Victoria Van Couvering completed her term as Hope Pregnancy Center at the end of April.
But she didn’t come out sad, even though it was a bittersweet moment.
“Five years is about the normal lifespan of an executive director of a pregnancy center, and I left just before the start of my sixth year,” Van Couvering said.
It was a bit of a whirlwind when Van Couvering took over as executive director in 2015. She recalls being on the board of the pregnancy center for maybe a few years when she was asked to take the post after the departure of the former director.
But it was her passion for helping people, especially women, in a time of great vulnerability that made her perfect for the job.
“I was at council and went to church on a Sunday, and the pastor was speaking and said, ‘Jesus is our only hope,’ which I immediately took as a sign,” she said. said.
Before moving to Craig with her now deceased husband in 2012, Van Couvering had been part of an abortion recovery ministry at her Southern California church. She said that as someone who grew up with an alcoholic mother, she understood the dysfunction better than most.
“I had three marriages, two of which ended in divorce,” she said. “One was abusive, the other kind of blew up in my face. I came away with so many needs, and in my church I found the guidance I needed.
But after five years, Van Couvering realized she was unable to give the work the attention and dedication it deserved. When she arrived, the position of general manager required only about 20 hours of work per week.
At the time she left, it required full-time hours that she was unable to provide due to caring for her grandson with special needs and other life situations.
“I’m not someone who gives up everything I started unless something makes it clear that it’s time for me to go,” Van Couvering said. “I knew I couldn’t give the job what it needed, and the board members were so supportive of my decision to quit.”
Although she is no longer the CEO, Van Couvering still loves the Pregnancy Center and all the amazing work she, the staff and the Board have done during her time there.
But just because she’s no longer at the center doesn’t mean she’s stopped serving others in Craig’s community. Now she is forming a women’s counseling ministry through Craig Christian Church so she can continue to provide support to women in the area.
“Being at the Pregnancy Center was one of the best years of my life, because every minute of every day was dedicated to helping someone in some way,” Van Couvering said. “I’ve only been in Craig since 2012, but it’s the only hometown I know. So being able to do anything that helps people in this community is like being able to eat ice cream 24 hours a day. out of 24.”