Tammie Gercken Writer
A Morganton resident has received statewide recognition for her service to a nonprofit organization serving the needs of pregnant women and young children in the community.
Anne Hope Thomas received the North Carolina Governor’s Volunteer Service Award for her volunteer work at Drexel’s Pregnancy Care Center. The center supports pregnant women and their families through a variety of health care and education initiatives and provides resources, such as maternity clothes and baby supplies, according to its website.
Thomas, who has spent 22 years homeschooling her three children, became interested in the center‘s mission when she attended a meeting in January 1999.
“I had heard about their ministry through my local church and knew I wanted to get involved,” she said.
Margaret Ruark, a volunteer supervisor at PCC, nominated Thomas for the award. Ruark noted in his nomination form that Thomas leads monthly staff prayer, cleans the organization’s facilities once a week, and helps with special events and fundraisers. She also previously worked for PCC’s 24-hour helpline.
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“Anne Hope Thomas has a heart for Christ and a desire to honor all life created in the image of God,” Ruark wrote. “Her passion for serving pregnant women and honoring all lives in the Burke County community was evident in her selfless and humble service to the center. Anne Hope’s gifts are reflected in encouragement, empathy, care, compassion and a desire to serve and love God by loving others.
Thomas shared what inspires his dedication to the organization.
“God is the Author of life,” she says. “All people are made in his image. It is my privilege and responsibility to defend and sustain life, from the unborn child to those nearing the end of life. I love people at all ages and at all stages.The center is a safe place where everyone who walks through the doors encounters the love of Jesus Christ.
She expressed her gratitude to the CCP board, staff and volunteers.
“There is a united team mentality, and everyone is needed,” Thomas said. “I love the staff. They are other-centered and creative and seem to have boundless energy, great ideas, and big smiles.
She mentioned that it has been difficult for the center to reach all of Burke County with its services, but the organization recently made a breakthrough in this area by acquiring a mobile medical unit.
She said she hopes the center never loses its evangelical orientation.
“Jesus came that we might have life and have it fully,” Thomas said. “He is the life, ‘the way, the truth, and the life, and no one comes to God the Father except through him (John 14:6).’ So we go forward to love our community like its hands and feet.
In addition to serving at the Pregnancy Care Center, Thomas is also a member of the Burke County National Day of Prayer committee and has delivered food to homebound seniors through the Meals on Wheels program. She and her family are active members of the Faith Presbyterian Church.
She said she was “completely shocked and surprised” to receive a volunteer service award from the governor of North Carolina.
“As someone who likes to work in the background, I can see it takes so many willing hands,” Thomas said. “I see my role as a support role, so that those on the front line can do their job better. I so appreciate the staff, in particular, and they certainly make it easy for us to contribute, as they are so supportive and encouraging. It may seem trivial to say that I don’t deserve it, but it would be a true statement. And yet, thank you. I give glory to those who deserve it.
She encouraged people to consider volunteering in their communities.
“Volunteering is a fantastic way to work and serve together as a family,” said Thomas. “Since 1999, our family of five has often worked together to serve the CCP. For many years we cleaned the center together and when my eldest son was 14 he was one of the main organizers of the annual Walk for Life. It’s a great way to instill “otherness” in your children’s lives, in addition to giving them a broader worldview, a broader picture of God’s work in his world. »
Editor Tammie Gercken can be reached at [email protected]