Community Impact Spotlight – LIFE OPTIONS network

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Our February 2022 spotlight is on LIFE OPTIONS network. Their mission is to empower women and families with unexpected pregnancies, and their goal is to provide every opportunity to meet their clients’ physical, vocational, shelter and nutritional needs. 96.3 WayFM Promotions Director Dustin Donnor interviews President and Founder of LIFE OPTIONS network Jennifer Hoffman about the history of the nonprofit, current needs and dreams for the future in this edition of our weekly Community Connect program!

LIFE OPTIONS network Resources:

Website
Donate!
Instagram
Click here to call or text LIFE OPTIONS network!

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO PART 1 OF OUR INTERVIEW WITH PRESIDENT AND FOUNDER JENNIFER HOFFMAN!

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO PART 2 OF OUR INTERVIEW WITH PRESIDENT AND FOUNDER JENNIFER HOFFMAN!

Read the full interview here:

Narrator
Community Connect is a public service presentation of WayFM. Join us each Sunday at 6am as we engage in topics of conversation affecting our communities.

Dustin Donnor
Hi, I’m Dustin Donnor and I’m here in the studio with Jennifer Hoffman, President and Founder of LIFE OPTIONS network. The mission of LIFE OPTIONS network is to empower women and families with unexpected pregnancies, and their goal is to provide every opportunity to meet their clients’ physical, vocational, shelter and nutritional needs. Thank you for being here, Jennifer.

Jennifer Hoffman
Thank you for having me.

Dustin Donnor
So first question, what inspired you to start LIFE OPTIONS network? And what are the practical steps it took for you to go from an idea for a nonprofit to what this organization has become today?

Jennifer Hoffman
Yeah. So I spent a lot of my youth connecting with friends of mine who were pregnant in really difficult circumstances. And from the time I was 13, I had known a person who had gotten pregnant at 14 years old and had walked with her through that experience and had seen the community’s reaction, her story. And, you know, right now she is well-educated and has moved forward with her life. But then in my twenties, I had another friend of mine who had gotten pregnant in her twenties and also in a very difficult circumstance she chose life, but she initially thought about abortion because that was just what came to mind since it was kind of a scary situation. She was going to be completely on her own, very isolated and she had made that appointment and just felt like God told her no. That night and the next day she called me and told me that she was pregnant. And so as I watched her journey, we walked together for about eight years. I saw her struggle. I saw, you know, she chose life for her child, but she was homeless 13 times. She couldn’t always access food and just things that should be, you know, really easy, even though she was working full time. Things like child care were incredibly costly. And oftentimes she was choosing between housing and her ability to feed her child or get child care. And so these were things, as I was looking at both the pro-life issue and also the experience of women and mothers in our nation, you know, how can we better surround them not only for the moment of pregnancy, but after. And so at that point, I decided to ask the Lord, and he basically said, I want you to go for it. And that was confirmed several times. And had somebody reach out to me just out of the blue asking about, you know, how can we better support women? And so that was really confirmation that this might be a road we could walk down. And so I got together a group of women, some of them were, you know, had walked through a difficult pregnancy. Some, post-abortive. There were women that worked for Oregon foster care. There were women that just had lost children. And so we wanted to all sit down and talk about these life experiences women have and how we can better support women. And so that was about two years of conversation. And then, you know, really one of those years was looking at what’s currently available because I did not want to reinvent the wheel, but to do something. And so we had we looked at child care and all these other issues, but really it came down to just creating a network for women to call and to not only have somebody speak to them but to have somebody walk with them through their motherhood trials. And that’s what LIFE OPTIONS network does, along with our free store, which we have in West Vancouver.

Dustin Donnor
That’s amazing. What has been the most rewarding experience for LIFE OPTIONS network so far?

Jennifer Hoffman
Honestly, I think every single time you see a baby born that was supposed to be aborted, that’s always so powerful. And that’s happened many times in doing this work, but also seeing moms’ hearts’ heal. We’re about the baby, but we’re also about that mom and I had a gal that was this last year came in and she was 18 years old, 15 weeks pregnant. Her boyfriend was pressuring her to abort their baby and she just didn’t know what to do. She said, You know, I felt alone, isolated. I don’t know how to raise a child. So you can imagine she’s just out of high school. And for her to come into our free store and see that provision, so when she walks in the door, everything’s free to her. We’re not putting any pressure on her to perform in any capacity. And also just there, you know, walking with her to encourage her as her advocate and she ended up choosing life and that baby’s alive today. And she is a powerhouse. She’s working. We were able to get all the resources she needed, and that was very rewarding.

