My wife Lindsey and I have been fortunate to be involved with Claris as donors and gala attendees for the past eight years, and from the very first gala we attended it became clear that Claris is a special organization filled with people who truly care about helping those who find themselves in a very unexpected situation. Sitting at that first gala and hearing directly from those who have been blessed by the support (both tangible and intangible) that Claris provides, I immediately felt a personal connection.
Forty years ago, my mom found herself in a similar position as many of the people I heard speak that night – very young, single, unexpectedly pregnant, and overwhelmingly uncertain of what the future would look like and how they would navigate this new path of life that was not anticipated whatsoever. So as I sat there and heard these stories, I simultaneously saw a part of me in the young kids up on stage that night and also felt an immediate calling that this was the exact type of organization that God had lined up for Lindsey and I to be involved in. As I heard more about how Claris genuinely offers emotional support without judgment, and truly wants to help in any way it can, the confirmation of our need to be involved was cemented.
I’ve learned a lot over the years seeing my mom’s story unfold and hearing the numerous stories from Claris. The one thing that stands out more than anything is that these women have such an amazing inner strength and resilience. They often just simply need someone to put their arm around them to let them know they’re not alone and will have a group of support to walk with during the journey ahead. It’s for this reason (and many others) that it’s been a true blessing for our family to partner with Claris as they lead that charge. –Brandon