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Tag Archive | "Alpha Family Center"

Alpha Family Center showcased services at Capitol

Alpha Family Center Executive Director Teresa Hathaway with 74th District State Rep. Mark Huizenga. Courtesy photo.

Alpha Family Center of Cedar Springs participated in the Empowering Women, Strengthening Communities event on Thursday, May 13 at the state Capitol. The event brought together over 30 organizations from throughout Michigan to meet with local lawmakers. Adoption agencies, maternity homes, and pregnancy care centers showcased the essential services they provide to pregnant women, new moms, and adoptive families in their communities.

Annually, pregnancy resource centers provide over $6 million in pregnancy-related products and services for free to Michigan families.  This includes counseling, baby formula, clothing, diapers, ultrasounds, medical referrals, and parenting education, all made possible largely through private donations. Maternity homes provide young women with a safe place to live and learn during pregnancy and after the child is born. Adoption agencies, through the “open adoption” process, provide women the opportunity to choose a family for their newborn and suitable levels of contact to also maintain relationships with the child and their adoptive family. All throughout the state these organizations are available to walk with women through pregnancy and beyond.

If you or someone you know is in need of pregnancy support, please contact Alpha Family Center of Cedar Springs at 616-696-HELP (4357).  They offer/provide free pregnancy self-testing, parenting education, childbirth classes, post-abortion, miscarriage and sexual healing support, and are in the process of becoming medical in order to offer ultrasounds.

In conjunction with the event, House Resolution 104, sponsored by Representative Jack O’Malley, was passed by the Michigan House, commending pregnancy care centers and establishing May 13, 2021, as Pregnancy Resource Center Awareness Day.  The legislature also annually declares November as Adoption Awareness Month. Empowering Women, Strengthening Communities was coordinated by Michigan Catholic Conference and Michigan Family Forum.

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Alpha Family Center raises matching grant funds for ultra sound machine

Knights of Columbus to work with Alpha on rest of funding

by Judy Reed

Teresa Hathaway before
her hair cut.

If you’ve Teresa Hathaway, Executive Director of Alpha Family Center recently, you might notice that she’s sporting a new look. Teresa recently had several inches of her hair cut off as part of the incentive for people to donate during their 20/20 Vision for Life Ultra Sound campaign over the summer. 

Alpha decided earlier this year to begin the conversion process from a pregnancy care center to a pregnancy medical center and began raising the additional funds needed to do so during LifeWalk. 

Teresa Hathaway after her hair cut.

“By making the conversion to a medical center we will have the ability to provide free ultrasounds,” said Hathaway. “We understand the important role ultrasounds play in a woman’s decision when faced with an unexpected pregnancy. Ultrasounds have proven to change minds and save lives as women see and hear their babies.”

The deal was that if they raised $25,000 towards Lifewalk and $25,000 towards an ultrasound machine by Sept. 1, she would get her long, lovely locks shorn. It almost didn’t happen.

“As of Saturday, August 29, we had only raised $1,000 towards our goal of $25,000 for Alpha’s 20/20 Vision for Life Ultrasound Project. I had it in my mind to extend the deadline to raise the $25,000 to October 1st to give us more time,” explained Hathaway. “But apparently God had His own plans and it didn’t require more time, just hearts willing to be obedient to His leading.” 

On Sunday, August 30, she received an anonymous donation of $9,900 and then the very next day a couple provided Alpha with a check for $25,000.

“The funds that Alpha has raised are to be used towards the preparation needed in the conversion to a medical center so we can provide ultrasound services to our clients. This includes training, legal requirements, additional staff, insurance, renovations and media cost in promoting the new service to the communities,” she explained.

But what about the actual machine? “We can now publicly announce that the Knights of Columbus Council 15889 is working with the Supreme Council of the Knights of Columbus to purchase an ultrasound machine for Alpha Family Center of Cedar Springs,” said Hathaway. She received a copy of a letter from Father Lam, of St. John’s Parish, that explains the endeavor to supporters.

