Five years ago, when Jennifer Carey moved from New York to Sarasota, she learned about Sarasota Medical Pregnancy Center at a diaper drive organized through her church. The organization caught her attention, and she decided to donate her time as a volunteer.
“I’ve always enjoyed mentoring children,” she says. “That’s always meant a lot to me. It really caught my heart to see that there’s so much we can give to people. Seeing their lives transformed as they come through here made all the difference; they come in feeling down and dejected, and the center looks at their entire life, not just from a medical perspective.”
The faith-based pregnancy center is dedicated to ensuring women and families dealing with unexpected pregnancies are equipped to make healthy decisions regarding parenthood by providing free pregnancy testing, ultrasounds, peer counseling, education, job-referral services and support through the first year of the babies’ lives.
Carey was so passionate about the cause that, after volunteering, she met with the previous director to put her business experience to use as a board member. Last year, she became director.
During her time at Sarasota Medical Pregnancy Center, Carey says she’s most enjoyed working with the women and families who come through the doors. She says the women often are facing a lot of uncertainty, and that it’s rewarding to be able to work with them through whatever decision they decide is best.
By working with them to ensure they have all the information and resources necessary to make an informed decision, Carey says clients are able to undergo a substantial transformation, and she enjoys hearing them express their gratitude afterward.
“As much as we think it’s nice to be able to give to someone else, our clients actually give more back to us,” she says. “We see them going through difficulty and hardships beyond what we can imagine, and it teaches us every day about life and what’s important. Seeing those transformations is terrific.”
BY THE NUMBERS
300 — Number of clients served in 2013
1,500 — Number of clients served in the past five years
5 — Number of years Carey has been involved with the center
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