Smoky Mountain Pregnancy Care Center celebrates 20 years of service to WNC

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When Kelsie Elliott was only 20, she became pregnant with her first child. Her inexperience with pregnancy led her to the Smoky Mountain Pregnancy Care Center, where the welcoming and safe environment helped her prepare for her journey to motherhood. With the help and guidance of the Smoky Mountain Pregnancy Care Center, Elliott welcomed her first child in April 2009.

Shortly after giving birth to her first son, Elliott became addicted to methamphetamine and spent the next five years in prison, struggling with drug addiction and immersed in a relationship of domestic violence. At 25, Elliott found out she was pregnant again and turned to Smoky Mountain Pregnancy Care Center again. Throughout her pregnancy with her daughter, the center helped Elliott stay sober and prepare for her next child. However, soon after the birth of her daughter, Elliott again fell under the devastating grip of drug addiction. After being arrested for driving under the influence of methamphetamine, Elliott made the decision to enroll in a one-year drug rehab program. It was then that the center helped Elliott change the course of his life for the good of his family. With the help of the Smoky Mountain Pregnancy Care Center, Elliott got sober and stayed sober and worked to rebuild the values ​​and foundations she wanted in her life for herself and her children.

“Almost 13 years have passed since I first came to Smoky Mountain Pregnancy Care Center,” Elliott said, addressing a crowd at the center’s 20th anniversary. “Since that time, I’ve been through a lot of ups and downs; however, I have never stopped moving forward. Today my family and I live a comfortable life here in Macon County. Together as a family we enjoy outdoor activities such as camping and swimming, and the children enjoy participating in various sports teams such as soccer, competitive cheerleaders and gymnastics. I want to thank everyone at Smoky Mountain Pregnancy Care Center for all the support given to me and my family. Thank you all for playing such an important part in my story. “

Elliott is set to graduate from college in December of this year as a Certified Alcohol and Drug Addiction Counselor and is currently an intern for No Wrong Door for Support and Recovery.

Elliott was one of the guest speakers at the Smoky Mountain Pregnancy Care Center 20th anniversary celebration. The Pregnancy Care Center is a non-profit agency that provides care and support to women and men facing an unplanned pregnancy. Their free and confidential services include, but are not limited to, pregnancy tests, limited ultrasounds, maternity and baby clothes and accessories, adoption referral, post-abortion counseling, educational materials and counseling. friendly relations. Smoky Mountain Pregnancy Care Center services are offered regardless of age, race, income, nationality, religious affiliation, disability and / or arbitrary circumstances. The centre’s clients are treated with kindness and compassion.

Through the tragedy and overheard conversations, in 1999, the damaging and fatal effects of an unexpectedly casual sexual pregnancy shocked the Macon County community. The wife of a local pastor responded to this situation and in 2001 opened SMPCC as a resource and support center in Franklin, NC, offering parenting and life skills classes, access to a rewards closet and peer-trained counseling. In 2004, the clinic became medical by integrating pregnancy tests, limited ultrasounds, medical consultations and community referrals. Becoming a medical clinic has broadened our impact and brought many more women and men vulnerable to abortion to the center.

Saturday’s celebration showcased the centre’s new mobile unit, which provides patient care in western North Carolina through mobile technology and staff. The mobile unit – named Harmoni after a child born to E’Nisha Morris, a client of the pregnancy care center, is to serve WNC from Buncombe County and the west.

The celebration featured portraits of more than a dozen families who have received services from the center over the past two decades. Some stories told how the Pregnancy Care Center had helped them navigate the process of placing a child for adoption, while others explained how the center was available to concerned parents when doctors’ offices were full and unavailable. otherwise in the small rural town.

Macon County Sheriff Robert Holland, a former board member of the Pregnant Care Center, spoke about his detective work for the sheriff’s office when the body of a deceased newborn baby was found among the waste from the landfill. Sheriff Holland used this experience to show how important the centre’s resources are to the communities it serves.

The event also featured guest speaker Melissa Ohden. Ohden was born in Iowa in 1977 to a 19-year-old mother. Her story was supposed to end then, as her mother had had a saline abortion. Instead, she miraculously survived and was born weighing less than three pounds. Her tiny body was placed among the medical waste; however, a nurse who heard her cry saved her life.

Today, Melissa is a Masters-level social worker and author of “You Carried Me: A Daughter’s Memoir”. Her second book, which will focus on sharing the stories of other abortion survivors breaking their silence, will be published this year. She is the founder and director of The Abortion Survivors Network, the world’s only abortion healing and advocacy organization, and The Education and Policy Center, which has an impact on policy issues related to abortion and to abortion survivors. Melissa and her team contacted 384 survivors in April 2021.

Ohden spoke about the importance of the Pregnancy Care Center and its work in providing young families with options and resources throughout all stages of pregnancy. Ohden also encouraged those in attendance to donate to the center, which operates as a 501-C3 non-profit organization.

To find out more, visit SmokyPartners.com and if you are interested in supporting the centre’s efforts, your donation could help the center reach the goal of $ 80,000 to help centers stay free to customers, help us replace MMU ultrasound machine, deliver parenting program and rewards, and train another nurse for the mobile medical unit.


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