Clear Impact All the Way

I found myself at 19, working a difficult job and just trying to get by when I started to notice some changes in my body. Could I be pregnant? The same month, my boyfriend was let go at his job. I didn’t want to stress him out, so I decided to handle it on my own. I Googled, “Free pregnancy clinic & ultrasounds” and found Claris.

The minute I stepped into Claris Health, I felt a sense of relief. They weren’t like other clinics that make you feel like a number and rush you in and out. Rather, I felt heard and understood as a person.

We started out with a pregnancy test (which came out positive) and after consulting with a client advocate, I opted for an ultrasound to see how far along I was. To my disbelief, I was about 8 weeks pregnant! When the nurse zoomed in—I noticed this pulse, and I asked myself, “Is that what I think it is?” No one had to tell me. I knew. That was a heartbeat of a person. That’s when my life completely changed.

After I left, I decided to tell my family and my boyfriend. At first, my family didn’t want to hear it. They insisted on an abortion. “It’s not a real human yet, it’s not bigger than a grain of rice,” they said. But I kept having flashbacks of that heartbeat. Nobody could convince me that it wasn’t real.

When I told my boyfriend, he was very supportive and I was relieved. He got a job right away and was ready to take responsibility as a father at 22. I started to take parenting classes at Claris to be better prepared. I learned about things like the labor process, nutrition, healthy discipline, and financial planning. 

My daughter is two months old now and she's been such a blessing. We wouldn't be where we are today without Claris guiding me all the way. Claris Family, thank you for making this possible for us!

A Christmas Party Claris-Style


Small acts of kindness can indeed go a long way. This past weekend we hosted an event to connect our donors with client families, a small gesture to connect two groups of the Claris family.

A Christmas celebration unlike any other ensued, with all the festive touches bringing light and life to this unique gathering. And like any good party, it’s really all for the kids. With many a cookie in tow, eager anticipation for the donated gifts filled the room with suspense and wonder. Christmas story time, crafts and games, and Jingle Bells-y music set the scene abuzz until it was time for more holiday treats of course.

This is one of our favorite events of the year at Claris and not just for the Yule-tide specialness. It’s really threefold:

  1. Connecting donors and client families. The event presents a unique opportunity for donors and clients to meet in an intimate setting. The labels of “donor” and “client” are removed, and connection is made. Beyond season’s greetings, this event eliminates the walls of separation and makes community a reality.
  2. The power of small. Presents were donated. Cookies and deliciousness were made. Smiles and friendly faces created an inviting an environment. People giving their time, their resources, their talent – however big or small. The simple acts of caring combine to not only to create a great event, but cast a giant heart-shaped shadow over the struggle that often ensues from unintended pregnancy. And the small acts are more than an hour given here or a dollar donated there; they are powerful forces to change hearts and minds, like spoonfuls of hope.
  3. The seeds of inspiration. When a client meets a donor and sees the genuine love and care, when a volunteer interacts with a smiling child, when a client shares her story with a donor—these are the moments that inspire us. Not just to continue to relentlessly pursue the cause, but to create new connecting moments and experiences. They fill us with a new energy and zeal for the year to come!

Thank you to all who took part in this year’s Adopt-A-Family event! There are more photos of the event to enjoy on our Facebook page.

Journeys of Transformation Part III

The story doesn’t end when a pregnancy decision is made. Nor does the opportunity to connect with those in need. 

The stories below provide a glimpse of the courageous life post-unintended pregnancy. We welcome you to watch and reflect on how you can come alongside journeys like these. From friendship to mentorship, there are so many ways to connect with Claris clients before, during, and even after their unintended pregnancies. We invite you to join these journeys because a listening ear, a thoughtful gift, or simple words of encouragement have the power to change lives.

If you’re in need of support as a result of an unintended pregnancy decision, we are here for you. Please visit here for more information on getting support. If you’d like to dedicate your time and resources to Claris clients, please visit here.

 Wishing you all the best this holiday season!

Journeys of Transformation Part II

That dreaded moment of the positive test . . .

The anguish of telling him and family . . .

The reality of the life-defining choice at hand . . .

The stakes are high amidst an unintended pregnancy, and knowledge and resources are often low. Watch as these three women gather the courage to overcome and even thrive amidst their unintended pregnancies. Claris is proud to have walked the journey with them, and we consider them family to this day.

