This week we chat with Karen Brooks, executive director of LifeCare of Brandon. Brooks started at LifeCare as a volunteer counselor in 1988 and was hired full time as a client services coordinator in 1993.
After a few years off to continue her education, she returned to LifeCare as center director and then became executive director in 2011.
Her passion in life is to share her faith while motivating others to make positive life choices.
Q: How did you get into the business of assisting women with unexpected pregnancies?
A: I felt a burden and compassion for teens and women facing unplanned pregnancies and making life-changing decisions.
Q: What is your mission for LifeCare of Brandon?
A: LifeCare's mission is to lead those we serve to the unconditional love of Christ as we protect and preserve the sanctity of human life, promote Biblical sexuality, and proclaim God's plan for marriage and the family. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit outreach ministry serving the greater Brandon community since 1987 and now in SouthShore.
Q: Why do you believe this service is needed in Brandon?
A: Statistics reveal the need in our community for education, intervention, hope and healing, as well as resources. There have been 53 million abortions in the United States since the Roe v. Wade decision to legalize abortions in 1973. And 43 percent of the women in this country have had at least one abortion, according to the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform.
Over 70 million Americans are currently infected with a sexually transmitted disease, and 19 million new cases are reported each year, according to the Medical Institute of Sexual Health. Also, 33 percent of girls become pregnant at least once before age 20. That is 750,000 teens every year.
Q: What has been the highlight of your career at LifeCare?
A: Opening LifeCare of SouthShore in January of 2012 and our Brandon Center becoming a medical clinic providing life-affirming ultrasounds the first week of January this year. The future vision is to open Haven of Hope, a Christ-centered housing ministry for pregnant women and their babies.
Q: Bacon, sausage or veggie patty?
A: Last year I would have said bacon, but now that I am eating healthier, it's veggie patty.