Carol Hart retired after 31 years of faithful service to Alternatives.
Carol Hart began her pregnancy center work in Cincinnati, OH in 1987. She and her husband, Rich, moved to Denver in 1990 and Carol started her journey as a volunteer and then staff member at Alternatives. Her legacy of life is amazing. During her tenure, Carol managed the finances, worked with clients, transitioned to Human Resources where she impacted every program area.
We sat down with Carol and captured a few of her stories and reflections of the past 31 years.
Carol as you reflect on all the years you have been in pregnancy center work, give us a couple of examples of how God showed up just at the right time for staff or a client?
That is a big question and deserves a big answer! I can look back and say I’ve seen God’s hand move throughout Alternatives every day. Of course, I might not have noticed it at the time but at the end of a day or a week or a month and thinking back there were “ah-ha” moments of knowing it was only God who could have made the mountain move. It was clearly evident.
There were so many times when I talked with someone on the 24-Hour Helpline or came into the clinic and God put the exact person in the right place at the right time for that specific client. Sometimes it was me!
When we had staffing challenges and grew concerned about what to do – God brought just the right person to step into a role. God always used the skills and talents of a staff person to fit perfectly.
To try and think of specifics is difficult. That’s what is so amazing about the time I’ve spent here. It has been a huge blessing and a place where my faith and trust in God have grown immensely. It is so much easier to trust during unknowns. I see that God always has a plan.
You met with many clients during your time at Alternatives. Is there one client story that still tugs on your heart?
Out of many, the one that comes first to my mind is a young woman who came to the downtown clinic on a day that I was really struggling personally. My mother, back in Cincinnati was very sick and I was trying to wrap up my work to go be with her. The Client Services Director was already with a client so she asked if I could help out. The first reaction in my mind was “seriously?” But as so often happens, the Holy Spirit reminded me that first and foremost I was at Alternatives to serve women. I snapped out of my selfishness and met a young woman named Robyn. She was in a difficult situation and having a very hard day. As I listened to her story, I felt myself fall in love with her. Her life was a mess. She was very abortion-vulnerable. She came in several times in the early stages of her pregnancy and we continued to build a relationship. It was tenuous and yet she finally made a brave choice for life despite her challenging situation. She has said over and over how she is so glad she made a choice for life. I have watched how she has grown, and how God has been with her through extremely difficult times. Her son is now 11 years old. She raised him by herself. He is a handsome young man with a bright future because she gave him the opportunity to live. I think back to that moment when I almost said no and what I would have missed. I am so thankful that the Holy Spirit intervened and did not let me miss that opportunity to walk with her during that difficult time of decision. We still keep in touch today and I see the obstacles she’s overcome, how she developed a strong relationship with the Lord, and the strength He has given her. She is an amazing mother.
What will you miss most about leaving your position with Alternatives?
I hope not to miss a lot because I am planning to continue to be a part of Alternatives as a volunteer again! I can’t see myself not being involved in some way. I retired a couple of months ago now and that has been a healthy thing for me after all these years. Again, God knew the timing was right with my family’s needs. But life-work is a calling on my life. I actually remember the moment it happened. I had been praying for a way to get involved in the prolife movement. I heard about pregnancy center work through Focus on the Family. It was like the Holy Spirit said, “Here it is – now get going”. It’s been an amazing blessing. I had the feeling that God was moving me to the next chapter of retirement. I wanted it to happen at the right time for me and the organization. I hope to volunteer on the 24-Hour Helpline and maybe be a Client Advocate. My desire is to continue to use the gifts God has given me. Now it will be in a volunteer capacity.
Thank you, Carol Hart, for your dedication to the mission of Alternatives, your tireless work in many challenging times but most of all on behalf of thousands of babies born over the past 31 years!