Dustin Donnor
What has been the most difficult challenge for LIFE OPTIONS network so far?

Jennifer Hoffman
I think the most difficult challenge has really been getting all of the awareness around the need women have when it comes to raising children in poverty. We understand that 75% of women are getting abortions due to being in poverty or being coerced into abortion by family members. So helping people understand the why behind abortion has been a little bit of a challenge. I think that it’s a little bit of a different model coming after supporting women for not only the time of pregnancy, but even if you’re not pregnant, you can come in to our store or you can call and we’ll help you if you’re a mom and get you the things that you need. So I think just bringing that awareness and having, you know, people kind of understand that this is really important if we want to have a whole life pro-life society.

Dustin Donnor
What do you wish you’d known when you created LIFE OPTIONS network?

Jennifer Hoffman
I think the most eye-opening thing for me has been when we’ve gone into churches and we’ve spoken and just the amount of women at the church who have come up to me and said, I’m post abortive and had I known your organization existed, I would have chosen life. And these are women, you know, and a lot of them even back, you know, had an abortion in the eighties or nineties, and there was just not enough there where they felt like they had someone to call or talk to that would understand and walk with them. And so I think that that was probably the most difficult thing to find out, especially within the church context. So, yeah, that was something that was very eye-opening. And actually we found out that James Dobson, they did a study a few years back on the church and you know, they learned that 40% of women in the church are getting abortions regularly. So that was definitely eye-opening and surprising.

Dustin Donnor
What do you want LIFE OPTIONS network to look like in six months? What do you want it to look like in five years? What do you want it to look like in 20 years? What’s the future and the legacy look like?

Jennifer Hoffman
We’re currently looking to open a another store, which is really exciting. It’s going to be out in the gorge and we will be serving probably the Corbett, Stevenson and Carson areas. So that’s really exciting and that will hopefully be in the next six months that that opens. We also, you know, coming down five years from now, I would love to see 20, 30 stores. We’d also love to see that expanded in the next 20 years to be across the country because as we are looking at, you know, abortion not being the primary thing for women, which we’re really hoping is, is it’s no longer pushed as what women need because abortion actually hurts women. We are going to need systems of support like this to help women in the long run. So our goal long term is to make sure that we have a lot of these free stores, we have a lot of churches connecting and making this happen.

Dustin Donnor
What Is the most pressing need right now for LIFE OPTIONS network?

Jennifer Hoffman
I think definitely that monthly donor is everything. You know, I know every nonprofit says that, but right now in our nation, we’re facing such a huge crisis when it comes to women having what they need during pregnancy. And so that monthly donor is everything. Even if it’s $5 a month, it just helps us build these stores out and makes us extremely accessible to the public and allows us to do that marketing so women know we’re here. Outside of that, if you’re a pastor and say you have a thousand square feet that you don’t use all the time, and I know some of these churches might have that like an extra classroom or something, we could make a store out of that. So if you’re in that situation, we’d love to talk to pastors who might have that opportunity and you know, we also have volunteer nights that you can go to once a month at our store. So we’re always looking for volunteers for that, along with new advocates to come on board and work with women.

Dustin Donnor
What is the process for someone who’d like to support LIFE OPTIONS network financially or through volunteering or through whatever other ways they can offer?

Jennifer Hoffman
Yeah. So I think the best way is online. If you want to donate financially, go to our website, lifeoptionsnetwork.org. And then click on Donate. That’s where you can give those monthly donations. Otherwise, if you want to know what’s happening, the best way is to follow us on Instagram. And that is at @lifeoptionsnetworknw. Check that out. You’ll see updates on new events that are happening, volunteer opportunities, sorting dates, all of that you’ll see on there and be able to help.

Dustin Donnor
What’s the role men can and do play in LIFE OPTIONS network?

Jennifer Hoffman
We absolutely need men in this. It is amazing to see how many men come in when we have our store and it’s open to everybody and it is appointment only so that women experience the best of us when they come in. But a lot of times they’ll bring their boyfriend or their spouse and they come in and they get to be blessed and to see that there is a community out there that really cares about them as a whole. Obviously, if men are doing everything that they can to support their wives and support their spouses, it’s going to make a huge difference in culture altogether. And so we are always looking for men who are willing to advocate for men as well, because this is a family issue, right? It’s not just a woman issue. It’s a whole family issue that we have some challenges as a culture in addressing the family. You know, we’ve had even single dads come in to our free store. Obviously, our store, you don’t have to be pregnant. So you can go in there and have a five year old that you need to clothe and we’ll have clothes for them. Our store offers clothing and then anything, just furniture wise when it comes to baby items and things like that that women might need. And so men come in oftentimes looking for those same things, and sometimes their wife is working and they come in and we’re super open to that. We’re just wanting to bless and make it so people realize we’re acknowledging the struggle as a pro-life organization.

