TRANSPORTATION: As a fairly recent transplant to Asheboro, I’m impressed with the direction the city and county are growing. Yet, after observing for a year, I have an important question — where the heck is the public transportation??
I understand that taxi licenses are hugely expensive and a bus system is currently cost-prohibitive, but I contend again and again with the consequences of this.
I’m the director of a non-profit in town, and our clients struggle to get to their appointments. They tell me that RCATS just doesn’t work for them for an assortment of reasons. Instead, they depend on an elaborate network of friends and family members — some to take them, others to pick them up, sometimes requiring them to remain at our center for a long period waiting on their ride. Many resort to walking long distances. For the more fortunate who have a car, they don’t have funds to repair them, so when their cars break down with even minor issues, they are back to walking and bumming rides. My own husband has done minor car repairs for the clients of one nonprofit so they can get back to their jobs.
I know I speak for a host of non-profits in town when I say that transportation is a huge issue for all of us. We can’t do the work we are called to when clients cancel because their ride fell through or their car died again.
We teach classes that equip new moms with education about how to care for themselves and their unborn baby. We coach new parents how to be the best parents they can be through tools and education. But it’s distressing to us when new parents, unprepared and uncertain about parenting, begin to develop confidence and new skills, only to be sidelined due to lack of transportation to the center.
The lack of public transportation, including an Uber or Lyft ride-hailing service, has been the topic of discussion among the non-profits in town. April Culp, client services director of Your Choices Randolph, says that “lack of transportation seems to be one of the greatest obstacles …This barrier limits the capacity of our clients to receive adequate education and services that would contribute to their overall health and wellness.
Dare Spicer, director of the Family Crisis Center, addressed the fallout. “Due to the lack of transportation in Randolph County, clients must rely on staff to transport them to necessary services as well as job searches … The cost for this is thousands of dollars a year that could be put toward other client needs, to say nothing of staff time tied up transporting clients while other clients in crisis have to wait for an available advocate.”
I’d love to see a non-profit Uber service develop, one that would serve the clients of non-profits primarily, and then the community at large as it expands. If it serves non-profits, might there be grants available to kick-start the program?
In the fight to save the unborn, the mother was forgotten. In the fight to save the unborn, the father was nowhere to be seen. In the fight to save the unborn, the command, “love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39, NIV), was ignored. Why did we start fighting the mother and not give voice to the father? Where is the Church in the command to love?
Fighting the women who feel abortion is their only choice or the right choice, is not the fight that needs to be made. These women do have a choice to make and they do not need to be shamed into keeping a child. Instead of making the sole focus on the unborn child, the focus needs to be turned to the mother. She needs to be heard and loved. She needs to have guidance in making a parenting decision. Parenting and adoption are not the easy roads, but they are both life-giving. Women need someone to walk alongside of them so that they can choose life for their child. In the decision making, where does the father of the child come into the picture?
The Father seems to be nowhere in sight when the decision between life and death is on the table. The sole right is given to the mother as if she made the child in her womb by herself. There are many reasons and possibilities as to why this has happened but the point is the father is valuable and needed. The father has the responsibility to take care of the mother and child as protector, provider, leader, and to “love his wife as Jesus loves the Church” (Ephesians 2:25, 28, NIV). The Church also has an invaluable place in the decision between life and death.
The Church must not shame a woman for being in an unplanned pregnancy. Jesus never shamed anyone, He met them where they were in life and loved them while showing them Truth. The Church has made bad decisions on how to handle some situations yes, but that is not the entire story. There have been many stories of love and help. There needs to be more love and help for those making hard decisions. Love and help can be accomplished through mentoring women and men facing unplanned pregnancies, and being a family that adopts children. Becoming a mentor is a life sacrifice. It is demonstrating what a family can look like, welcoming the mother and father into the home, supporting and guiding in the difficult situations. Becoming a family that adopts shows that life is important to you. These are just a couple of ways to help those who need it the most.
Instead of fighting the mother, embrace her. Instead of leaving out the father, teach him. Instead of treating those in sin with contempt, be the Light they need. With these steps the unborn will be born, families will grow, and generations of strongholds will be broken in the fight for love in the name of Jesus.
Client Services Coordinator
Do you know your worth? If you are a young person, or if you can remember your teenage years, you know how difficult it can be to be fully confident in yourself and your abilities. One of the biggest psychological battles young people face is the difficulty of discovering their own identity apart from their peers. Many young people face this period of life without support from older peers, and often they feel they cannot discuss these insecurities with parents or other family members. That is why we at Your Choices Randolph are putting so much work into our WORTH program.
Right now, adolescents need mentors and peers who have already experienced the turmoil of adolescence. They may believe their parents and teachers don’t understand the difficulties they are facing as teenagers, but we hope we can encourage young people to view young adults and older adults as friends and mentors through this time in their life. Our WORTH leaders are trained to walk with adolescents and help them to recognize their individual worth and dignity.
