Christmas came a bit early this year for the Pregnancy Resource Center in Maryville, Tennessee. Earlier this month, the center took possession of a beautiful new mobile ultrasound van. It replaces the older van the center had driven since 2017.
This van, purchased through its partnership with the Save the Storks program, is the 100th mobile ultrasound from that organization. And it’s a beauty! Staff wanted to carry forward the name of the previous van, which was named after a young girl saved from abortion, so the new one is called Annalee 2.0. Today, that girl is a vivacious and spunky seven-year-old whose mother is thrilled she chose life.
To celebrate the new acquisition, the center hosted a diaper drive and a meet and greet so that people could tour the van. I was fortunate to see it myself, and it was quite impressive!
The inside offers several places to sit and a beautiful table where the mom can lie down and get her ultrasound. On the wall is a big screen TV that will show the baby in the ultrasound.
Staff are extremely excited about the new van, saying it holds many more people than the previous one, has better technology, and is more reliable. Melinda, the nurse on staff, can’t wait to drive it around town and park it in areas where the staff feel they can reach the most people—across from the hospital, near abortion clinics, and in low-income neighborhoods.
Melinda knows the difference the van makes and the impact it can have on those who see it. She told the story of a time when one man approached her nearly in tears asking if he could see the inside. He explained that he had supported Save the Storks for years and had never seen an ultrasound van in person. Another time, a man approached her and began asking questions. Melinda could tell that he was probably homeless. She explained her job and what the van was for. He asked if she took donations and then pulled $3 out of his pocket and gave it to her. What a beautiful gift!
This is the impact that the pro-life community has when we make ourselves visible and when we go out into our communities and unapologetically proclaim that we protect and serve moms and babies.
Valerie Millsapps—the Pregnancy Resource Center’s CEO—knows firsthand the impact that pro-life people can have on single, pregnant moms, as she was once one herself. Today, she uses the wisdom she gained through personal experience and throughout her years as CEO to help women see that they and their babies are loved and cherished.
Valerie has helped build the Pregnancy Resource Center into an invaluable part of the Maryville community. With a vision of creating “a community where every life is sacred, valued, and welcomed,” the center is staffed by wonderful men and women—many of whom volunteer their time—who offer hope, healing, and love to both moms and dads.
Since its opening in 1986, PRC has served over 37,000 young people facing difficult pregnancy decisions and has served over 2,000 just this year alone. The center is funded solely by the contributions of individuals, foundations, church groups, and businesses within the East Tennessee community.
Though PRC is thrilled about its new van, it wants the community to know that it offers much more than mobile ultrasounds. The phenomenal staff help moms and dads both before and after the baby is born with things like vouchers for the first month of prenatal vitamins and help with obtaining insurance. It provides material assistance, diapers and clothing for the baby, men’s resources and support, community referrals, educational opportunities so the mom and dad can learn about their growing baby, a mentoring program, a 12-week Bible study (Embrace Grace), and more!
Saving and changing lives—both the parents’ and the babies’ lives—is the motivation behind everything they do at the Pregnancy Resource Center. They serve with love, with compassion, and with a desire to create a community where all babies are valued and abortion is unthinkable.
This article first appeared in the Catholic World Report at catholicworldreport.com/2023/12/20/better-than-santa-save-the-storks-delivers-life-with-100th-ultrasound-van.