Today is “Giving Tuesday” and we are currently in the middle of our Year-End fundraising campaign. Fundraising is a must in our line of work, but, as I have said before, fundraising is not our goal; it is simply a vehicle used to reach our goal.

Non-profit work, by nature, requires your gifts. We could not provide the free expert care at HOPE without the generous donations of individuals, churches, and businesses. A pregnancy test would be turned away, our three ultrasound machines would be non-existent, and our desire to provide parenting education and baby showers to first-time moms would be just that, a desire, without your gifts.

Thankfully, this is not our truth because you showed up and you gave. We provided 816 pregnancy tests, 457 ultrasounds, and 527 STD tests over the last year because you gave. We scheduled 2237 appointments, mentored and educated 55 first-time moms, and threw 50+ baby showers over the last year because you gave.

A mom felt loved and supported because you gave. A dad had the opportunity to change the course of his life because you gave. A young woman facing impossible odds saw the light at the end of the tunnel because you gave. A baby was given a chance to taste freedom because you gave.

These are not arbitrary clichés or anecdotes. These are truths that occurred because you cared about your neighbor in need.

We see brokenness and hurt every day at HOPE. We hear the stories of physical abuse, struggles with addiction, and economic hardships. We get bogged down as we fight in the trenches for our patients. We struggle to understand some of the choices that are made or the obstacles in the way of life.

We mourn over miscarriages, anomalies, and the patient that leaves with abortion on her mind. We, however, don’t find our home there. Instead, we are encouraged and motivated to keep fighting because thousands of you are willing to fight with us.

Your prayers, volunteering, and donations do more than help with our budget. They breathe life into this ministry. We get to answer God’s call on our lives because you partner with us.

We get to tell that new mom she is not alone because you give. We get to tell that person struggling with addiction that there is a better way because you give. We get to hold that precious baby girl or boy and shower them with gifts because you give.

HOPE will celebrate 20 years in 2017. During this time we have served close to 25,000 patients and have seen moms, dads, and babies saved because you gave.

As we look to the future and reflect on the past this Christmas season, I would ask you to prayerfully consider what your involvement and engagement may look like at HOPE. Every dollar you give will be used to serve this community and the most vulnerable among us.

We are beyond blessed to call Knoxville home and to call you a friend. The past 20 years have been remarkable and we look forward to standing with you for many more as we celebrate the amazing gift of life!

posted by Andrew Wood, Executive Director of Hope Resource Center