If anyone you know is facing an unintended pregnancy, we are here. Please contact us or set up an appointment directly right here.

More Than a Christmas Party

Most Christmas parties this time of year are about celebrating the holidays with friends and family. Some go all out—chalk full of festive food, spirits, and music. There might even be some reflective moments and conversations about how the year went. Few, however, have all this and promote a good cause.

Last weekend, we had it all. Claris crashed a community Christmas party. We celebrated Christmas, ate some delicious Wokcano faire, danced to the beat, and shared a glimpse of our story. We spoke about how our care for those facing the confusion and fear of unintended pregnancy runs deep. We talked about our services and our vision for the future to those unfamiliar, but more importantly, we talked about lives impacted. We did some fundraising for these lives at stake. We shared our dream of communities rallying around the broken-hearted, about meeting physical and emotional needs. Yes, we got vulnerable, but this time of year will do that.

Below is a glimpse of the memories built and some of our 250 new friends. If you would like Claris to partner with an event you’re hosting or have ideas for collaboration, we’re game. Reach out to us here, and let the collaboration for good begin! 

Journeys of Transformation Part I

Sex, dating, self-esteem and the like are easy topics to avoid when interacting with young people. However, our Reality Check program believes that when young people are in connected relationships with mentors, when empathy and shared perspectives abound, they will make healthy choices. The video below offers a glimpse of how Reality Check engages young people to inform and build confidence – helping them grow into thriving adults.

Parents, youth consistently express that you—not their peers, not their partners, not pop culture—most influence their beliefs and decisions about relationships and sex. But finding the best approach on these important topics can be challenging. We invite you to learn and to join the conversation young people are already having. If you’d like to meet up, schedule a presentation at your local school or church, or just learn more, visit here. If you’d like to help us reach more young people, you can donate here.

Wishing you all the best this holiday season!

#GivingTuesday: Building Thriving Families

Whether you’re a new or seasoned parent, you likely remember the sweet yet challenging first two years of your child’s life. Imagine what those years would have looked like if the pregnancy was unintended, and you lacked financial stability, family or a support system.

Men and women in these situations are often overwhelmed by fear and confusion. They are not alone, however, and their circumstances are not uncommon. Almost half of the pregnancies in Los Angeles County are unintended. Statistics show that children raised in single-family homes are more apt to live in poverty and run a higher risk of child abuse and neglect.

Claris steps into these tough situations with education and resources and ultimately becomes family to those in need. Classes, counseling and mentorship programs empower new and expecting parents during the critical first two years of their child’s life. Clients receive practical, empathetic guidance and deep relationships are formed with mentors and others in the program.

In the coming year, we plan to equip 200 families with education, counseling, mentorship, and material goods to help them thrive. Would you consider a sacrificial, personal investment to achieve these goals, to help us raise $15,000 by year-end, and empower families to thrive? If so, please visit our crowdfunding page, located here. Thank you so much for your partnership and commitment to families before, during, and after unintended pregnancy.

40th Anniversary Gala Re-Visited

There are moments when our imagination is captured, when we see possibility and reality intersect in beautiful ways. During our 40th Anniversary gala on October 22nd, this most undoubtedly took place. We celebrated in grand style and honored stories of triumph, creating a powerful, indelible bond among those in attendance.

Inspiration permeated the evening—Claris clients bravely shared about their journey and many in the audience were moved to give their time and resources. We then cast a vision of what our movement can become. Together, we will reach more women and their families with the unintended pregnancy services they need, we will build new relationships with those at-risk for unintended for unintended pregnancy, and we will immerse ourselves in new communities.

To those who attended the gala, we offer our gratitude for being a part of a beautiful evening, and for those who could not, we missed you. To all, we offer a brief glimpse of this inspiring evening through videos and pictures below.

Clarity Defined, Part III


We see our futures through the lens of our memories and experiences. With every new situation, we automatically pull from memories and experiences to cast quick-fire assumptions about our circumstances and what is or isn't possible.

This is particularly true for unintended pregnancy situations. While memories and experiences provide a scaffold for what a women and man facing unintended pregnancy believe to be possible, we at Claris are working hard to expand clients’ imaginations, to open people up to the vast range of possibilities, even if their current situation appears helplessly dire. We help clients achieve a deeper understanding of the web of factors involved in their situation and help them consider different outcomes, beyond knee-jerk abortion scenarios. We shed light that Parenting and Adoption are also viable options, that they CAN make healthy choices and not feel judged or guilty regardless of their choice.