Dustin Donnor
What makes LIFE OPTIONS network so unique and so special?

Jennifer Hoffman
Honestly, I really feel that it’s the whole life perspective that we have. We help women as long as they need. And so if you are pregnant and you show up at our door again, you don’t have to be pregnant to show up at our door. But if you are, we will walk with you from the time you have that baby until that kid is 18 if you want. We’re really building relationships with these women as advocates, and are there to support them. Now, a lot of the women don’t require that, but if they do, that’s what our advocates are there for. And we make sure that they have everything that they need so that they are supported for the long term. They know that we’re a soft place to land for as long as they’re looking for.

Dustin Donnor
Are there options and resources that LIFE OPTIONS network provides for women that are post-abortive?

Jennifer Hoffman
Yeah, so we have a network of people we work with. The one locally in Clark County is Restored Nation and our wonderful friend of ours, Jess Lane, runs that. She is supportive and has a poster board of ministry where, you know, women can find healing. A lot of people don’t maybe know or acknowledge that abortion hurts women. It hurts their hearts and this is an opportunity for women to come together who’ve had that shared experience to not be judged. And as an organization, we think of the woman at the well, you know, Jesus knew all the things that she was doing that might not follow with all the rules of society at the time. But when she came to the well and, you know, he said, get me a drink and said, you know, I’m here to give you life. She was amazed at his love. And that’s what we’re here to bring. Even if you’re post-abortive, we’re here to bring you that love and that acceptance that Jesus had for everybody, because all of us need him. And so that’s what we do. We bring him to the forefront and organizations like Restored Nation, you know, if you’re considering abortion, I would say this, that we have an army ready to serve you. You don’t have to go down that road. In fact, that road is going to likely be very lonely and incredibly damaging to you. And so you have women here who have walked this out with supportive women that can talk to you and people that are going to encourage you and not judge you. We don’t care, you know, exactly how you got pregnant. We’re here to support you in the moment that you’re in. And so just come to us. We will make sure and just walk with you. The number to call if you’re in that situation is 360-524-2480. Or you can text us, which sometimes is actually even faster. But we try to be very quick at responding to women because we know it is such a sensitive issue you’re interested in. You know, if you want to support us and have more questions, email jennifer@lifeoptionsnetworknw.org

Dustin Donnor
I’m Dustin Donnor and today’s guest has been Jennifer Hoffman, President and Founder of LIFE OPTIONS netowrk. You can learn more about this organization at lifeoptionsnetwork.org and on Instagram at @LIFEOPTIONSnetworkNW. Thank you for being here, Jennifer.

Narrator
Community Connect is a public service presentation of WayFM. Join us each Sunday at 6am as we engage in topics of conversation affecting our communities.

 

Part 2

Narrator
Community Connect is a public service presentation of Way FM. Join us each week as we engage in topics of conversation affecting our communities.

Dustin Donnor
Hi, I’m Dustin Donnor, and I’m here in the studio with Jennifer Hoffman, President and Founder of LIFE OPTIONS network. The mission of LIFE OPTIONS network is to empower women and families with unexpected pregnancies, and their goal is to provide every opportunity to meet their clients physical, vocational, shelter, and nutritional needs. Thank you for being here, Jennifer!

Jennifer Hoffman
Thank you for having me.

Dustin Donnor
What ongoing community outreach is LIFE OPTIONS network currently engaged in?

Jennifer Hoffman
So we have a teen night that happens monthly and it was really amazing how this came together because we just had reached out to the schools, letting the schools know that we had some coats for parents who were teens and there was a great need for these teens to have community. And so every month we meet at the store, we have a beautiful couple who comes and just encourages these teens, does games with them, walks with them, shows them, you know, how to raise children, shows them really awesome educational videos, but also just lets them hang out and have fun as they are teenagers. And so that’s a really amazing opportunity. And then we also have our store sort night which we do monthly. And that is just amazing because we get so many donations from the community. It’s often overflowing in the back and we just have a couple of staff people. So once a month we ask the community to come together and help us sort clothes and different items. And then also we have our free store, which women can come into at any point and just get an advocate if they are there. And then we ask them that question. And we also take donations on Tuesdays and Fridays from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at our Vancouver, Washington location.

Dustin Donnor
Tell me more about volunteers, how you’re currently utilizing them and what they do.

