First Source for Women fundraising telethon Oct. 29; talent search on through Sept. 30

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Image courtesy of First Source for Women

HANCEVILLE, Ala. – Hanceville-based pregnancy services organization First Source for Women (FSW) is getting creative and hosting a live telethon fundraising event that will be livestreamed Oct. 29, 2020 from 5-9 p.m. from Christ Hall at St. John’s Evangelical Church in Cullman, and the group is seeking local talent to take part.

According to FSW, “Singers, bands and other artistic talents are encouraged to submit a video audition that is two minutes or less. Individuals and groups that are selected will be asked to attend a rehearsal on Oct. 22 as well as the fundraising event on Oct. 29. Each participant will receive a telethon T-shirt!”

Video auditions can be emailed to firstsourcetelethon@gmail.com until Sept. 30.

FSW said, “Show us what ya got!”

Virtual gala

Joe Johnson will host, and First Source’s Julia Rushing will co-host the live virtual event which will follow state COVID-19 safety guidelines for the performers at St. John’s. Audience members will “attend” the event via FSW’s social media but will be able to call in to volunteers to make donations.

Rushing told The Tribune, “It will be, as far as audience participation, it will be a virtual event; we’ll be livestreaming it on our Facebook page. 

“Anyone watching will be able to donate in one of two ways: they can either call in and make a pledge, or they can go to our website and there will be a donation link. We’ll have that information at the bottom of the screen throughout the entire telethon.”

On Oct. 29, starting at 5 p.m., find the telethon at www.facebook.com/firstsourcecullman. The Tribune will also offer a watch party from its page.

What is First Source for Women?

FSW Executive Director Catherine Bethell explained in a previous interview, “First Source for Women is a Christ-centered, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. We are a pregnancy care resource center offering education, compassion, love and ongoing support to the women we serve. We believe women can overcome any obstacle placed before them when given the correct information and support. 

“Although each woman that comes to us has her own unique story, there is a resounding common feeling…fear: the fear of what their parents will say, fear they cannot parent well, fear their plans and goals are gone forever, fear they cannot do this alone. This is our purpose, this is why we are here: to walk with them and show them the face of Christ, to show them that they are never alone.”

Services offered by FSW include:

  • Pregnancy testing
  • Limited ultrasounds by trained, licensed nurses
  • Confidential options education
  • Mentoring by a Life Affirming Specialist who will provide education, guidance and support for the duration of a client’s pregnancy
  • Positive choices sexual risk avoidance education
  • Access to the FSW baby boutique for clothes, diapers, baby supplies and baby beds
  • Mentoring for fathers and fathers-to-be by male counselors
  • Developing employment skills
  • Post-abortion counseling and recovery
  • Referrals to other community agencies (food, clothing, shelter, financial assistance, etc.)

 

All of FSW’s services are offered free of charge.   An “earn while you learn” program allows clients to take classes in childbirth, parenting skills, relationship skills, nutrition, health and other subjects- and receive for each class “mommy money” they can spend in the boutique for even more things.

The FSW “Storkmobile” mobile unit travels to outlying communities to provide onsite pregnancy testing and ultrasounds. 

Said Rushing, “We’ve really tried to be the type of place that can connect women and families to resources beyond what we have within our building. So of course, we have ultrasounds and pregnancy tests and parenting classes, and a free store. All of that is free of charge. But we also like to connect women into resources for whatever they might need in their life. We have a really great referral network in the county. We’re able to help women with food assistance, shelter assistance, vocational training, education connections if they need to go back to school or get their GED, or get things for their children, just to help them thrive long-term. We really try to take the phrase ‘pro-life’ and put that into action very literally.”

Pandemic challenges make this fundraiser crucial

Rushing said, “I would say we are stable, for now, but typically we are able to do a very large fundraising banquet in the fall. And that accounts for about two thirds of our budget. So we are counting on this event to make up for all the fundraising that we haven’t been able to do this year.”

Asked how the pandemic has affected day-to-day operations at the FSW clinic and office, Rushing replied, “We’re still very busy. It dropped off when everything was shut down. You know, we shut down; when the state mandated it, we did that. But I think, because of the pandemic, women, whether they’re married or not, are just very nervous about being pregnant right now. They’re worried about having healthy pregnancies, they might be worried financially about how they’re going to support their children. We’ve seen a steady stream of clients needing help and support, and they’re very appreciative of not just what we can do for them and their pregnancy and with material goods, but just the emotional support that we’re able to provide for them right now.”

Get involved

For more information on First Source for Women, visit www.firstsourceforwomen.org or call 256-352-5683.

Rushing told The Tribune, “We’ll be taking talent submissions until the end of this month, and still do need some people, so yes, we’d love for more people to apply: any sort of talent that they have. It doesn’t have to be a musical act.”

Email telethon video auditions to firstsourcetelethon@gmail.com by Sept. 30.

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W.C. Mann

craig@cullmantribune.com