The big payoff is when new information collides with established memories. Perspective changes and there’s that moment of “Aha!” Nicole Woolsey, a Program Director here at Claris talks about this incredible aha moment as central to bringing clients Clarity:

We thrive on these aha moments. The aha that comes from the subtle fit between personal experience and making sense of new insight. We live for these moments because then, and only then, can the beginning of clarity come forth.

Clarity Defined, Part II


True community has the power to transform the lives of those facing unintended pregnancy and difficult relationship and sexual health situations.

Community is defined as:

A feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of joint ownership or participation

“Joint ownership and participation,” begs us to make others’ situations our own. When we see people we care about struggling, and we can’t immediately “fix it,” what we really need to do is simply be with them, to feel what they feel. And perhaps that’s the best remedy.

Christie Pierce, one our Reality Check leaders, talks about this type of community and more at Claris as part of our Clarity Defined series. How will you bring Clarity through community?

Clarity Defined, Part I


Shame, confusion, and fear run deep when it comes unintended pregnancy and sexual health concerns. We see women and men each day who are burdened, hurting by the issues they face. But, we believe no one is too lost, too messed up, too broken. And so we tirelessly join them on the journey toward a healthy future.

That said, the work that is being done everyday can be esoteric to those on the outside. What does bringing clarity to these dark and confusing situations even mean? What does healing look like? Is it truly possible?

Accordingly, for our next series, we aim to bring Clarity to life. From informing people of their options, to equipping them to enact their decisions, to the blood, sweat, and tears that goes into loving someone hard, as hard as you possibly can, we begin to open up the discussion. In this series, members of the Claris Staff will take a moment to unpack what clarity means to them as they think about the role that Claris gets to play in the lives of many. Enjoy the first one below from Emily Keith, Claris' VP of Operations!

What does clarity mean to you in our Claris context? In your opinion, what is the significance of bringing clarity to those at-risk of or currently facing an unintended pregnancy, as well as some who are dealing with a past pregnancy decision? Share your answers in the comment box below!

Clarity Makers: Finale

For helping hands, passion must meet skill. This is allows true impact to happen.

For the past couple months, we’ve identified and defined eight archetypes for what it means to meaningfully serve within your skills and desires. We believe that effectively helping others starts with having a deep understanding of ourselves. These archetypes aren’t the definitive ways that you can contribute, but we hope that they cast light to the depth of influence each individual can have in fulfilling our mission to bring clarity to those facing unintended pregnancy. As we conclude this series, we encourage you to reflect on the archetype that most resonates with your motivations, desires, and talents:

Macro-focus :: culture :: policy :: breadth

  1. Are you the Dreamer who romantically and imaginatively inspires a new future?
  2. Are you the Everyday Visionary, the mover and shaker who’s out to change policy and culture?
  3. Are you the Warrior who is multi-skilled and ready at a moment’s notice?
  4. Are you the Creator who has the desire and talent to bring creativity to our vision?


Micro-focus:: individuals :: relationships :: depth

  1. Are you the Caregiver who is attentive to people’s needs and whose heart is moved to action through giving?
  2. Are you the Dot Connector who is plugged into the community and unafraid to ask others to step up?
  3. Are you the Confidant who engages in hard talks and is authentically empathetic?
  4. Are you the Counselor who’s insightful about what’s happening on the inside, with an gifted ability guide others into healthy choices? 

We spent an entire series on these issues because we believe a collective operating in their strengths can do big things. Will you join us? If you’re unsure which group best fits your disposition or just want to learn more about ways you can plug in, we are here and ready! 


Clarity Makers: The Counselor

Overwhelmed. Judged. Confused. These are all words that our clients bring to us. Feeling like they are stuck in an impossible situation when facing an unintended pregnancy or sexual health matter, they desire insight, guidance, and compassion. They need someone who is willing to engage in hard talks with them without judgment. Someone with a professional yet empathetic voice, even someone who has been through an unintended pregnancy situation before. And sometimes, “I believe in you” is all a client really needs to hear to pick themselves up and start walking in the right direction. At other times, a deep yet objective explanation of the various choices available is needed to empower individuals and equip them to make a healthy choice. Whatever the situation, the Counselor is there to calm hearts and make options clear and viable.  

