Author to speak at Birthright of Odessa fundraiser

Birthright of Odessa has assisted patients during pregnancy for more than 30 years.
Every January, the nonprofit organization holds one big fundraising event.
This year Birthright of Odessa will welcome Lisa Harper, who has published a dozen books, as a guest speaker at 6 p.m. Jan. 31 at the MCM Grande Fundome and Event Center.
“Four years ago, we started doing fundraising events more regularly,” said Amy Cravey, Birthright of Odessa board member, event planner and fundraising chairperson. “We have started doing bigger fundraisers, mainly because Odessa is growing and the clients we see at Birthright are increasing in numbers. We want to make sure we have all the resources we need to take care of the ladies that walk through our doors.”
Harper has a busy schedule throughout the final three weeks of January which includes trips to Tennessee, Florida, The Dominican Republic, Indiana, North Carolina and finally Odessa.
Prior to public speaking, Harper served as director of Focus on the Family’s national women’s ministry for six years. That ministry helped create Renewing the Heart conferences, which has been attended by nearly 200,000 women.
However, Harper stated on her website that her greatest accomplishment to date is the ability to adopt her Haitian daughter, Missy, in 2014.
“Lisa Harper is an amazing speaker and author,” Cravey said. “She’s widely known in a lot of women’s conferences and she has an amazing and inspiring adoption story. She brings a lot of inspiration to people. She’s super funny. We felt like she would be a fun speaker to have that night. She appeals to both men and women.”
Since 2017, Cravey said Birthright of Odessa has helped more than 3,000 women — that’s the number of women that have walked through the doors of the organization. Cravey added there are many more women the organization has helped over the phone.
The services Birthright of Odessa offers are free, confidential pregnancy testing and counseling to any woman that walks through its doors. The organization can also provide maternal clothing and baby clothing. It can refer patients to difference agencies that may be able to help with a variety of needs.
“The youngest person I have ever done a test with has been 12 and the oldest has been in her 50s,” Cravey said. “It’s a huge range. We know we do get teenagers in there, because they don’t know where else to go. We are able to give them some resources and help them get with their parents to help them make better choices.”
Through the fundraising event, Cravey said Birthright of Odessa benefits twofold.
The nonprofit’s initial benefit is monetary donations, but Cravey believes the second is just as crucial which the organization increases its number of volunteers.
“Birthright of Odessa is 100 percent volunteer staffed and 100 percent donation funded,” Cravey said. “Our director has never taken a dollar. None of the ladies that work at the front desk are paid. Our local building was donated to us by a local business man. Everything is donated.”