Aid to Women has been serving women in the Greater Toronto Area since 1984. On September 26, they are celebrating their 30th anniversary with an evening reception at the Newman Centre at the University of Toronto. Below, Executive Director Mary Helen Moes shares her thoughts on the ministry's mission and vision.
1. Tell us about the ministry and work of Aid to Women.
Aid to Women (ATW) is an absolutely beautiful registered charity, located in Toronto, that moves mountains. We clear the obstacles in front of a women facing an unplanned pregnancy and offer her real solutions and caring support, as a real option to aborting her baby. Since the beginning, ATW has helped thousands of women and are committed to providing information and non-judgmental support needed for young mothers to make life-affirming decisions about their pregnancy. We believe that pregnant mothers should never feel alone. With that in mind, we then accompany the mother through birth and into the early years of parenting. We assist with needs such as counselling, accommodations, diapers, baby clothes, strollers, car seats, etc., while networking them into the community for additional services. We also offer post-abortion recovery and support. All of our services are free and confidential.
2. As Aid To Women looks back over the last 30 years, what is the organization most proud of?
Aid to Women has been serving women in the Greater Toronto Area and beyond since 1984 as the only crisis pregnancy service located beside an abortion clinic in Canada. While it is easy to say a woman should not abort her baby, it is significantly more important to do something about it. The founders of this organization knew it would be hard and did it anyway. Their dedication as volunteers is unsurpassed. They made commitments and sacrificed and it was worth it. Every mother has been profoundly grateful for the assistance of Aid to Women. And now in 2018, we have seen an over 120 per cent increase in clients. I am proud that Aid to Women has such a strong reputation that social service agencies and health care professionals are now referring women to us who are undecided on aborting their baby.
3. What has been the most challenging part of your work as Executive Director?
With every charity, there is the worry of raising enough funds to meet the budget. But here at Aid to Women, financing the increase of support we are called to give was secondary to the reality of what happens when we don't support a mother in crisis with an unplanned pregnancy. Personally, I've shed a tear a number of times, watching women walk by our office door and walk into the abortion clinic beside us. I pray, also, that I never stop being bothered by it. It propels me to switch my tears into a double effort of trying to save the babies that I can in the most creative ways possible. More than that, the women that come to our office get the best and latest information and are offered the best support. All in all, I've quickly realized that I must rely heavily on God to help me celebrate each life we save and to trust His guiding hand. If that continues to happen, we will make Aid to Women an example of what being pro-life really means. It is an honour to do this work.
4. What would you recommend and/or say to someone who wanted to support the work of Aid to Women?
Thank you. Really, thank you! Thank you for contacting us and accompanying us in this life-giving work.