Jennifer Hoffman
All of our volunteers are amazing. We have about six advocates right now, and they work with a lot of women. About 20% of the women who come into our store are in need of that long-term advocacy. So that is amazing and it can be done from home. So if you’re somebody that is a mom that is pro-life, loves Jesus and believes in supporting women in these these arenas, we would love to have you and talk with you about training for that. We also have volunteers come in again to do that sort night and also do events with us. So sometimes we’ll need things like servers at different fundraising events, that sort of thing that we need volunteers for. So honestly, it really expands as we grow how many people we need, but those are definitely the main areas.

Dustin Donnor
For those listening right now that want to get involved right away and support financially, what’s the best way for them to get those resources to you?

Jennifer Hoffman
Yeah, so I would go ahead and just text us. It’s such an easy thing to do. Just text 360-524-2480. So we will shoot you over our address and give you the times once again that we are open and available. And I get you someone to talk to depending on what you are looking to do.

Dustin Donnor
And could I get that number one more time?

Jennifer Hoffman
Yes, it’s 360-524-2480.

Dustin Donnor
What has been the most difficult challenge for LIFE OPTIONS network so far?

Jennifer Hoffman
I think the most difficult challenge has really been getting all of the awareness around the need women have when it comes to raising children in poverty. We understand that 75% of women are getting abortions due to being in poverty. Or being coerced into abortion by family members. So helping people understand the why behind abortion has been a little bit of a challenge. I think that it’s a little bit of a different model coming after supporting women for not only the time of pregnancy, but even if you’re not pregnant, you can come in to our store or you can call and we’ll help you if you’re a mom and get you the things that you need. So I think just bringing that awareness and having, you know, people kind of understand that this is really important if we want to have a whole-pro-life society.

Dustin Donnor
What do you wish you’d known when you created LIFE OPTIONS network?

Jennifer Hoffman
I think the most eye-opening thing for me has been when we’ve gone into churches and we’ve spoken and just the amount of women at the church who have come up to me and said I’m post-abortive. And had I known your organization existed, I would have chosen life. And these are women, you know, and a lot of them even back, you know, had an abortion in the eighties or nineties, and there was just not enough there where they felt like they had someone to call or talk to that would understand and walk with them. And so I think that that was probably the most difficult thing to find out, especially within the church context. So, yeah, that was something that was very eye-opening. And actually we found out James Dobson did a study a few years back on the church and you know, they learned that 40% of women in the church are getting abortions regularly. So that was definitely eye-opening and surprising.

Dustin Donnor
What do you want LIFE OPTIONS network to look like in six months? What do you want it to look like in five years? What do you want it to look like in 20 years? What’s the, the future and the legacy look like?

Jennifer Hoffman
We’re currently looking to open a another store which is really exciting. It’s going to be out in the gorge and we will be serving probably the Corbett, Stevenson, Carson areas. So that’s really exciting. And that will hopefully be in the next six months that that opens. We also coming down five years from now. I would love to see 20, 30 stores.

Jennifer Hoffman
We’d also love to see that expanded in the next 20 years to be across the country because as we are looking at, you know abortion not being the primary thing for women which we’re really hoping is, is it’s no longer pushed as what women need because abortion actually hurts women. We are going to need systems of support like this to help women in the long run. So our goal long term is to make sure that we have a lot of these free stores, we have a lot of churches connecting and making this happen.

Dustin Donnor
What is the most pressing need right now for LIFE OPTIONS network?

Jennifer Hoffman
I think definitely that monthly donor is everything. You know, I know every nonprofit says this, but right now in our nation, we’re facing such a huge crisis when it comes to women having what they need during pregnancy. And so that monthly donor is everything even if it’s $5 a month, it just helps us build these stores out and makes us extremely accessible to the public and allows us to do that. Marketing so women know we’re here. Outside of that, if you’re a pastor and say you have a thousand square feet that you don’t use all the time, and I know some of these churches might have that like an extra classroom or something, we could make a store out of that. So if you’re in that situation, we’d love to talk to pastors who might have that opportunity. And, you know, really we have volunteer nights that you can go to once a month at our store. So we’re always looking for volunteers for that, along with new advocates to come on board and work with women.

Dustin Donnor
What is the process for someone who’d like to support LIFE OPTIONS network financially or through volunteering or through whatever other ways they can offer?

Jennifer Hoffman
So I think the best way is, if you want to donate financially, go to our website www.LIFEOPTIONSnetwork.org and then click on Donate. That’s where you can give those monthly donations. Otherwise, if you want to know what’s happening, the best way is to follow us on Instagram, and that is at @LIFEOPTIONSnetworkNW. Check that out. You’ll see updates on new events that are happening, volunteer opportunities, sorting dates, all of that you’ll see on there and be able to help.

