When the United Way cut off its funding to the Comox Valley Pregnancy Care Centre three years ago, the board was desperate to find a new funding source, said executive director Julie LeGoff.
Blending good psychology with good branding, the ministry came up with a — supporters in 16 churches took the bottles home and filled them with loose change.
“We distributed them on Mother’s Day after showing a two-minute video and collected them on Father’s Day,” said LeGoff, a graduate of Burnaby’s Life Bible College (now Pacific Life). The results this year: $22,000 — and a lot of volunteer coin rolling.
“Luckily the summer isn’t too busy, and the board did a lot of it,” noted LeGoff. “But one lady at the Catholic church, which is one of our biggest donors, did all of theirs while she was watching TV with her husband.”
The pregnancy centre has three part-time staff and seven office volunteers. About 60 clients walk through the doors — drawn by bus ads and the website — each year, said LeGoff, “so we have to use volunteers.”
The centre has been in the Comox Valley for 20 years — long enough for second-generation business. “A woman came in with her pregnant daughter, saying, ‘You helped me 20 years ago, and now you can help my daughter,'” said LeGoff with a sigh.
The centre offers counselling and referrals to other helping agencies such as the Salvation Army and government programs. LeGoff recently held a ‘Purity Weekend’ for teenage girls from many churches, which she said was a big hit. “One girl came up to me after who was so excited. ‘I took 17 pages of notes,’ she told me.”
LeGoff hopes to get into the schools, where, she noted, Planned Parenthood is already giving sex education instruction — and being paid for it.