The Pregnancy Help Center would not be able to provide life-saving services without the help of a dedicated team of staff and volunteers. We want to shine the spotlight on these amazing people who work behind the scenes to provide abortion-vulnerable women the help they need to choose life. Get to know Debi Bryant, our Client Services Manager, and read all about her experience at the Center:
Tell us a little about yourself. What is your role and your background? How did you come to work at the Center?
My role as the Client Services Manager is to manage all administrative or non-clinical areas of the clinic. I oversee all non-medical volunteers, such as client advocates, and the front office receptionist. I have 15 years of experience as a clinic manager and my last two and a half years have been in Hospital and Hospice chaplaincy.
When I was looking for my next role, I wanted to continue my chaplaincy career, but I no longer wanted to do it in a hospital. I actually went onto Indeed for a job search and just typed, “spiritual counselor” and the Pregnancy Help Center popped up! I find it a privilege to be able to have these intimate conversations with the ladies who come to the Center. Whether they’re pregnant for the first time, young, old, and everyone in-between, it’s an honor to share that space with them.
What does a day at the clinic look like for you? What does a Client Services Manager do?
I oversee the day-to-day operations; I make sure clients are seen in a timely manner and receive the care that they need. This includes making sure all slots on the schedule are booked, the phone lines are answered promptly, and everyone, including volunteers and staff, are at their post. There are other managerial duties that I am also responsible for, such as monthly reports, but the day-to-day operations involve making sure that the clients are getting cared for.
What is it like being on the ground and interacting with clients?
I absolutely LOVE it. Being a Client Advocate is not something that I do on a daily basis, I only cover when the Client Advocates are out. But when I have the opportunity to speak with the ladies and help them process the news that they’re pregnant, that’s the best part of my job. Sometimes the news is well received, and sometimes it’s distressing, but nevertheless I have the privilege of helping them process the news.
When they’re challenged by that decision, if there’s some anxiety and they’re having trouble processing the news about becoming a first-time mom, those are the moments I appreciate. Because hopefully by the end of the conversation, they’ll feel helped, they’ve processed, and they’ve got some type of peace or resolution. Hopefully that decision will be that they will keep their baby.
Do you have any memorable stories to share?
Last November, a client came in with her husband. She and her husband already had four children and she was pregnant. The wife told me they couldn’t afford another baby. Due to COVID, they both had their hours cut at their jobs. On top of that, she had some type of physical issue that she was struggling with, so she was bent on not keeping the baby.
After I had a conversation with her, I spoke with her husband. He was a man of God, a Christian, and he actually came into the clinic singing along to Christian songs on the radio, giving me high-fives, and was just really excited that his wife was pregnant. When we spoke, he broke down in tears. He had told his wife that he disagreed with her decision, but that, “it is your body, and I can’t stop you. I’m your husband and I love you. I’m here to support you. I want this child, but if you do it, there’s nothing I can do.”
We talked all together and I gave her an Embrace Grace Love Box. There were onesies, a journal, books, and a lot of wonderful things in there. Tears started to roll down her face, but she was still unsure. However, she did say, “If I see a heartbeat, absolutely not. If I’m so far along that I can see the heartbeat, there’s no way I’m going to abort this baby.”
When she went in for her ultrasound, I had forgotten to tell Nurse Victoria what she had said about the heartbeat. The client was still early in her pregnancy, so Victoria was not intently looking for a heartbeat. After Victoria did the ultrasound, she came out and casually mentioned, “I got a heartbeat. I don’t usually get the heartbeat at such an early stage.” And I exclaimed, “Oh, Victoria! I forgot to tell you, she said if she sees a heartbeat, she would change her mind!” We celebrated because I just really think it was a blessing from God.
Needless to say, I followed up with her a week later, and she texted me to say, “You guys are awesome and I’m going to keep the baby.” That was the deciding factor, that she actually saw the little flicker of the heartbeat. That was definitely the grace of God.
What would you tell someone who is considering volunteering or working for the Center?
It’s such a privilege to work here. This is a place where you’re not limited; you’re able to come in and talk about your faith. How many jobs allow you to do that? There are so many believers, I mean, I’m surrounded by believers! I’m surrounded by believers who love the Lord and come in with the Spirit.
Also, the volunteers have such an awesome work ethic and they’re not even getting paid. Here, you can’t tell a volunteer from a staff member. The volunteers work as if they were getting paid. We’ve got five volunteers now that are in training, and each one of them takes the training so seriously. They’re reading the material three, four times, like, “I have to get everything right!” Which is awesome.
The volunteers have a heart for the Center and the clients. Of course, we can’t make decisions for the clients, but our volunteers just have a heart for these ladies that are in a crisis pregnancy. They talk to them and encourage them. It’s just an extremely peaceful, welcoming, warm atmosphere.
Volunteer With Us
Debi and our amazing volunteers and staff care for our clients every day. We are so grateful for their compassionate hearts and helping hands, and our clients are too. Are you called to make a difference in the lives of women in need? Find out about all the different opportunities we have and apply to be a volunteer today.