A campus ministry enables students to help facilitate the care of women and families at a local women’s center.
The Miami Valley Women’s Center is a mission dedicated to offering God’s compassion and truth and affirming the lives and futures of women, families and their unborn children, said Tiffany Seifman, the MVWC’s executive director.
Cedarville senior Madison Bruning, who has worked at the center all four years at school, serves as the ministry leader. She said her focus at the center is janitorial work.
“I thought this was going to be a little different,” Bruning said. “But what I found out is that I’m enabling other people to share the Gospel. By us cleaning the center and making sure they have paper towels in the holders, toilet paper on the rolls and taking out the trash, they can spend more time with the client.”
The center has three locations — Dayton, Xenia and Huber heights — where volunteers and experienced staff offer counseling, free pregnancy tests and supplies needed for raising a newborn.
MVWC focuses on women carrying unplanned babies in hopes of giving them an alternative to abortion. Bruning said MVWC is dedicated specifically to expectant mothers who already have children as they already have the draining task of raising children.
When a woman comes in with a child, Bruning said, “[The staff members] do everything they can to keep them there.”
The center also offers counseling for men.
“We have a desire to reach men and to teach them to take responsibility to be good fathers and to be supportive of their children,” said Seifman.
Bruning explained that supplies in the MVWC become available to the expectant mothers primarily through a points system. The points act as an alternative to money because the mothers may be out of work. The accumulation of points works to emphasize the importance of hard work and self-provision in raising a family, Bruning said.
Clients earn points by attending training sessions, such as free cooking classes in the center’s large kitchen. The expectant mothers not only learn how to cook for a family but also gain points to purchase strollers, clothes, diapers and other essentials.
While Bruning and the other Cedarville volunteers do not have contact with the clients for the sake of confidentiality, she did share an experience she had with a comment card. After completing the program, the client answered the question “What have you been impressed with?” Her answer, Bruning said, was, “The center was clean when nowhere else in my life was.”
Bruning said she was initially taken aback by this comment.
“[Cleanliness] is not something I really notice because I expect it,” she said. “For these women with torn apart lives to be at a place that’s put together and has everything at their fingertips is such a blessing.”
Bruning said she doesn’t mind constantly working behind the scenes.
“That’s not a bad thing because if they don’t notice [us], we’re doing our job,” she said.
Bruning leads a team of six or seven girls a year who go every Wednesday night to clean the Xenia center. Though some think otherwise, Bruning said Cedarville’s male students are welcome to join the program as well. More information about the ministry can be found on Cedarville’s Global Outreach Ministry page on the Cedarville website.
Alexis Ancona is a junior English major and reporter for Cedars. She loves travel and stories, and can often be found sharing her own travel stories or reading and dreaming of others.