By Craig Marx, Editor
With a tremendous turnout last week at the Fellowship Hall at Peace Lutheran Church, the Hope Life Center celebrated its 2017 banquet with a look at the strides the program has made in the last half-decade and the bright future of the Center’s optimistic and compassionate community service.
Hope Life Center has been operating for five and a half years now at its current location (622 Fifth Ave), providing pregnancy care and services on the path of the Christian faith for the Antigo area. The Antigo location is directed by Christina Wilson, who, like many others in the program, once utilized the loving services of Hope herself and now administers the care she once received.
The Hope program provides free pregnancy services for the Langlade County community, especially those who are unable to afford costly hospital or clinical testing. The Center has expanded its scope to include more information and testing on sexual transmitted diseases as well, helping to deter STDs and aid in its clients’ sexual integrity.
The Center provides pregnancy testing, limited OB ultrasounds, sexually transmitted infection/disease testing and treatment, options counseling, abortion recovery support, pregnancy and parenting education, and other sexual health information. Hope Life prides itself on its confidentiality and integrity, helping those who may feel overwhelmed with the sudden burdens of both pregnancy and unexpected parenthood with physical care, mental reassurance, and spiritual guidance.
Executive Director Jack Hoogendyk spoke about both the impact the Hope program has had on the community, as well as the local support that has helped sustain the Antigo Center as it enters its sixth year of operation.
“I want to thank all our many, many supporters that have given and done so many things for us,” Hoogendyk said at last week’s dinner banquet. “We are so thankful for everything that you as a community have provided for us. We’ve seen an increase in client growth and testing. Our use of social media has really helped us to get response from the community and so much more can be done to help younger people know the services we offer.”
The banquet outlined those services that the Center provides, including the ever-important aspects of dealing with the emotional and spiritual issues that are tied with the pregnancy and sexual health. A presentation by the AXIS group also demonstrated the need to be aware of potential risk factors that may lead to young pregnancies and unhealthy sexual conduct, especially in the instantaneous world of modern convenience.
Many clients leave and return to the Center over the course of their parental experiences and the door is always open to both new and returning members seeking Hope’s faith-based guidance through the difficulties that the Center sees often in single parents and unsure potential mothers looking for both support and answers.
As discussed at last week’s banquet, the opportunity to reach people in the more remote regions of Langlade County and beyond could be facilitated with the addition of a mobile pregnancy unit. The Center has been evaluating this potential service, seeing the added benefits of providing mobile pregnancy testing along with services that traditionally would not be available in outlying areas.
More information is available at www.hopewi.org or by calling (715) 843-4673.