“We are working with the Supreme Council of the Knights of Columbus so that Alpha Family Center in Cedar Springs, Michigan can purchase an ultrasound machine. It helps women choose life by giving them the opportunity to view their unborn children on the ultrasound machines at a pro-life pregnancy center. This is how it works in term of funding for the machines: after the local council raises 50 percent of the cost, the Knights of Columbus Supreme Council will provide the other 50 percent to complete funding for the purchase of an ultrasound machine.

“How can you help? People who respect life from the moment of conception to our natural death write checks to the Knights of Columbus Council 15889 and mail them to St. John Paul II Parish, 3110 17 Mile Rd, Cedar Springs Michigan 49319. We hope to reach 50 percent of the funding, which is approximately $25,000, on October 22. Please make sure that the check is made out to the council and not to the parish.

“My sincere hope is that with your assistance we will reach our goal on October 22. Why this date? It is the Feast of St. John Paul II, the patron Saint of council 15889 and the Catholic parish in Cedar Springs. During this year, we commemorate the 100th birthday of this saint who during his earthly life served the church and the world as Pope and wrote a beautiful encyclical letter, The Gospel of Life. This letter serves as a foundation for many movements and reflections on the sanctity of life. Let’s celebrate this Apostle for Life by helping our community in Cedar Springs obtain the ultrasound machine for the Alpha Center.”

Hathaway said they will also be looking for a Medical Director for the center. “We praise our Lord for providing these funds and we are trusting in Him to also provide us with a M.D./D.O to serve as our Medical Director,” she said. 

To donate, make checks out to: The Knights of Columbus Council 15889

Mail them to: St. John Paul II Parish, 3110 17 Mile Rd, Cedar Springs Michigan 49319.

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Virtual LifeWalk challenge

Teresa Hathaway, Executive Director of Alpha Family Center

Teresa Hathaway, Executive Director of Alpha Family Center has issued a personal challenge to everyone!

If $50,000 can be raised by September 1, 2020 ($25,000 for LifeWalk and $25,000 for Alpha’s Ultrasound Project 20/20 Vision for LIfe!) she will have her hair cut and clipped off LIVE while riding on Alpha’s Red Flannel Festival Parade float on Saturday October 3, 2020. “If the parade is cancelled for whatever reason, I will have it done LIVE on Facebook,” she said.

As we announced last month, Alpha is hosting a Virtual LifeWalk this year. “Although we will not be gathering together for this year’s fundraiser, there’s nothing that says we can’t still have fun while fundraising for the life affirming ministry of Alpha Family Center,” said Hathaway. “Visit our website www.alphafamilycentercs.org and click on the Events page for more ideas on how to make it funand all the information you need to participant.”

There will be a Ministry Sync link to click on to register as a participant or to make a donation.

Everyone who registers through the Ministry Sync link  as a participant will receive a free LifeWalk t-shirt for every $200 they collect. (Collect $200 get free one t-shirt, Collect $1,000 get 5.) 

LifeWalk 20/20 Vision for Life! t-shirts may also be purchased through the Ministry Sync link. All profits from the sale of t-shirts will go to Ultrasound Project 20/20 Vision for Life. 

Pledge sheets may also be printed off from their website.

Virtual LifeWalk 20/20 Vision for Life continues through September 1, 2020.

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Virtual LifeWalk 20/20 Vision for Life

From Alpha Family Center

Due to COVID-19 restrictions in place, Alpha Family Center is hosting a virtual LifeWalk this year. Although we will not be gathering together for this year’s fundraiser, there’s nothing saying we can’t still have fun while raising funds for Alpha.

Our theme for this year’s LifeWalk is “20/20 Vision for Life”. Hosting it virtually means those who participate will need to use social media, phone calls, and emails to connect with their family, friends and co-workers to request their pledge of support. The virtual events runs from April 27 through on Sept 1, each participant who collects $500 or more in donations and/or pledges will earn a chance to win this year’s Grand Prize (TBD). We will announce the winner of Grand Prize on Alpha’s Facebook page after September 1, 2020. 

