GATE Pregnancy Resource Center is a safe place for pregnant women and their partners to learn about their options, find supplies for their first year as parents, and gain the skills and knowledge to be confident moms and dads.
GATE stands for Giving, Assisting, Teaching and Empowering. Let's break down the four components of the services offered by GATE Pregnancy Resource Center.
GIVING love, compassion and resources
Women who are pregnant or suspect they may be pregnant are welcome at either of GATE's two locations in Concord and Harrisburg. On their first visit they can take a free pregnancy test and learn from a trained coach about all the options available to them.
"This is a no-judgment zone," says Executive Director Mary Fainn. "We want our clients to have a place to come to where they feel safe. Everything we do is confidential and permission-based."
While GATE is a Christian ministry with the ultimate goal of helping its clients become equipped and confident parents, no client is ever judged or turned away for his or her decision. "We offer options information. What our clients chooses is their decision," says Mary. GATE does not refer or offer abortions or abortifacients.
As a community resource, GATE is tied into the network of agencies and organizations designed to help underserved populations. So if a woman comes to GATE for services, but also needs help with groceries or stable housing, the team at GATE knows exactly who to call for help. "We always follow through to make sure our clients get what they need," says Mary.
ASSISTING with life issues and instilling hope
Pregnancy, childbirth and parenthood can be overwhelming, especially for those who lack resources. GATE pairs each client with a trained coach who helps her navigate the journey. Expectant fathers can participate in the DadStrong program, where they get paired with a male mentor for encouragement and guidance. GATE also offers SAVEONE, a Bible Study for anyone in the community struggling with a past abortion.
TEACHING women and men to be prudent parents
The Earn While You Learn program allows clients to take pregnancy, infant care, life skills and parenting classes to accumulate points they can use for baby supplies and maternity clothes. "We do this to preserve our clients' dignity," says Mary. "This is not a hand out. They are earning and making their own choices."
GATE offers a slate of workshops designed to equip clients with the skills and knowledge to be confident parents. Topics include money management, cooking, infant first aid and more. Representatives come in to teach clients about the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). The fire department comes in to demonstrate car seat installation and do a free car seat check. Clients may also participate in individual classes with their coach and learn about pregnancy trimesters, preparing for childbirth, breast feeding, etc.
Points from the Earn While You Learn program can be used at the Stork's Nest Boutique, offering everything parents and babies need for the first year, including maternity clothes.
GATE is able to stock the boutique almost completely through donations. "I get so overwhelmed by the generosity of this community," says Mary.
EMPOWERING women and men to give back to the community
GATE relies on a small staff and many volunteers to serve its clients. "We love our volunteers," says Mary, who says people can serve on the Board of Directors, help in the boutique, help translate for Spanish-speaking clients, pitch in to do office work, teach a class, or help with community events. Learn more here. You can also call 704.455.5200 to talk to a staff member or schedule a tour.
Short on time? You can help today by making a financial donation or registering for the annual fundraising banquet on September 24. You can also provide supplies to the Stork's Nest by donating items or donating through the Give Shop Wishlist. Target and Wal-Mart gift cards are helpful when a client needs something specific, and Uber vouchers and bus passes are useful, as many clients don't have access to transportation.
"We want people to know we are here, we care, and we love and appreciate our community and clients," says Mary. "Whatever you are going through, you are welcome here."
To learn more about GATE Pregnancy Resource Center, visit gateprc.org or call 704.455.5200.Grace Kennedy is a Huntersville-based writer specializing in storytelling for nonprofits. Learn more at gracekennedy.net.