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The London Pregnancy & Family Support Centre: A New Branding, Same Heart
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By Nigel Garnaitis

The London Pregnancy & Family Support Centre (LPFSC) (previously known as “The London Crisis Pregnancy Center”) has provided compassionate and practical support to women, men, and families facing unplanned pregnancy for over 25 years. The foundation for the ministry is the deep love of Jesus, which manifests itself in the centre’s real, effective, and humane outreach.

Women facing the stress of unplanned pregnancy may not be aware of the many options that exist to help them and their families. By focusing on prevention (sexual realities education), intervention (through options counseling support throughout the pregnancy), and reconciliation (post-abortive grief support, counseling through affairs, etc.), the staff and volunteers at the LPFSC hope to empower the individuals and families they encounter.

Many at the centre felt that it was time for the organization’s branding to change. Although the previous name emphasized the “crisis” intervention aspect of their work, it failed to include a central part of their mission and programs: building strong, healthy families. Lori Bethel, the LPFSC’s Executive Director, said it best: “It was about time our name got caught up to what we were actually doing!”

The centre has expanded with the name change, recently hiring a new peer support worker. The new hire, much to the team’s delight, is also a past client. “I can remember the day, we went in at four in the morning,” Linda Suchard, Client Services Director said, sharing the story. “I said to her, ‘You’ve got to get your life together! I can take you so far, but, where you are, only Jesus can take you.’ ... She says to me, ‘Linda, take me to Jesus right now!’” Both Lori and Linda laughed with joy. Lori explained why it was so exciting for the centre to hire this young woman, “Well, she lived it, right?” Now she is able to speak into the lives of women in powerful ways, understanding their journey, but knowing that there is hope on the other side.

Much of the work of the centre is facilitated by volunteers, who perform tasks ranging from assisting with fundraising and cleaning the care closet all the way to board membership. The centre provides many programs and services, including pregnancy tests, options counseling, maternity and baby items clients, post-abortion support and education, and support groups for moms (STEP), fathers (STEP-UP), and grandparents (GRIP). The team also provides effective referrals for medical care, adoption, community services, professional counseling, and accommodations search assistance.

During our conversation, I was also introduced to Cindy, a young mother of two and a graduate of the program. Cindy commented a number of times during our conversation how glad she was that the name had changed. “I didn’t want to come!” she shared. “My mom made me come. When I got here it was okay, but the crisis part makes you feel like you have a problem… Sure, I mean if you’re pregnant, that’s a crisis, but there are different perspectives.”

Fortunately, the name change has opened more doors within the community. “You know, many of our clients don’t see themselves in crisis...” Lori mentioned. “For some, it’s like, ‘This is my life! This is it. Its not crisis to me, this is just the way it is.’ … Because we’re a holistic approach – body, soul, and spirit, including family – we had to include family in the name.”

Lori and Linda speak about the work of the centre with deep conviction and joy. They shared stories upon stories of children who would not have been born, families that would not be together, or situations that would have dissolved to despair. “You know, this is God’s ministry,” Lori said. “Its such a privilege to be a part… We get way more than we give!”

There are many ways to get involved with the London Pregnancy & Family Support Centre. Currently, their care closet is running low on diapers (size 3-6), wipes, baby toiletries, Soothers (Nuk & Mam), and new baby clothing (size 0-2). They are also looking for a small group (either from a church, a community, or even just friends) to prepare a meal for their GRIP program.

If you are interested in supporting the LPFSC and want to hear more stories, make sure to mark your calendars for their 26th Annual Banquet. It will take place on Friday, April 7, 5pm, at the Hellenic Community Centre, and will be an evening of celebrating what God has done, sharing stories, and enjoying a delicious meal. You can email the LPFSC at, call them at 519-432-7098, or drop in Monday to Thursday on location at 261 Piccadilly St., London ON.

Photos (taken by Nigel Garnaitis)
*Logo is taken from the LPFSC website.