Mobile Unit – First Appointments

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The following post is by Mary Holloman, a former Client Services Director for the Care Center, about her escapades on our mobile unit. She has been working part-time temporarily to help us get this mobile unit out into the community. We’re so thankful for her passion and presence!

Go Mobile

Rolling out of the parking lot that first Saturday was surreal, to say the least. Partially because the 32-foot-long vehicle I found myself at the helm of was just so mammothly huge and intimidating. And also partially because less than two years ago, this vehicle was nothing more than a dream scribbled onto a scrap sheet of paper.

Now, rewind about 18 months. In late 2014, the staff at Greensboro Pregnancy Care Center were asked to write down our dreams and goals for the center. We were told to think big. If money were no object, what would we love to see happen?

Go mobile, we dared whisper. What if we went mobile?

The scribbling on paper became more frantic, more excited. Why don’t you do some research on this, I was told. Talk to some other care centers. Find out what would need to happen for this to be a reality.

I was expecting my son at the time. My baby app told me he was about the size of a lemon. The same size of many unborn children carried by women that we meet through the Care Center.

My research turned into a proposal, which turned into a presentation before the board of directors. I was preparing to transition out of my role as client services director when my son arrived in a few months, so this was one of my last major projects before leaving. I was pretty excited about it, but—don’t judge me—I didn’t really see it happening. At least not anytime soon. I mean, we were talking about a lot of money. A lot. Of. Money.

My last day of work came and went, and as I drove away from the Care Center towards a new season in motherhood, I thought maybe someday we’ll be mobile. Maybe someday.

And now there I was 18 months later, as a temporary employing working to get things off the ground, in the driver’s seat of a giant RV, venturing out into a new chapter of Greensboro Pregnancy Care Center’s journey.

Where Are We Now?

The month of May was filled with a ton of prep work: driver training, mock appointments, volunteer training, refining policies and procedures, and stocking up on supplies. On the morning of Saturday, June 4, we officially launched the mobile unit for the first time.

We were excited! We were pumped!

…And then we sat for three hours while exactly zero clients came to us.

Lest this sound to you like a failure, rest assured it most definitely was not. Most care centers that go mobile experience outings just like this in the beginning. The first days and weeks and months are often the hardest. It takes time for word to spread about the mobile unit’s presence and for people to feel comfortable approaching it.

On Saturday, June 11, we took out old Eunice for her second run. (Oh yes, I forgot to mention…the unit’s name is Eunice. I think it suits her.) Again, don’t judge me, but I fully expected to have another morning of no clients. I pulled into our parking spot, lowered our anchors, flipped the generator on and…

A knock sounded on the door.

Audible gasps escaped from myself, our sonographer, and volunteer advocate. We all looked at each other wide-eyed for a moment as if to say, What the heck do we do??

The “Mary Train of Thought” rumbled through my head, spewing out jumbled thoughts that went something like this:

Wait, someone actually came? Yes! Someone came! Should I open the door? Yes, of course Mary, open the door. Is there a non-awkward way to open this door? What’s more awkward than inviting someone on an RV for a pregnancy test? I have completely forgotten everything I’ve been trained on the past month. Keep it together, Mary. Keep it together.

Don’t worry, once I finished my mental acrobatics, I did actually open the door and welcome our first client (quite non-awkwardly, I might add). And guess what? We had two more clients later that morning. It was the coolest experience to see the unfolding of months and months of planning and hard work.

The appointments went as smoothly as possible—except for the part where I forgot to put all our computers on the mobile unit. You know, the computers that we use for scheduling, entering data, and, well, a lot of other important things. (The struggle is real. PTL for smartphones and improvisation.)

A Lesson in Faith

My intermittent brain-glitches aside, our first outings have been great. When I think back to those early days of scribbling ideas on paper, I’m forced to acknowledge the greatness, not of the Care Center or donors or staff or volunteers, but rather the greatness of our God. As a Christian organization, this is the source of our hope.

How humbling it’s been for me to realize that my biggest, most wildest dream for the Care Center—something I just knew was impossible—proved to be as nothing for God.

The Purpose of It All

When this all started back in late 2014, my baby app told me that my son was the size of a lemon. The same size of many unborn children carried by women that we meet through the Care Center.

My son is far from lemon-sized now. He’s a 22 pound ball of energy that has toddled, babbled, and giggled his way into my heart. And you know what? He was just as much a person when he was lemon-sized as he is now.

Just like all the lemon-sized persons we encounter at the Care Center and now on our mobile unit.

I’m humbled to be a part of this new journey at GPCC. Not because having a mobile unit makes us look good or impressive or important. No, nothing so trivial.  I’m humbled because it is enabling us to care for more women, men, and unborn children; and ultimately it is another way for us to point others to the deepest and most pressing need of humanity: the need for a Savior.

 

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