The Center for Pregnancy Choices will be holding its annual Valentine Fundraiser Thursday with five local restaurants participating.

              

The choice restaurants are Bloomo Diner, City Limits, Laredo Grill, Ronnie’s Steak and Grill, all in Philadelphia, and T-Bones Steakhouse in Union. The fund-raiser is from 5-9 p.m. On that night, local pastors and volunteers will be the servers. All tips and gifts they earn will go to the Center.

              

The fundraiser usually brings in between $14,000 and $16,000 each year, which is nearly 20 percent of the Center’s budget, said Pauline Karcher, executive director.

             

“We are pro-life,” Karcher said. “We try to help people who are struggling.

              

“As a ministry, we have been in Philadelphia for 29 years. We have been in our current building, located 913 Valley View Dr., next to the Baptist Center and Central Water for eight years. We are open Monday through Thursday, 9:30 a.m. through 4:30 p.m. And most of our classes are one-on-one by appointments.”

              

At the start, the Center provided pregnancy testing and counseling. But over the years, those services have grown.

              

“People find us by word of mouth,” Karcher said. “Parenting is a difficult job and we are there to encourage and help.”

              

After each appointment, in addition to receiving counseling and information, participants receive diapers, wipes and an outfit for their child.


              

“We want to help them become good parents,” Karcher said. “Not everyone had a good example from their parents when they were growing up. Relieving them from the stress of buying diapers and wipes is one thing we can do.”

              

Karcher said some churches hold showers for Center which brings in more diapers and wipes.

              

Many participants come to the Center while their children are small, but Karcher said some keep coming after they get out of diapers and are in school.

              

For more information, call 601-656-9712.