Changing lives: Center for Pregnancy Choices receives $50K from Cadence Bank

Published 11:42 pm Thursday, February 15, 2024

The Center for Pregnancy Choices (CPC) received a special Valentine’s gift Wednesday when David Cox, president of the Vicksburg market for Cadence Bank, presented a check for $50,000 to the center on behalf of the bank.

Shannon Bagley, director of finance and administration for the CPC, said the grant will be used for the center’s existing programs to provide pregnancy support and infant essentials, improve computer systems and bolster educational resources for teens.

They have been working on upgrading client access through their website and expanding outreach through social platforms, such as Instagram and TikTok.

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The donation was made possible through the Pregnancy Resource Act, which allows eligible businesses to redirect tax dollars to local pregnancy support centers. A credit of 50% of the taxpayer’s total income tax liability, insurance premium tax liability and total real property ad valorem tax liability is possible. Applications are reviewed by the Department of Revenue for certification, and the Center for Pregnancy Choices is available to help start that process.

In addition to free pregnancy tests, ultrasounds and education, the center supports new mothers and fathers in other areas, including employment referrals, interviewing and presentation skills and, when needed, counseling referrals. A baby boutique, filled with items that have been donated and purchased, is stocked with maternity clothes, infant clothing, diapers, wipes, formula and breast pumps. Items can be “purchased” from the boutique with “Baby Bucks,” which are earned by participating in educational programs. A sonogram machine provides mothers-to-be with early pictures of their babies and recordings of their child’s heartbeat. One room is stocked with new car seats for infants and toddlers.

CPC recently established three pillars around which they operate: inform, support and empower. Their purpose is to inform clients of the full spectrum of options available to them when faced with a pregnancy. Support is offered through the many services of the center. By providing these things, they hope to empower young families to change their future for the better, CPC officials said. Bagley said she has a pas- sion for supporting women and families, as does the entire staff at CPC.

“We love to support our girls through the parenting class and parenting resources that we have, setting them up for a life that is beyond what they ever really dreamed it could be,” she said. “While having a child may change your course, it doesn’t stop you from becoming what you want to be.”

Bagley said she deeply desires to help women and families by instilling hope and faith in their ability to achieve a bigger future.

“Speaking into who they can become and supporting them to become that is when we see a life truly changed, because it’s not just about changing her mind, it’s about changing her life, her future and her hope to see what she can truly do and become. And that does not stop just because you got pregnant.”

The CPC anticipates serving the needs of around 1,000 women this year.

“I love what God does in their lives and to see them really succeed and not just survive, but to thrive in their lives,” Bagley said. “It’s such a beautiful time, to witness the change and see them grow and move and do things differently. It’s really such a blessing; it’s a beautiful thing.”

Businesses interested in participating in the Pregnancy Resource Tax Credit, or that would like to make a donation, may contact the CPC at 601-638-2778.