The Santa Clarita Valley Pregnancy Center hosted its annual Walk for Life event on Saturday morning, welcoming nearly 400 people to the Crossroads Community Church in Valencia to walk in support of the local association.
Angela Bennett, President and CEO of the SCV Pregnancy Center, welcomed the walkers to the event, thanking sponsors and supporters and sharing stories about the emotional journey surrounding pregnancy.
âThe SCV Pregnancy Center is here to help women go through their difficult decision-making process by providing them with medical services, information, education (and) practical assistance,â she told The Signal, noting that they provide free and confidential services. âWe just want to be ready. We offer pregnancy tests and ultrasounds and there are other support services.
Pastor Todd Smith, of Crossroads Community Church, told The Signal his church had been hosting the walk for two years, as event volunteers handed out balloons to walkers for the walk.
âWe love what they do (and) we love how they do it. They just have the nicest volunteers and staff, âsaid Smith. âWe support life and we value life. We are grateful for our lives, and therefore grateful for the lives of the babies inside the mom.
Participants from several SCV churches participated in the walk on Saturday, including Christy Kischel, who attends Saint Kateri Tekakwitha in Santa Clarita.
Kischel was pregnant with her now 18-year-old son when she first participated in the March for Life.
âThe overall goal is to unify our community and ensure that people experiencing pregnancy crisis have the support they need,â she said. âMany feel like they are being left behind and not everyone has a perfect situation. ”
Kischel said the center reminds women that they are not alone.
âOur community is there to support them through what is difficult to make it beautiful,â she said.
Jami Hoslet of Santa Clarita has participated in all of the Walk for Life events, which began about 20 years ago.
âI love this event because all the Christian churches come together and it’s like one faith,â she said. “Every year it gets bigger and bigger and bigger and it’s just beautiful.”
Marie Zapata has volunteered at the SCV Pregnancy Center, answering phone calls and following up on clients at the center.
The Santa Clarita resident said the center offers financial and spiritual assistance.
â(The center) will accompany them through the process,â she said, noting that they provide advice and help set up MediCal health insurance.
Derrick and Elda Sawyer and their son participated in the March for Life for the first time. Residents of Canyon Country got involved through their son’s Christian Trail Group.
âWe just thought it was a great organization and a cause to support,â said Elda Sawyer.