Our goal this year is to raise over $20,000. Together we can make a difference for LIFE! 

Go to our website www.alphafamilycentercs.org to print off a pledge form. 

A prize will be awarded to whoever demonstrates the most fun while fundraising.

Some suggestions on how to make fundraising FUN!

  • Challenge another individual, family or a church to see who can raise the most for Alpha. Include something fun that the losers have to do and share the photos with us. For example, get a pie in the face, color their hair a wild color, shave their head, or eat something extremely strange. Get creative and share the fun with us.
  • Host your own private LifeWalk event; include some of the fun things you would normally see at a LifeWalk. Maybe dad dresses up like a clown, face painting, bake cookies, wear matching t-shirts, a balloons release, and remember a time of prayer.
  • Decorate your bikes and have some family fun on your own LifeRide.
  • Make up some creative signs showing support for LIFE and go for a walk around your neighborhood. Don’t forget to make it fun! 
  • Hold your own LifeRun and award a medal to whoever wore the funniest running outfit.

Email us your photos of how you made this year’s virtual LifeWalk FUN! Email to: alphafamilycentercs@gmail.com. You may be the winner of a special prize!

When you contact your supporters let them know of all the giving options available this year

Giving options for Virtual LifeWalk 20/20

  • Mail: Make checks payable to “Alpha Family Center” with your name and LifeWalk written on memo line of check. Mail to: Alpha Family Center P.O. Box 450 Cedar Springs, MI 49319
  • Alpha’s website: www.alphafamilycentercs.org Event page and look for link for FundEasy and click on it to make a donation to LifeWalk 20/20.
  • FundEasy: If you are collecting pledges you will need to first register and create your own personal FundEasy page for your family, friends and co-workers to donate to. Go to Alpha’s Facebook page. There will be a LifeWalk 20/20 Vision for Life! FundEasy post, click on that to register. Once you are registered then others can begin making donations to your page.
  • Monthly Pledge (1 year commitment). For example if you usually donate $120 but want to make a $10 payment each month for one year you can. Simple make checks payable to “Alpha Family Center” with Monthly Pledge written on memo line of check. Mail to: Alpha Family Center P.O. Box 450 Cedar Springs, MI 49319
  • Faith Pledge: pledge any amount and pay by Sept. 1, 2020. Make checks payable to “Alpha Family Center/LifeWalk 20/20” with Faith Pledge written on memo line of check. Mail to: Alpha Family Center P.O. Box 450 Cedar Springs, MI 49319 before Sept. 1, 2020

Mail your completed pledge forms with any checks you have into:

Alpha Family Center, 

P.O. Box 450

Cedar Springs, MI 49319

Alpha has decided to begin the conversion process from a pregnancy care center to a pregnancy medical center and had hoped to begin raising the additional funds needed to do so during LifeWalk. By making the conversion to a medical center we will have the ability to provide FREE ultrasounds. We understand the important role ultrasounds play in a woman’s decision when faced with an unexpected pregnancy. Ultrasounds have proven to change minds and save lives as women see and hear their babies. If anyone would like to make an additional contribution directly to our Ultrasound Fund “Vision for Life” we would greatly appreciate your support in this life saving effort.

Alpha’s Virtual LifeWalk “20/20 Vision for Life!” T-shirts are available to purchase this year. Prices are $10-$12 and all profits from the sale of T-shirts will go directly into the “Vision for Life” ultrasound fund. T-shirts may be purchased when you register as a participant through FundEasy or in person at Alpha. The final T-shirt order will be placed on September 8th. You will be notified when your T-shirts are available for pickup.

To register for this event or to download a pledge form, go to https://www.alphafamilycentercs.org/Events and scroll down the page for the links.

