Small Change Makes a Big Difference in Virginia

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Members of Ocean View Christian Reformed Church in Norfolk, Va., are using their loose change to change lives.

Collecting loose change in baby bottles raises money for the crisis pregnancy center in Tidewater, Va.

Every year the church holds a Baby Bottle Campaign fund-raiser for the Crisis Pregnancy Center of Tidewater.The center provides counseling and help for women with unwanted pregnancies.

“The idea is that members of the church can change a life using their spare change,” explained Gary Roest, pastor at Ocean View. Each January, church members take home one or two baby bottles and fill them with loose change throughout the month.

“Last year was a record year for our baby bottles,” said Desiree Gaul, communications manager for the pregnancy center. “We raised over $67,500 with the help of more than 60 churches and groups.”

The Crisis Pregnancy Center offers free medical services as well as parenting and prenatal care classes. They provide all of these services for free, including ultrasounds, which typically cost up to $300.

The small change from members of Ocean View CRC helps make big changes for women like Marnita, a college student who found out she was pregnant. Until she had an ultrasound, she was considering having an abortion. But seeing the “life that was inside of me, at only nine weeks, made everything clear. I decided to carry [the baby] to term,” she said.

Five years later, despite the scary decision Marnita made, she says, “I can definitely see how Christ worked the situation out.”

About the Author

Callie Feyen is a writer living in Ann Arbor, Mich. She attends First Presbyterian Church of Ann Arbor. Callie writes news for The Banner and contributes to Coffee+Crumbs, and T.S. Poetry Press. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing and is the author of The Teacher Diaries: Romeo and Juliet, and Twirl: My Life in Stories, Writing, & Clothes.