The Pregnancy Help Center of Lufkin celebrated 35 years of operation and the paying off of its building at 401 Gaslight Boulevard.

“We are very, very thankful,” executive director Paula Havard said. “It is because of the generous support of this community that we were able to do this. Thank you so much.”

The center’s motto for 2020 is “Ripple Effect for Life.”

“Not only do we, of course, care about the unborn and helping families feel secure and have the hope they need to bring life into this world, but also to educate them and help them feel joy in the journey of parenting,” Havard said.

“Anytime you support the Pregnancy Help Center with diapers, wipes, any kind of financial gift or through your prayers, you’re having a ripple effect through the Pregnancy Help Center of Lufkin so that we can be equipped to do what we need to do in the lives of parents.”

Kim Warner, nurse manager for the center, has been performing pregnancy tests and ultrasounds at the center for almost four years. She joined the center because she said as a single mother that she has a heart for helping people, especially women.

“I love that it is a Christian organization and I can share my faith and help teach moms how to be better moms and what to expect,” Warner said.

Warner started shortly after the center started in its new building, but she had seen where it had operated before. She said the building was small and old.

“This was the old OB-GYN building, so it was very neat that God allowed us to purchase this one,” she said.

Attendees of the red carpet celebration enjoyed refreshments and toured the newly paid-off building, stopping to pray at certain places designated by the staff.

Karen Erbey and Julie Brooks of Seasons of Hope attended the celebration. They said they have admired the center for years because of its mission.

“Their mission is to make a place for the babies, to make a place for those who need an option,” Erbey said. “They open their heart and help women who don’t feel like they have a way out.”

This is just the beginning for the center, and it will only grow from here, Erbey said. Brooks said she remembers volunteering at the center when it first opened.

“God’s going to do great things and open more doors,” Brooks said. “This is just the beginning.”

Grace Juarez’s email address is grace.juarez@lufkindailynews.com.

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