Dustin Donnor
What’s the role men can and do play in LIFE OPTIONS network?

Jennifer Hoffman
We absolutely need men in this. It is amazing to see how many men come in when we have our store and it’s open to everybody and it is appointment only so that women are experiencing just the best of us when they come in. But a lot of times they’ll bring their boyfriend or their spouse and they come in and they get to be blessed and to see that there is a community out there that really cares about them as a whole. Obviously, if men are doing everything that they can to support their wives and support their spouses, it’s going to make a huge difference in culture altogether. And so we are always looking for men who are willing to advocate for men as well, because this is a family issue, right? It’s not just a woman issue. It’s a whole family issue that we have some challenges as a culture in addressing the family. You know, we’ve had even single dads come in to our free store, obviously our store, you don’t have to be pregnant. So you can go in there and have a five year-old that you need to clothe and we’ll have clothes for them. Our store offers up to 5T and clothing and then anything, just furniture wise when it comes to baby items and things like that that women might need, and so men come in oftentimes looking for those same things. And sometimes their wife is working and they come in and we’re super open to that. We’re just wanting to bless and make it so people realize they’re acknowledging the struggle as a pro-life organization.

Dustin Donnor
What makes LIFE OPTIONS network so unique and so special?

Jennifer Hoffman
Honestly, I really feel that it’s the whole life perspective that we have. We help women as long as they need. And so if you are pregnant and you show up at our door again, you don’t have to be pregnant to show up at our door. But if you are, we will walk with you from the time you have that baby until that kid is 18 if you want. We’re really building relationships with these women as advocates, are there to support them. Now, a lot of the women don’t require that, but if they do, that’s what our advocates are there for. And we make sure that they have everything that they need so that they are supported for the long term. They know that we’re a soft place to land for as long as they’re looking for.

Dustin Donnor
For women that are post-abortive, are there options and resources that LIFE OPTIONS network provides?

Jennifer Hoffman
Yeah. So we have a network of people. We work with one locally in Clark County. Restored Nation, a wonderful friend of ours, Jess Lane, runs that. She is supportive and has a poster board of ministry where, you know, women can find healing. A lot of people don’t maybe know or acknowledge that abortion hurts women. It hurts their hearts and this is an opportunity for women to come together who’ve had that shared experience to not be judged. And as an organization, we think of the woman at the well, you know, Jesus knew all the things that she was doing that might not follow with all the rules of society at the time. But when she came to the well and, you know, he said, get me a drink and said, you know, I’m here to give you life. She was amazed at his love. And that’s what we’re here to bring. Even if you’re post-abortive, we’re here to bring you that love and that acceptance that Jesus had for everybody, because all of us need him. And so that’s what we did. We bring him to the forefront. And organizations like Restored Nation, you know, if you’re considering abortion, I would say this, that we have an army ready to serve you. You don’t have to go down that road. In fact, that road is going to likely be very lonely and incredibly damaging to you. And so you have women here who have walked this out with supportive women that can talk to you and people that are going to encourage you and not judge you. We don’t care, you know, exactly how you got pregnant. We’re here to support you in the moment that you’re in. And so just come to us we will make sure and just walk with you. The number to call if you’re in that situation is 360-524-2480. Or you can text us, which sometimes is actually even faster but we try to be very quick at responding to women because we know it is such a sensitive issue you’re interested in. You know, if you want to support us and have more questions, email Jennifer@LIFEOPTIONSnetwork.org.

Dustin Donnor
For those listening right now that want to get involved right away and support financially what’s the best way for them to get those resources to you?

Jennifer Hoffman
Yeah, so I would go ahead and just text us. It’s such an easy thing to do. Just text 360-524-2480. So we will shoot you over our address and give you the times once again that we are open and available and I’ll get you someone to talk to depending on what you are looking to do.

Dustin Donnor
And could I get that number one more time?

Jennifer Hoffman
Yes, it’s 360-524-2480.

Dustin Donnor
I’m Dustin Donnor, and today’s guest has been Jennifer Hoffman, President and Founder of LIFE OPTIONS network. You can learn more about this organization at www.LIFEOPTIONSnetwork.org and on Instagram at @LIFEOPTIONSnetworkNW. Thank you for being here Jennifer!

Narrator
Community Connect is a public service presentation of WayFM. Join us each week as we engage in topics of conversation affecting our communities.

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