AA & WC to begin operating under its own charter in January

By Greg Miller

STAR STAF
gmiller@starhq.com

  
Abortion Alternatives & Women's Center AA & WC (formerly Abortion Alternatives and Crisis Pregnancy Center AA & CPC) will be operating under its own charter beginning in January.
   The organization, located at 816 W. G St., currently operates under the charter of AA & CPC of Bristol.
   "We're really excited about being on our own," stated AA & WC director Angie Odom. "When we opened two years ago, our goal was to have a self-sufficient center with a board from Elizabethton and the Carter County area.
   "We've seen a lot of support and concern from the people of Elizabethton, but now we really need financial support and volunteers in the office to help with the clothing closet."
   New board members of AA & WC include the Rev. Steve Witt, pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church; the Ronnie Campbell, pastor of Beck Mountain Baptist Church; the Rev. Eddie Childress, pastor of the Word of Life Church of God; the Rev. Daniel Price, pastor of Gospel Light Baptist Church, Johnson City; Doug Hinshaw, youth minister, Immanuel Baptist Church; Leslie Narrod, member, Calvary Baptist Church, Elizabethton; and Gayle Williams, owner of Dino's and member of Grace Baptist Church.
   Odom has spoken at 28 churches, community organizations and ladies groups. Churches which contribute regularly to the AA & WC ministry include Immanuel Baptist Church, St. Elizabeth Catholic Church, Harvest Baptist Church, Valley Forge Free Will Baptist Church, Beck Mountain Baptist Church, Lynn Valley Baptist Church, Big Springs Baptist Church, Word of Life Church of God, Keenburg Free Will Baptist Church, Memorial Presbyterian Church, Little Milligan Baptist Church, Calvary Baptist Church of Elizabethton, Little Mountain Baptist Church and Oak Street Baptist Church. The Elizabethton Kiwanis Club also contributes to the organization on a regular basis. Some churches have also made one-time donations.
   Odom, who notes that both regular and one-time donations are appreciated, says support is needed from additional churches. "We really do need the support of other churches now that we're going to be on our own," she said. Without this additional support, the center will not succeed, according to Odom. Contributions to the organization are tax deductible.
   Odom says the organization's budget for the next year will be approximately $36,000, including salary, utilities, advertising and brochures and other literature.
   Odom believes churches should take a definite stand against abortion by their financial support of the AA & WC ministry. "So many of the churches do speak strongly and preach strongly against abortion, but when it comes to actually supporting and doing something to help the pro-life cause against abortion, they're not here with their support," she remarked.
   "It's time to not just speak it and talk about it. I really challenge Elizabethton that if they can't be here physically, then their church can help support us. The mission field is here at home, and by not doing that, they are basically saying, 'It's okay to have an abortion clinic in Elizabethton.'"
   Ladies groups at various churches provide baby clothing and other items for the new babies.
   The organization's volunteers include Judy Perham, Leanne Manning, Debbie Walters, Nikki Witt, Heather Wynn and Melissa Carr.
   The organization had a float in Elizabethton's Christmas parade on Nov. 23. The theme for the float, which had a nativity scene featuring children, was "Mary Chose Life -- Will You?"
   A spaghetti supper and benefit singing are planned for Dec. 7 at T.A. Dugger Jr. High School.
   A Christmas party for clients and their babies will be held at AA & WC's office on Dec. 10. Those who would like to purchase Christmas gifts for the women and babies are encouraged to contact Odom.
   AA & WC is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and Tuesday and Thursday from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Starting in February, the office will be open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Calls are answered on the hotline, 543-4673, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.