In short, The Counselor genuinely cares about what you have to say. What matters to you also matters to them, and they clearly convey respect for your beliefs, opinions, feelings, and values. A professional background in counseling or marriage/family therapy helps, but an understanding ear and a gentle, loving voice that offers practical guidance and equipping is most important.

At Claris, in particular, we believe in the power of interpersonal relationships and the impact of mentorship. For all those who come into Claris feeling confused and written-off, we want to instill confidence for positive choices and shed light on what might seem like a very dark situation. You don’t have to have all the answers to be a Counselor- just a heart full of love, ears ready to listen, and a hand willing to help. If you want to find out more about how you can serve as a Counselor with Claris, contact us here. If you're in a situation of need, we have professional counselors who are ready and willing to offer their expertise to you; just contact us here.

Clarity Makers: The Confidant

The truth is that we are rarely ever truly “fine.” We say that we are. We pretend that we are. But if we’re honest, there’s so much going on beneath the surface.

Why do we do this? To protect ourselves and because advice is overrated. What we really need is love, and love isn’t easy to come by. Love requires trust – trust to reveal your struggles and not be shamed for it. These are hard roads to go down. 

So in comes The Confidant. A rare breed who listens hard, lets you talk until you discover you have the answers right inside, and doesn’t reject you after learning you’re a disaster.

Confidants are as valuable as gold and just as rare because culture doesn’t see them as special. There is no glory in being others’ focused. And so the real Confidants go unnoticed, unappreciated, and under-utilized.

But, Confidants may be the central ingredient to healing, particularly for our cause. We honor another human being by listening to them – everybody should have the opportunity to be listened to. At Claris, we look long and hard for what we call Client Advocates, our form of Confidants. They find the beauty inside our clients, even when the clients themselves might not realize or see it. Even if with such difficult and stressful situations such as unintended pregnancy, their listening ears are like oxygen for the soul. Trust develops as conversations unfold, and this leads to transparency, which ultimately leads to clarity and healing.

Confidants’ body language, their words and questions, their eyes communicate the depth of their care. They’re not therapists; they just genuinely care through empathetic listening. They’ve discovered that they can help simply by being attuned to others, and this discovery reminds Confidants themselves that they are powerful and worthy. We challenge the Claris community to step into this role – in all walks of life. If you’re specifically interested in becoming a Confidant Claris style, please connect with us to learn more. The art of listening will transform you and clients alike.

Clarity Makers: The Dot Connector

To solve big problems, there needs to be more collaboration. And that’s where Dot Connectors come in, another pivotal group in our ClarityMakers series.

Dot Connectors are the ideal blend of a macro- and micro-sensibilities.

On the one hand, Dot Connectors believe that social good for those facing unplanned pregnancies and the broken relationships that result requires cross-sector collaboration. They realize that the problems that lead to these situations are complex and multi-faceted, spanning the spectrum of inequality – educational, socio-economic, race, gender, and more. Accordingly, some Dot Connectors seek to work in partnership with businesses, non-profits, and government to solve these macro-problems. 

On the either hand, there’s very much a micro-sensibility – caring for those in our midst in their time of need. From meeting immediate needs through material goods, to connecting people to local agencies, Dot Connectors provide the means for getting through tough and confusing situations. They seem to always know someone who can help – be it grandma, an agency, and everyone in between.

Being a Dot Connector is about scrappiness. It’s not about joining political sides; it’s about unifying differing worldviews to bring caring for humans back into the conversation. It’s about blurring the lines of profit and non-profit and prioritizing substance (impact) over style.

All in all, this group’s superpower is connection. They’re hustlers for good, they’re magnetic, they’re always pursuing relationship.

Think you might be a Dot Connector? Here’s a few ways to plug in:

  • Helping identify partner organizations for Claris
  • Becoming a Client Advocate -- working hand in hand with clients to get needs met
  • Organizing and leading teams to “get the job done”
  • Creating new relationships that get the Claris message out

Clarity Makers: The Caregiver

Being a mom is a tough gig. And when moms feel that their needs are big and resources small, we want to be there for them. Similarly, facing an unplanned pregnancy is anything but easy. Beyond the emotional toll of wrestling with this new reality, those facing an unplanned pregnancy may face a myriad of physical needs as well. From rides to appointments, to material goods for those down on their luck financially, to perhaps being in need of baby items down the road, the possibilities to serve practically are endless. And we are there for these women and families to remind them that resources are not finite and there are people who will stand by their side through thick and thin. We want to let them know that they are not in this alone. This is where the Caregiver comes in.

