity through the donations of people who give abundantly, and the grants received to help every client to help them maintain their dignity when seeking support. Going to PA every week for a few hours to assist in any way I can, gives me such happiness and to work with some lovely ladies is a real gift. Not only do I receive joy, but I also get a wage for Eternal Life. As I welcome a new client and get to know who and what their needs are and listen to their happiness and concerns that they have for their pregnancy, I get to see the whole person. Being able to help them to seek and find the support they need, whether it is practical, financial, emotional, or directing them towards counselling gives me such a sense of fulfillment and a privilege that they have shared their history with me. Having Mass celebrated once a month at the Chapel gives me a spiritual boost which helps me to continue to be of service and it opens my eyes to see the immense love and generosity of God. Working at PA for the past 8 years has been very rewarding. Caroline Nolan Pregnancy Care Consultant 6
Hope and Life
Together we can Pregnancy Assistance collaborates with a variety of different agencies as well as hospitals. It is wonderful to see how we all can assist in different ways. King Edward Memorial Hospital has a strong partnership with Pregnancy Assistance who provide help to many of our women who are pregnant, alone, disadvantaged, homeless or struggling to make ends meet. At KEMH we have received wonderful feedback from clients who have been extremely positive about their experience with Pregnancy Assistance, reporting that they feel valued, supported and nurtured during their time with the service. The Social workers here at KEMH believe Pregnancy Assistance is a wonderful and essential service for our women whatever their situation, whether they are incarcerated, cannot afford their own things for a baby or just need some support along the way. Ethna Richardson Senior Social Worker KEMH
Hope and Life
A Garden Reflection Elizabeth’s House, 195 Lord Street, Sweet-smelling roses of white and pink linger along the footpath. The fragrance of woody rosemary fills the air. A frangipanni tree reaches to offer gentle shade. Bright foliage winds towards the door. There is a bench to rest. Gardens draw us through beauty. They delight our senses and invite quiet joy and contemplation. The front garden at Pregnancy Assistance offers a sensory and symbolic entrance for our ministry. Welcome, come inside. There is peace. Rest. Lovingly cared for by dedicated volunteers, our garden mirrors the care and warmth offered inside. Autumn looses leaves; dormant Winter generates new shoots. Spring is ready to flower. The cycle of growth continues. Changes in the seasons are illustrated through the garden, connecting us to our humanity, experiences, and emotions at different stages of life. History and art are also rich with images and words of gardens. They are places of abundance, sources of sustenance, leisure, refuge, relaxation. Gardens are places of reflection and prayer. They are sanctuaries of awe and appreciation for beyond this world. Which invite a pause. Waiting for the bus. Walking down the street. With deepest thanks to Veronica and Margaret our gardening volunteers Carina McPherson Board Secretary
Hope and Life
Hope and Life
Thank You Thank you for continually supporting us in achieving our principal objectives – “To provide relief of poverty, suffering, distress, misfortune, destitution, or helplessness for pregnant women of all sections of the public irrespective of race, colour or creed.” Pregnancy Assistance Inc. solely relies on private donations. We are an ACNC registered charity, and all monetary donations above $2 are fully tax-deductable. Your generous support gives and changes lives and allows people to taste just how sweet and good hope and life truly is.
Your Donation Makes A Difference
The Archdiocese pays for our rent but for all else we rely entirely on God speaking to your heart! Pregnancy Assistance Inc. PO Box 8129 Perth BC WA 6849 T: (08) 9328 2926
Donations over $2.00 are tax deductible Name/Corporation:
Email: I make the following donation to Pregnancy Assistance Inc. of $ once only
By cheque/money order: made payable and addressed: Pregnancy Assistance Inc. PO Box 8129 Perth BC WA 6849 By Direct payment: Pregancy Assistance Inc. | Westpac | BSB 036014 | Acc 306953 Mastercard
Name on card: 3 digit verification number:
Online: www.pregnancyassist.com.au By including us in your will.