First Step Options is a Christian non-profit, non-political, charitable organization providing compassionate care to women, men and families facing an unintended pregnancy, pregnancy loss or parenting needs.
That every individual experiencing an unintended pregnancy, pregnancy loss or parental needs has access to compassionate support, accurate information and material assistance.
OUR MISSION ( H.O.P.E )
We facilitate the Healing process by Offering accurate and up-to-date information and by Providing compassionate and material support to Empower each individual to make positive choices for a healthy future.
In 1998, the idea of a Pregnancy Resource Centre was conceived by a group of caring individuals who recognized the need in our community to support women and men dealing with unintended pregnancy and pregnancy loss. A steering committee was formed and work began to develop our mission statement and core documents and to apply for incorporation status which was granted in October of 2000.
Our founding director Greta Landry-Masseau was hired in 2001 and we officially opened our doors on November 24th, 2006 under the name Pregnancy Support Services of the Upper Ottawa Valley. We were located in the basement floor of a building located at 203 Isabella Street, Pembroke.
In 2011 we moved to our current location and changed our name to First Step Options Pregnancy Resource Centre to better represent the full scope of our services and the entire demographic we serve.
Since our doors first opened we have had the privilege of serving over 800 clients.
We are a faith based non-political organization and our work is an extension of our faith, - to love and serve others. While our faith motivates our actions, there is absolutely no expectation that those receiving our care must share or subscribe to these beliefs. We recognize that our clients might have never thought about God or why they exist, but sometimes facing a difficult pregnancy causes people to think about spiritual questions.
Please know that although we are happy to talk about spiritual matters there is never any pressure to do so. Our only focus is on caring for each individual who comes to our door.
WHAT WE VALUE
We Value People – We treat each person with dignity and respect.
We Listen – More than we talk, we know it helps to feel understood.
We Empathize – We respond with compassion, always assuming the best about people.
We Don’t Judge – We are a safe place where nobody has to pretend.
We Hope – Some people might see problems, we see possibilities.
We Empower – We provide a place for people to find their ‘voice’ … and we cheer for the underdog.
We Equip – We teach skills to help people do their best.
We Love Jesus – God’s love is the reason for everything we do.
WHAT WE BELIEVE
We believe every woman has the right to make an informed choice.
An informed choice becomes possible when a person is given the full spectrum of information (details, benefits, and risks) about all of their options and a supportive, confidential place to discuss those options without pressure or judgement.
GET TO KNOW US
We are governed by a Board of Directors and managed by an Executive Director. We are fully funded by private and community donations.
Donalee became a part of the FSO team in 2007 serving as Receptionist/Administrator then moving into the role of client services and currently serving as Executive Director. She has been married to her high school sweetheart for 36 years and together they have been blessed with 3 wonderful children and 5 exquisite grandchildren. Her faith motivates her actions to love and serve others, helping them to find support and hope in their life circumstances.
Bev is married to Rev Kevin Wilson, lead pastor at Wesley Community Church.
Together they have one daughter. Bev has taught for thirty plus years in Christian education.
She also served as Children's Ministry Director for ten years in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
In addition to her office duties, she applies her talents and experiences to facilitate and oversee our BrightCourse life skills program.
Client Services Worker
Mary joined the FSO team as a volunteer when her family moved to Pembroke in 2019. She enjoys hearing peoples stories and connecting with them. Since unexpectedly becoming a mother 16 years ago, to being a single mom 3 years later, it has been her passion to give support to other women through the joys and tough times, letting them know that there is hope, help and people who care.
Matthew comes to First Step Options after many years of youth ministry. Most recently, he has been serving with The Community Kitchen in Pembroke and at First Evangelical Missionary Church. Matthew is a married and has 2 children.
Esther considers it a privilege to work alongside First Step Options in Pembroke. As she works with clients, volunteers, and with the Board of Directors, Esther draws on many years of ministry, educational, and vocational experiences. Over time, Esther has learned that God will always be there to help you; giving comfort, strength, guidance, hope – even joy where and when they are needed. Esther and her husband have two adult children and they are full-time kinship parents to a third son.
Kelsey became a board member at First Step Options in early 2019. Kelsey states, “I have had the pleasure of assisting with some fundraisers the Centre had in the past, including the banquet. I have always truly appreciated the hope the Centre provides to people in need.” Kelsey is a Registered Psychotherapist. She is a wife and mother to three children and two in heaven. Kelsey is passionate about the Centre. She shares, “With my education and experience with pregnancy losses I feel incredibly blessed to be able to be a member of the board and assist with the growth and development of the Centre."
Janet has been a supporter of FSO for many years. She is passionate, caring and loves the Lord. She is a proud mother of three daughters and has 9 grandchildren. Janet brings with her the experience of working with women who struggle due to circumstances out of their control. She also recognizes that it is only by the grace of God that we are able to continue on this journey of life set before us.
All services are free and confidential. First Step Options has staff and volunteers who have received training in client support and advocacy. We are not a medical facility and do not provide medical services, including, but not limited to, abortion referral or procedures and abortifacients, prenatal/ postnatal medical care, medical testing, or imaging. Our services are meant to complement, not replace, professional medical care. We provide lab quality urine pregnancy tests and advise all pregnancies should be confirmed by a doctor.
Although we provide support to women considering adoption, we are not an adoption agency.
FIRST STEP OPTIONS AFFILIATES:
Address: 337 Murray St Pembroke ON