“If it wasn’t for Rachel House, I don’t know that my twins would be here.”
For more than 25 years, Rachel House has been committed to providing a safe, confidential, and compassionate place where those who may be experiencing an unplanned pregnancy can find the help and resources they need.
Originally founded in 1992 as the Lighthouse of Blue Springs, the name was changed in 1998 to Rachel House Pregnancy Resource Centers, Inc. as it formed an independent 501(c)(3). With its priority on the health and wellbeing of those it serves, along with decades of demonstrating trust, Rachel House is now seeing generations of families it has impacted.
“Many of the babies born to women who came to us in the early 1990’s are now in their mid-to-late 20’s and have started families of their own,” says Kathy Edwards, CEO. “It’s one reason we tell our partners that together we’re making a difference across generations, because we are.”
Edwards started as a volunteer at the organization in its first year and has stayed throughout its history. Now with 35 employees at four locations, Rachel House offers free and ethical evaluations for women and confidential consultations for men, impacting the lives of more than 3,000 individuals a year. These services are made possible through its partnerships with individuals, businesses, and churches in the communities it serves.
Edwards says that what began as a crisis pregnancy center officed in a small house in Blue Springs is now rebranding to better communicate its professional growth and medical capabilities. Services begin with medical-grade pregnancy tests to confirm pregnancy and then help with exploring options. (They do not provide referrals for abortions.)
“After receiving a positive pregnancy test, a free ultrasound by a licensed medical professional is offered to the expectant mom,” she says. “Baby is introduced to mom, dad and if requested, anyone else offering support to the couple. We provide parenting education classes and case management services for both moms and dads throughout their pregnancy. Our mentoring program will then follow the family throughout baby’s first year.”
Edwards describes the ultrasound as the “window to the womb.”
“Something incredible happens when parents meet their baby for the first time during an ultrasound. Most are amazed at the detailed development of the little one they are just finding out about. They see a beating heart and a visible body with arms and legs, already distinctly their own child. It is a beautiful moment.”
Edwards adds that many clients are first-time parents eager for the help they receive during parenting classes where both mother and father learn to care for their infant—supporting each other in their new roles to handle stress and creating a network of support unique to their circumstances. One-on-one case management helps with parenting or adoption decisions.
Edwards says Rachel House has reached 66 percent of its funding needs for the year, with an estimated 1,000 additional clients to be seen throughout the remainder of 2020.
“The pandemic has not slowed us down,” Edwards says. “The state deemed us an essential business from the beginning, and we’re grateful for those who came to our aid with the Personal Protection Equipment we needed to see an increased number of women and men coming to us with concerns about the unknown health crisis and its effect on their possible pregnancy.”
Through advocacy, education, mentoring and discipleship, Rachel House aims to empower and equip the family unit and build stronger families.
www.rachelhousefriends.org (to make a tax-deductible donation or learn more about impacting your community.)