The tough call to change your ministry name

By Faith Report,

Changing a ministry name is tough.   Sometimes it can lead to the ruin.  Last year, NW Medical Teams made the big switch to Medical Teams International. They grew into 100 countries and the local NW name was too limited for their scope.  The ministry said, “Our new name will help us attract volunteers and supporters from across the United States and internationally. We will also be able to help more people more effectively.”  It worked.  Now in 2009, the House of Ruth is making the same tough call.  They are a Hillsboro home helping unwed young girls, but their ministry name is the same as a national chain of domestic violence shelters.  This results in a mix-up of phone calls, internet searches and donations.  The House of Ruth changed their name to Saint Child.  Below is their story on their recent change.

Saint Child Press Release

The House of Ruth announced today that the charities’ Board of Directors has approved a name change to Saint Child, effective immediately. Further, it was announced that Saint Child anticipates growth and incorporation of other maternity homes located in strategic areas of Oregon and Washington. Saint Child intends to expand its operations from a single maternity home in Hillsboro to two additional homes in the region by the end of the year.

“We are excited to announce a new venture in the future of Saint Child,” explained Saint Child’s Executive Director Jackie Pride. “Saint Child has made an amazing change after 10 years of service to pregnant unsupported young women. We are now well equipped to expand our service capabilities during this critical time of need.  Our current home can house 5 young women and their children.  By expanding we are able to triple the amount of young women served.”

Mrs. Pride noted that the name change to Saint Child would eliminate past confusion between The House of Ruth and a nationwide chain of domestic violence homes of the same name.  “Saint” being a holy word that reflects goodness, sacrifice and devotion, the twelve apostles are considered saints throughout history; even though they started out as the sinners and outcasts of society.  “Child” We are focused on saving these children – the ones in the womb as well as the ones with the womb.

Mrs. Pride states that Saint Child’s success is a direct result of the years of experience working with and the priority placed on, understanding the needs of serving pregnant young women and their unborn in our surrounding local area as well as reintegrating sustainable families into the community.

The purpose and objectives for each young woman finding shelter during her pregnancy has not changed.  Our foundational program remains the same as does our family model in meeting the needs of unsupported pregnant young women. Saint Child’s primary goals are to assist pregnant young women who would otherwise be homeless and alone at a time when they are making important decisions that impact the rest of their lives, not to mention the lives of their unborn children.  Our primary method of assistance is through residential care for young women, ages 14-24; this includes providing food, clothing, shelter, guidance, emotional support and hands-on life skills training.

Saint Child’s services include prenatal care, childbirth preparation, hands-on life skills, parenting education, personal relationship and boundaries, nutritional education, support in educational opportunities, counseling, financial budgeting and more.  We network with many social service agencies, schools and the child-welfare system in Oregon to reach the young women who would otherwise be alone at the most vulnerable time of their life.  Without help many of these young women are at risk for having an abortion, continued housing instability and/or perpetuating the cycle of abuse and neglect in their family.

Saint Child envisions unified efforts of people with the same heart and mind that want to make a regional impact as thousands of pregnant young women are supported and their babies are saved annually. Saint Child sees a community coming together to share and support pregnant young women in their unplanned pregnancies.  This includes involving the surrounding communities as resources.

Saint Child maternity homes envision working in conjunction within the surrounding community to coordinate efforts to help these single young women raise or adopt their children.  As well as teaching these young women sustainability as they raise their children to participate in a loving, caring home life and in community activities resulting in breaking the cycles of repeated generational patterns of abuse and neglect.

Saint Child is the only known private licensed maternity home operating in Washington County, opening our doors and operating since 1999.  Since 1999 we have served over 80 young women and their children.  Our days of care since 1999 average 3500.  What does a day of service cost?  It costs $421.91 a day per five (5) women and their children to provide food, shelter, clothing, guidance, emotional support and much more.  That breaks down to $10.55 for a young mother and her child per hour.

Saint Child’s original Hillsboro location is successful as a result of the Washington County Hillsboro Elks 1862 gracious lease of $1 a year of the original, ready to be demolished, 1909 McLaughlin house in the Orenco area.  While this project was originally a mission of Calvary Chapel Worship Center, the original founders of The House of Ruth, Jeff and Jeannie Kramer, began the renovation of a 1909, 8500 sq. foot home in February of 1995.  The completion of this construction and renovation and much volunteer sweat equity opened the doors and served the first young mother in 1999.

Saint Child’s Board consists of five positions (we currently have one position open).   Our Board is a working Board and like any organization of one mind and one heart that works toward the primary goals of assisting pregnant women who would otherwise be homeless and alone at a time when they are making important decisions that impact the rest of their lives, not to mention the lives of their unborn children.

Our current Board members are:

Amy Elder,  Chair
Jerry Carleton,  Secretary
Kevin Satterlee,  Treasurer
Summer Widmer, Board
Jackie Pride, President and CEO (non-voting)

Saint Child would not exist without the efforts of our many volunteers, churches, the local community and our hard working staff.

We are solely funded by donations by local businesses, churches and individuals.  We would like to increase our potential for raising funds and broaden our resources.  Would you consider supporting this vital charitable organization that reaches out to pregnant and unsupported young women?

For more information please visit our website or call the Saint Child office at 503/648-4227.

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