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Celebrate life at LifeWalk

June 15

Alpha Family Center will host its annual LifeWalk/LifeRun/LifeRide events on Saturday, June 15, and the community is invited to come out to Morley Park, Cedar Springs for a celebration of Life

Over 80 walkers participated in the two-mile LifeWalk in 2018

Alpha Family Center has been a part of the Cedar Springs community since 1992. They are a non-profit, faith-based pregnancy care center serving hundreds in the West Michigan area. This year marks their 24th Annual LifeWalk at 10:00 a.m., and the 6th running of their 5K LifeRun at 8:30 a.m. Back by popular demand is the LifeRide bicycle event at 7:30 a.m. Participants choose from either a 10, 20, 30, or 40 mile leisure ride along the White Pine Trail (Helmets required.) 

LifeRun and LifeRide participants are asked to collect a minimum of $50 in donations in lieu of a registration fee to participate. Participants will receive a free t-shirt (while supplies last). There will also be Kid’s FunRun at 9:15 and the Baby & Me LifeCrawl 11:30.

LifeWalk is a great time for families. They will be face painting, a balloon release, refreshments, prizes and the chance for everyone to help families in a real way.

To participate in LifeWalk 2019 or for more information, stop by Alpha on Mondays 11-5, Tuesdays 10-7 & Wednesdays 10-4 or visit their website www.alphafamilycentercs.org. 

Participants are able to set up a personal fundraising page to share with family and friends on social media from their website or Facebook page. For more details on how to do this, click on the events tab or call 696-2616.

“For people who are looking for a practical and fun way to put their life-affirming beliefs into action, LifeWalk is the perfect opportunity, “says Teresa Hathaway, Executive Director of Alpha Family Center.

Last year, they were able to offer help 2,263 times to families with over 10,034 free baby items given out. Their services include: free self-pregnancy test, peer mentoring, community agency referrals, maternity, baby and toddler clothing and care necessities. They also provide accurate information on abortion, adoption, and sexually transmitted diseases, as well as sexual abuse, miscarriage and post-abortion support.

Alpha Family Center is “your family resource for life” located at 6 N. First Street, Cedar Springs.

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Alpha Family Center appoints development director

For over twenty-six years, northern Kent County has been home to Alpha Family Center of Cedar Springs, an organization that has supported over 6,000 families making life decisions. Chrystal Newman, longtime resident of Rockford, has taken on the role of Development Director. She will work to increase Alpha’s presence within the community by building relationships with individuals, churches and businesses.

From left to right: Teresa Hathaway, Executive Director, Chrystal Newman, Development Director, and Pastor Chuck Smith, Board President. Courtesy photo.

“I have been a supporter of Alpha Family Center for years and know the tremendous reputation it has within the community,” said Chrystal. “I am humbled to be part of such a dedicated organization.” When asked how the community could help, Chrystal stated that the Board of Directors is seeking two items in the immediate future. First, a gently used passenger van is needed for transporting clients. “We have seen too many women over the years unable to take advantage of community services because of lack of transportation,” she explained. The second way the community can help is by making a monetary donation to assist in paying off the existing mortgage balance of approximately $23,000. 

Alpha Family Center is known for providing an array of services to the community, including parenting education, material support with clothing, formula and diapers, etc., self-administered pregnancy tests, options education, as well as an onsite GED and H.S. diploma program. The Center’s board members are: Chuck Smith, Michael Kornoely, Tom Kaastra, Janice MacFarlane and Laurie Russo. Anyone wishing to volunteer or make donations can contact Alpha Family Center at 616-696-2616.

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Mobile bus offers free ultrasounds

The Positive Options bus outside of Alpha Family Center. Post photo by J. Reed.

The room inside the bus where ultrasounds take place. Post photo by J. Reed.

By Judy Reed

When a young couple boarded the Positive Options bus outside Alpha Family Center to get an ultrasound done, they were nervous. But once they were done, they were so excited that they showed the volunteers at Alpha the photos. 

“It was good to see that the father was excited, too,” said Wendy Meyers, the RMDS (Registered Medical Diagnostic Sonographer) from Positive Options. “We’ve found it’s key to women keeping their babies that the father is involved.”

Positive Options is partnering with the Cedar Springs Alpha Family Center this summer to offer free pregnancy testing and ultrasounds to those who need them. 

