Hike helps raise money for crisis center

By Jennifer McCabe

The Hike For Life, sponsored by the DeKalb County Crisis Pregnancy Center, raised more than $8,000 to help women in need of counseling and support during their pregnancies.

The Hike For Life took place Saturday, Sept. 11. The 140 hikers arrived excited and ready to walk with their families and friends. The age group was diverse and included 20 different church groups.

Katie Mehne, volunteer administrator for the center, said the hike was to help raise support for the center and to celebrate the past year the center has been open.

“The center helps women who need emotional, practical and spiritual help at a time when she thinks she may have an unplanned pregnancy,” Mehne said.

Many NIU students involved in Intervarsity Christian Fellowship were there to support the crisis center.

Brook Hartman, sophomore, undecided professional studies, said the walk was a good cause. “I raised $49 and hiked because I think that they’re very pro-life, but if you’re pro-life or pro-choice, it still benefits the girls. A lot of the girls change their minds (about abortion) when they know there is help for them through the pregnancy and after.”

The women who come for help are single or married, and sometimes just need to know if they are pregnant. “We give free tests to women who may not be able to afford a test in a doctor’s office,” Mehne said.

The two-mile hike took place in Hopkins Park and lasted all morning. The top money raisers were given donated prizes and hikers who raised $150 were given T-shirts.

There also were refreshments and participants had the opportunity to win donated prizes for participating.

The crisis pregnancy center offers many services for women who find themselves in an unplanned pregnancy. There are free pregnancy tests, information, and opportunities to meet others who have gone through the same situation. Assistance in finding affordable medical care is also available.

The center has referrals for adoption, referrals for childbirth classes, maternity and infant clothing, housing during the pregnancy, counseling for women with post-abortion distress and abstinence counseling for singles.

The center is not supported by the government, only by private donations and volunteers. They are not a political group, and they do not make decisions for anyone. “We’re here for women, to help them in any way we can,” Mehne said.

They do not refer abortions, but they will give out information on them, so women can make educated decisions about what they can do for themselves, she said.

The center’s 24-hour hotline number is 748-4242, for women who want to make appointments, need help or just want information.