An Edmond church rewarded the efforts of Birth Choice of Oklahoma Inc. and other agencies during its Samaritan Award dinner.
St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, and its Social Ministry Board, each year thank various nonprofit groups for their efforts to help the needy. Birth Choice was given the first place honor and presented a $2,000 check.
Fifteen nonprofits were recognized during the Thursday dinner.
Birth Choice, founded in 1973, helps pregnant women who have needs involving finances, health and the future of their children. Birth Choice has five offices in the metro area, including Edmond.
Charles Axtell, of St. John's Ministry Board, said last year Birth Choice helped 84 women in the Oklahoma City area who had considered abortion make the decision to carry their babies to full term.
Accepting the award last week was Kaytlyn Johnson of Birth Choice.
“I've learned so much working at Birth Choice,” she said. “What I have discovered is that we all long to be loved. That's what we offer at Birth Choice.”
Also achieving special recognition, and checks for $500, were Citizens Caring for Children and Edmond Family Counseling.
Citizens Caring for Children has programs to assist children in foster care, many of whom have been victims of abuse.
Edmond Family Counseling, established in 1974, has a mission of providing counseling and education programs to individuals, families and groups.
Guests at the dinner heard from last year's winner, Sister Barbara Joseph, who since 2006 has operated Sister B.J.'s Pantry for the homeless in downtown Oklahoma City. The pantry serves 500 to 600 people a week, Joseph said.
“I like to offer a place of dignity for the homeless,” she said.
To accomplish that mission, she has 36 full-time volunteers.
Also honored were Edmond Mobile Meals, U R Special Ministries, Good Samaritan Health Clinic of Edmond, HOPE Center of Edmond, Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Oklahoma, Breakfast on Boulevard, Oklahoma Lawyers for Children, HeartLine, Inc., Coffee Creek Riding Center and Turning Point Ministries.