According to statistics, Delaware County has the biggest teen pregnancy problem per capita in the entire nation.
"Oklahoma is number one (in teen pregnancy) and Delaware County is number one in Oklahoma," said ABC Director Linda Smith.
Working on the front lines to help alleviate this local epidemic, the Abundant Blessings Center (ABC) opened its doors in Grove last week.
“We’re all ready,” said Smith.
ABC’s mission statement is “to show Christ centered love to women and families dealing with pregnancy-related issues. We will empower individuals by providing educational, spiritual, emotional, and material support and guidance.”
Smith, who is currently working on her masters degree in social work, and who has spent the past 30 years of her life helping unwed mothers, has been hard at work for many months to get the center up and running.
She is working in conjunction with the Grove Ministerial Alliance, which owns the building and has funded the first six months of operation.
“We are fortunate to have such a nice facility,” Smith said.
The building, which is located on Highway 10 next to the Christian HELP Center, features a classroom (to be shared with the HELP Center), two counseling rooms, an office, and a boutique, which will be stocked with a variety of baby items and maternity clothing.
The baby items and maternity clothes will be awarded to new mothers on a point system, Smith said.
New mothers may earn points for watching education videos and attending classes, and may then trade those points for baby supplies and maternity clothes.
“It will work like the Lighthouse Pregnancy Center in Jay,” Smith said.
Smith explained that the center deals with all pregnancy-related issues. Free pregnancy tests; educational materials; parenting, budgeting, and birthing classes; support groups for new moms, and post-abortion recovery support groups and one-on-one counseling are some of the many services ABC will provide.
She noted that Post Abortion Syndrome has many of the same symptoms as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
“It often goes undiagnosed because abortion is something women don’t talk about,” Smith said.
“We are offering a Biblically-centered study that will allow women who have had abortions to grieve, heal, and forgive themselves and others involved in the abortion,” she added.
The center is currently seeking volunteers for such diverse jobs as organizing the clothing boutique; peer counseling; accounting; fundraising, and grant writing.
ABC is open Monday and Tuesday afternoons fro 12:00 to 5:00 and Friday and Saturday by appointment. For more information, call 918-786-9557.
The center will be holding an open house Saturday, December 15th, from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.