The Annual Life Investors’ Celebration for FirstLook Pregnancy Clinic was held Jan. 29 at the Waxahachie Civic Center. The night was filled with hope,laughter and tears. This year’s theme, “Keep Calm and Carry On” is the in- house theme at the clinic. It was first used in 1939 by the British government on motivational posters in preparation for WWII. It intended to raise the morale of the British public. Vernon Witherspoon, President of the Board, expressed appreciation to everyone that supported them in the past and encouraged everyone to continue that support. He said that their goal in 2016 is expansion of services. He said they would need a larger facility to do so.

“We are very honored to have been voted Non-Profit of the Year by the Waxahachie Chamber of Commerce,” said CEO Donna Young. “We spend time on our knees in prayer and rely

on God’s power to plant seeds of hope.”

Young shared their goals for 2016. She said they want to hire an educational director, open satellite classes across the county, expand hours andprovide more counseling, add nursing staff and procure more space.

“As of this week, The Avenue Church is partnering with us for a new facility,” Young continued. “They are open to donating one acre of land at the end of YMCA drive for the facility. We are committed to move forward.”

For long term, the clinic would need 8,000 square feet to meet the needs of Ellis County residents.

“Texas is a pro-life state. However, the battle for life will not be won in the courts. That is why your support is so important. We are changing one life at a time,” she concluded.

Shelly, one of those lives that was changed, was in attendance as a video of her experience was shown. She was pregnant, in an abusive relationship. She was on the verge of suicide when she visited the clinic for the first time. She was considering an abortion, but the guilt from a previous abortion stayed with her. She needed help and found that help at First Look.

“This was the first time I had seen a Christian act like a Christian,” Shelly explained. “The people at FirstLook loved and cared about me and the baby. I felt self-worth again. They helped me make informed decisions that were best for me and the baby.”

She chose life and placed her son for adoption. The little boy passed away three months later from a tragic accident. “When I found out I was

pregnant again, I re- turned to FirstLook,” she explained. “I chose open adoption this time. I get to see her and watch her grow up.”

She explained that the staff and volunteers at FirstLook were the first people to show her God’s love. She said because of them, she is a life that was changed.

The room erupted with laughter with the stories of author and Christian Comedian, Mike Williams. He and his family direct a mission in the Dominican Republic for trafficked girls and orphans. He shared how

God blessed he and his wife with a son through adoption.

“Through FirstLook, families at risk turn into families restored,” Williams said. “This is a celebration of life. I hope next year you place birth- day candles on every piece of cake you serve for the children that are saved.”

Ellis County Commissioner Paul Perry and his wife, Rebecca have attended the banquet for 5 or 6 years. They began supporting FirstLook several years before that.

“We are a pro-life couple,” Perry explained. “We believe in FirstLook and their mission. We know they are changing lives so we support them with what our resources allow.”

All gifts to FirstLook are tax deductible. To become a donor or to volunteer go to www. txlifeinvestors.org. or call 972-938-7900.