The clients come into Alpha to register with Meyers before getting the ultrasound. Many of the women who come in are in a desperate situation she explained, and so they try to calm them down, and help them see all angles of how the decisions they make about their pregnancy will affect their lives. 

“We try to take the emotion out of it and just give them facts,” said Meyers. That includes a magazine called “Before you decide.”

“Women don’t ‘want’ an abortion like they want an ice cream cone,” said Meyers. “It’s desperation—like a person who has their arm in a trap and chews it off. We calm them down and give them options.”

She also noted that one woman who took a pregnancy test was abortion-minded, but the pregnancy turned out negative. “We then had the opportunity to speak to her about STDS and other things that could harm her,” said Meyers.

Once an ultrasound is done, they refer the client to services that they need, and follow up with phone calls at certain points during the pregnancy. The ultra sound photos are reviewed by an OB back at Positive Options to make sure everything was done medically correct.

Positive Options has four other locations besides the bus—they have buildings in Holland, Allendale, Allegan, and Grand Haven.

Alpha Family Center pays for the bus to come on Tuesdays from 11 to 4. If you would like to offer support for this ministry, or would like to volunteer with Positive Options, you may call Alpha Family Center at 616-696-2616.

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Lifewalk celebrates 25 years

New this year was the baby & me Lifecrawl at Lifewalk. Courtesy photo.

Over 80 walkers participated in the two-mile walk through downtown Cedar Springs.
Courtesy photo.

Alpha Family Center held its 25th annual fundraising event, Lifewalk, on Saturday June 16. 

“It was a great day to celebrate life,” said Executive Director Teresa Hathaway. “This year’s theme was ‘Celebrating 25 years for Life!’ which relays the message we have been faithful in serving individuals and families with the issue of life,” she explained. 

The day began at 7:30 a.m. with their first LifeRide, a cycling event. They had 5 participants travel the White Pine Trail on either 10, 20, 30 or 40 miles ride, and had 9 runners taking part in Alpha’s 5K LifeRun. 

LifeWalk began with a welcome, instructions about the walk, and an opening prayer. They had 81 walkers follow behind the LifeWalk banner for the 2-mile walk down through the heart of Cedar Springs, stopping at key points to pray for community leaders, churches, schools and Alpha Family Center. 

“This year the walk once again included a prayer stop at Metron Senior Citizen Center to help emphasize life is precious at all stages,” said Hathaway.  

The walkers returned to the park to either participant in or watch our first Baby & Me LifeCrawl. This was a fun event for parents and infants. They had 4 teams join in the fun. This year a box lunch and cake was provided to those in attendance. There was also face painting and a clown for the children, and a Kid’s FunRun.

One difference in LifeWalk this year was that they had an online option available for those raising funds to use with their social media accounts. “We raised over $20,000!” remarked Hathaway. “LifeWalk covers a large portion of Alpha’s operating expenses as we assist over 100 families per year, and give away over 8,000 baby and maternity items per year.”  

Alpha also offers free pregnancy self-testing, parenting classes, support for abuse, miscarriage, post-abortion and sexual integrity classes. New this summer Alpha is partnering with Positive Options Mobile Medical Center in providing free ultrasounds to clients.

Hathaway presented the awards for top walkers. Lifewalk ended with a closing prayer and the sky filled with colorful balloons that were released in memory of the over 56,000,000 babies that have been aborted since abortion became legal in 1973.  

Alpha wishes to offer a special “Thank you” to the local communities for their ongoing support of Alpha throughout the years. See ad on page 5.

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By Judy Reed

For the first time in 22 years, Alpha Family Center of Cedar Springs had to cancel their LifeWalk, scheduled for June 17, due to inclement weather. But that didn’t stop the team from holding the event that is their biggest fundraiser.

“Thanks to Alpha Family Center’s Board President Sharline Winell’s quick thinking and the help of 18 volunteers we were able to host our first ever LifeWalk open house at Alpha from 9-11 a.m.,” said Executive Director Teresa Hathaway.