Today, I participated in the Huddle program at Randolph Community College and Randolph Early College High School. This program is a joint effort between our WORTH program and Campus Impact, who is working to get students more involved on campus. When we met today, we spoke with students about their life goals. At first, they told us where they hoped to transfer to for university. After that discussion, the WORTH coordinator, Mary, explained to them that life goals do not have to be concrete things. They can also be abstracts, such as character goals, relationship goals, and physical or emotional goals. This led to a wonderful discussion with the students regarding character and relationship goals. One student told us that she felt it was very important to have a partner who is compatible with her Christian spirituality. Another student stressed the importance of getting to know yourself before placing yourself in a serious romantic relationship. All of the students had great input and life stories to share. If you have young people in your life, either through a church, a job, or a volunteer position, these are great conversations to have. Encourage them to communicate their goals and to discuss any obstacles they may be meeting in life. Having these conversations empowers young people to believe in their own worth and dignity. It can be the difference between a young person who is independent, and a young person who is unable to support themselves, whether spiritually, emotionally, or physically.
If you are someone who enjoys being a mentor, I highly recommend involving yourself in the WORTH program. Not only do we meet with students at RCC and Asheboro High School, we also have a WORTH club that will begin meeting at the Your Choices office in the near future. We hope to continue to grow this program and get more young people involved and interested in who they are, who they want to become, and how they can be an asset to their community. Email Mary at email@example.com if you are interested in getting involved. We would love to have you!
September has arrived, and this means we have been in our new office for three months! In June, we made the transition from our first home on Cox Street to our new home at 110 East Walker Avenue. Many individuals, including past clients, volunteers, and donors, have stopped by to tour our new building and learn more about why the move was the best move for our organization.
So why was purchasing a new building the best move for YOUR CHOICES Randolph? We have had several folks inquire about our decision to relocate, and we want to provide an answer.
YOUR CHOICES Randolph desires to become a center of excellence. We have been implementing processes and action steps focused on expanding our services to the public. We want to strengthen and grow our Client Services department by offering free ultrasounds and free STI/STD testing. At this time, these are YCR’s two primary goals.
As we started the visioning and planning process, we realized that our previous location prevented us from implementing ultrasound and STI/STD services. To begin the new services, we needed an ultrasound room, outfitted to meet the medical needs of ultrasound equipment. We also needed a nurse station, as ultrasounds and STI/STD testing require medical personnel to serve on our staff. We are confident that the result of implementing these services will be a positive one, with more clients coming to YCR. Planning for more clients, we needed more than one client consultation room, and we needed more area for parking. We needed to create an education room to provide all the necessary training for the volunteers who serve at YCR, ensuring they feel equipped and confident to meet with our clients and students.
As a business, we also recognize the importance of considering all our potential clients, volunteers, employees, and community partners. This includes individuals who are disabled or have special needs. As we desire for all potential YCR supporters and clients to feel welcome and at home, we recognize the need for handicap accessibility. Our previous location was not handicap accessible, and remodeling to meet those needs would have been a costly expense, if our landlord even allowed it.
Our new location on Walker Avenue has provided the necessary space, layout, and accommodations to expand our services and enhance existing ones. Feel free to come by our office anytime Monday – Thursday to tour our new facility and learn how YCR is striving to meet needs in the Asheboro and Randolph County community.
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10 How does this scripture and others like it encourage us to be volunteers and do Christ’s work in the world?
We know that we are saved by our faith, and not our works. However, does Jesus not command us to do good works in his name? He needs His followers to minister to the “least of these,” as described in Matthew 25:40. As followers of Christ, we need to be vigilant in reaching out to those in need. Not only will it make you feel good to do something nice, but it might be you who leads someone to the Lord. There are so many community ministries that need volunteers, and God has blessed you with specific gifts to serve with. This is outlined in 1 Peter 4:10, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” As it says in the Ephesians 2:10, God has prepared us to do His work on the Earth. It is up to us as Christians to bring the Kingdom to Earth, so what are you waiting for? There’s no time to waste. We live in a world full of lost people, and it could be you who is needed to help another child of God find their way. If you have been blessed in life, help your community by passing on some of those blessings. Jesus Himself said, “It is more blessed to give than receive.”
If you aren’t sure how to begin, start by giving YOUR CHOICES Randolph a call at (336) 629-9988. We can tell you about our wealth of volunteer opportunities, the training process for volunteers, and send you an interest form so you can tell us where your talents lie. We are eager to meet community members and work together to build up God’s kingdom on the Earth. The main areas you can serve in are client services, education, administrative services, and community outreach. Feel free to call us Monday through Thursday between 9 am and 5 pm, or come by our new location on E Walker Ave. during those times and we can provide you with a tour of our facilities. If you are unable to volunteer, please keep YOUR CHOICES Randolph in your prayers and pray about other ways you may be able to contribute to our ministry.