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Letters to the editor: 'Options' Pregnancy Center is asset to our community

'Options' Pregnancy Center is asset to our community

TO THE EDITOR

According to a study recently released by the Charlotte Lozier Institute, pregnancy resource centers in the United States provided nearly 2 million people - primarily women and youth - with free services in 2017. These services, funded largely by private donations from caring local residents, resulted in an estimated annual cost savings of more than $160 million across communities nationwide.

In the St. Croix Valley, we are served by the Options for Women - River Falls pregnancy resource center, which serves many local communities including Hudson, New Richmond, Roberts, Ellsworth and Prescott.

Although pregnancy resource centers are generally operated by caring staff, their work would be impossible without the help of committed volunteers. Last year, 7,500 medical volunteers and 59,900 non-medical volunteers shared their time and talents to serve women, men and families to improve overall public health and wellness in their communities.

A pregnancy resource center is truly a community asset, and we are blessed to have Options for Women and its own compassionate staff and volunteers within minutes of the largest cities in St. Croix and Pierce Counties.

Options for Women - River Falls provides free and confidential services including STD/STI testing, pregnancy testing, ultrasounds, prenatal education, parenting courses, material support, and after-abortion support. Options also provides referrals to a wide range of public and private services addressing concerns such as abuse, education, financial assistance, health insurance, legal assistance, mental health and nutrition.

Anyone interested in taking advantage of the services offered by Options for Women may stop by their downtown River Falls office or visit www.ofwrf.com.

John R. Danneker

Maiden Rock

National Hunter Mentor Training Program

TO THE EDITOR

The Wisconsin Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) program is offering a National Hunter Mentor Training Program at UW-River Falls in the Ag Engineering Annex Building Room 179 Saturday, Nov. 10 at 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

We are seeking male and female hunters with at least five years' experience to be trained to become a nationally recognized hunter mentor. Our program is a one-day event and will cover topics such as mentoring strategies, tips for mentoring women, adult learning principles, and mentor benefits. Participants who complete the training will receive a National Hunter Mentor certificate. This is the first of six programs that will be held around the state.

BOW is non-profit, educational program open to anyone 18 and older. We understand how hunting helps contribute to conservation funds that preserve our natural resources. Training mentors to take out one new person will continue those efforts and allow someone to experience the hunt who would otherwise not be able to.

This training program is sponsored by the International Hunter Education Association, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, UWSP College of Natural Resources, Pheasants Forever, and Wisconsin Becoming and Outdoors-Woman. The $30 per person registration will include lunch and training materials. Register soon, as space is limited. For more information, contact Peggy Farrell, 715/346-4681, or email peggy.farrell@uwsp.edu.

We're building a national database of trained hunter mentors who will become leaders in the hunting community.We are seeking to recruit and train a pool of volunteers who want to mentor new hunters as well as use specific tools and training to be an effective mentor and influential role model to new hunters.

Shauna Holmes

Stevens Point

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