“Although our overall numbers were down from last year, we were pleased with the over 100 people who came out in support of Alpha. This was a great opportunity for people to visit the center for themselves to see how their efforts are used to serve families in Northern Kent County.”

Hathaway said they were also appreciated the opportunity to share future remodeling plans for reception area.

LifeWalk brought in just under $15,000 in pledges, which is short of the $20,000 goal. “We still anticipate the final number to go up as pledges continue to come in from those who didn’t venture out in the rain on Saturday,” explained Hathaway.

Alpha Family Center was established in Cedar Springs in 1992 as Alpha Women’s Center, one of several satellite centers of the main one in Grand Rapids. In 2006, they became independent and the name was changed to Alpha Family Center. They offer free and confidential self-pregnancy testing and counseling; important information on healthy relationships, dating, STDs, and self-esteem; abortion alternative counseling; referrals for adoption, medical, and housing; miscarriage and post-abortion support; material assistance; and more.

Alpha Family Center is located at 6 N. First Street in Cedar Springs, and they are open Monday through Wednesday. Please call 696-2616 or visit their website at www.alphafamilycentercs.org for more information.

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Hometown Happenings

Hometown Happenings articles are a community service for non-profit agencies only. Due to popular demand for placement in this section, we can no longer run all articles. Deadline for articles is Monday at 5 p.m. This is not guaranteed space. Articles will run as space allows. Guaranteed placement is $10, certain restrictions may apply. You now can email your Hometown Happenings to happenings@cedarspringspost.com please include name and phone number for any questions we may have.

Alpha Family Center LifeWalk

June 17: Alpha Family Center will hold its 22nd Annual LifeWalk – Humanity 101 on Saturday, June 17th at 10 am Morley Park in Cedar Springs. There will also be a 5K LifeRun at 8:30 am, registration at 7:30 am and a Kids FunRun (ages 5-11) at 9:15 am, LifeWalk at 10 am, registration at 9 am. For more information and pledge forms visit AFC website: alphafamilycentercs.org. #22-24b

Dinner at the Legion

June 19: American Legion, 80 S. Main St. Cedar Springs, is hosting a Swiss Steak dinner on Monday, June 19th, from 5 – 7 pm. Included will be mashed potatoes, baked beans, veggies, salad, roll, dessert and drink. The cost is $9 for adults, children (15 and younger) $4.00. Come and enjoy home cooking. Take out is available. 616-696-9160.  #24p

Cedar Springs Youth Football SIGN-UPS

June 20: Flag: 4-7years olds, Rocket: 3rd-6th grades, and  Middle: 7th-8th grades. Burger King: 6/20: 6pm-8pm. Skinner Field: Tues & Thurs 7/11-7/27 5:30pm-7:30pm. Contact: April Victorson (616)890-5869 csyflsecretary@gmail.com. #19-26b

Michigan Blood Drive

June 20: Michigan Blood Drive on June 20th at the Cedar Springs United Methodist Church from 12:30 pm until 7:00 pm. Anyone attempting to donate will receive a Cedar Springs Brewing coupon. We would like to thank the local business for supporting our blood drives. The need for blood is high during the summer with people on vacation. Each donation has the potential to save 3 Michigan lives. The Blood Center thanks all the people that donate at the Cedar Springs blood drive. #24

Introduction to Papermaking

June 22: Transform junk mail into decorative sheets of paper in this hands-on program for adults. Thursday, June 22nd at 6 pm at Spencer Township KDL Branch, 14960 Meddler Ave., Gowen. #24

Blessing of the Bicycles

June 24: Event to be held on Saturday, June 24th from 1-3 pm at The Springs Church parking lot, corner of Oak and First St. Several used Bikes have been graciously donated this year and will be available for those that may not have a bike, while supplies last. We will also have minor bike repairs in site and many fun things for the kids to do. The Blessing will be given at 2:30 pm by Pastor Greig followed by a New Bike give away. Blessing is open to Riders of all ages. Hope to see you there! #24,25p

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Ray Winnie
Intandem Credit Union


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