MADISON -- “In 1985, we plan to open a Christian Action Council Crisis Pregnancy Center. The Pregnancy Information Center, as it will be called, will provide Madison with a needed service and give Christians an opportunity to serve the Lord in our own community."
"As Christians, we should look for opportunities to meet people at their point of need,” wrote Kay Putty, first board president of Care Net, for the first issue of Care Net’s newsletter in December 1984.
Thus began Care Net Pregnancy Center, then called the Pregnancy Information Center. A small group of volunteers, seeking to provide options to women facing unplanned pregnancies and save the lives of unborn babies, started this ministry offering free pregnancy tests, consultations, and referrals.
Care Net’s 25th Anniversary Open House
When: Sunday, April, 18, from 2 to 4 p.m.
Celebration of 25 Years Program at 2:45 p.m.
Where: Care Net, 1350 MacArthur Rd., Madison
What: Moving testimonies. Meet the people who have been part of Care Net’s 25-year history.
Services to women, men, families
In 1986, Liz Osborn was hired as the executive director, and she, along with our Board of Directors, continues to lead Care Net to this day. Care Net trains many volunteers each year to provide compassionate and quality services to women, men, and families facing unplanned pregnancies or sexual health concerns.
In 2002, recognizing a need in our community for safe housing and ongoing support during pregnancy and while beginning to parent, Care Net’s Board of Directors took a huge step of faith and began a pilot program of The Elizabeth House (TEH) at a farmhouse in rural Stoughton.
In 2004, a Madison businessman was led by God to buy land on MacArthur Rd. on Madison’s east side and to donate the land to Care Net. Unbeknownst to him, another group was going to purchase the land and build an abortion facility. But, because of his 11th hour offer to buy the property, it is now used to save and change lives.
Following this donation of land in 2005, the Madison area community, including the Diocese of Madison, came together in an unprecedented way to build and furnish Care Net’s beautiful facility which now houses Care Net’s medical and counseling clinic and The Elizabeth House program.
Since relocating to this facility in December of 2005, God has enabled Care Net to serve and care for 37 percent more women and men facing unplanned pregnancies or sexual health concerns.
While remaining committed to our core services providing options to women and men so they may choose life for themselves and their unborn children, Care Net now offers additional free services and support programs to more fully equip women and men to make wise life choices.
In addition to free pregnancy testing, consultations, and ultrasounds, we now offer — all free of charge — parenting and childbirth classes, ongoing one-on-one support with a nurse, support for men, a 24/7 phone line, comprehensive STI testing and treatment for women, LifeWise abstinence and STI education, Whole Heart post abortion support, and The Elizabeth House residential program.
Thanks for Care Net
Over the course of 25 years, Care Net has ministered to thousands of women and men affected by unplanned pregnancies. One of these women, Deanna, came to Care Net for help approximately 18 years ago. She writes:
“I moved out of my parent’s home at the age of 17 and became pregnant at the age of 18. I didn’t know what to do or where to turn. The father of the baby did not want anything to do with me unless I had an abortion. So, I made an abortion appointment. I felt like I had no other option.
“The morning of my appointment, I just couldn’t go through with it. I canceled my appointment and contacted Care Net instead. I walked into Care Net feeling very ashamed and bewildered and walked out feeling very positive and empowered. Though the road would be hard, I knew I was making the right choice to keep my baby.
“My daughter, whom I gave birth to a few months later, is now 17, in high school and planning to go to college next year. She is beautiful inside and out. I am now married and have four children. I work at a local church. I can honestly say that I do not know where we would be without Care Net. Thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you did for us and for all the other women in need.”
Anniversary open house April 18
In 2010, Care Net is celebrating our 25th anniversary in this community. Deanna and others who have received help and support at Care Net will be sharing their stories at Care Net’s 25th Anniversary Open House Celebration on Sunday, April 18. All are invited to celebrate with us and hear these inspirational stories.
In 25 years, we have seen God nurture this tiny seed and watched it grow to become a many-faceted and vibrant ministry that continues to blossom and flourish with the support of many individuals, churches, and businesses. As we look ahead to the years to come, we will continue to foster healing from the past, provide help for today, and build hope for tomorrow for the women, men, and families who come to Care Net.
To read more about Care Net, to make a 25th anniversary donation, or for more information about the open house celebration, visit www.carenetdane.org/friends