The Caregiver is attentive to people’s needs and has a passion to provide. A Caregiver is a selfless servant who seeks to offer relief to people through tangible needs. A Caregiver is that one friend who cooks you meals when you’re sick, gives you a ride when you need it, and checks in on you out of genuine care and concern. Put simply, a Caregiver is the one friend you can count on to help.

Day to day, we witness the generosity of our community and the impact it has on the people whom we have walked with at Claris. Mom groups, generous individuals, and corporations alike provide relief to Claris clients and families through tangible goods such as diapers, baby car seats, breast pads, and much more. Just last week, a group of volunteers met up to make gift bags for our new moms filled with toiletries and fancy nail polish. Another group of volunteers sorted, organized, and cleaned the donations at our baby store. Both were simple gestures of love but expressed the care that runs deep in the Claris family.

It’s not only about providing tangible goods. Some people serve as Caregivers by being a living model of support. This could simply mean walking with an anxious mom to her first doctor’s appointment. We’re not solving any of their problems but we’re showing them that we’re in this together.  

It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.
— Mother Theresa

To find out how you can love practically and become a Caregiver yourself, please reach out to us here. There can never be too much caregiving!

Clarity Makers: The Creator

Calling all videographers, photographers, musicians, writers, designers, and artists -- those who desire to create something of enduring value for good.

You Creators are storytellers whose imagination and craftsmanship inspire possibility. Bringing reality to life or allowing us to see a new future through story and art, which otherwise may be esoteric, is a powerful force for good. Some would argue the most powerful force. 

And it’s not just about aesthetic beauty. It’s about bringing clarity and coherency to complex issues, while challenging people to reflect and thoughtfully respond to a call for action. For our cause, this may mean helping people see all sides of an unplanned pregnancy – the woman’s, the man’s, the families,’ and of course, what’s happening on her insides. It may mean shedding light on what shame in relationships really looks like. It may mean uniting divided forces for the common good – even for age-old battles that seem hopeless like the pro-life/pro-choice debate. 

Below is another example of a group of Creators who are giving voice to the voiceless through photography. This group of women are using photography as a tool for visual storytelling to raise awareness about people who are “living on the edge." Check it out and take a moment to reflect on how YOU can be a creative partner in fighting for our cause.

One of our Creators built this astounding structure for our recent Unveiling Clarity event. 144 lights were turned on individually by guests of the event to signify solidarity and hope for 144 individuals we serve. Part art installation, part brand message, this piece stole the show.

If you’d like to learn more about how you can use your creative skills or have an idea you’d like to share, we’re always game. You can connect with us here.

Clarity Makers: The Warrior

A Warrior does whatever it takes. Often unassuming, these heroes are always there for the cause. Multi-skilled and ready at a moment’s notice, these Swiss Army Knives are as comfortable on the front lines as they are behind-the-scenes. Progress is simply what motivates them. In our culture of immediacy, they remind us that progress is valuable, fundamental to human nature.

And they remind us that it’s essentially all about taking steps and not getting paralyzed by fear and how daunting the obstacle is. Gandhi, didn’t start out as “Gandhi” you see. In fact, he’s a great example of a Warrior. While he later became known for Visionary type work, he stepped into the need wherever he saw it, unabashedly. As a lawyer, he represented vulnerable clients who were being exploited. As an entrepreneur, he homespun cotton into cloth to bring economic access to the poor. He marched 200 miles to the sea on foot to make salt for his community for goodness sakes! He taught that progress takes grit, but that all can see the need and fill the need. It’s not about special talent or gifts.

Today, there’s a man among us, let’s call him Tim, who is another great example of a Warrior. He’s a dad with a full-time job and cool tattoos, but he’s so much more than that. His sweet and kind spirit is inviting to others, while his ferociousness and persistence get the job done. He organizes, he galvanizes others, he gives his time, his talent, and his money. He recently connected us to local community leaders to see how we can collectively better serve our city. The previous week he had lunch with us to better learn the right language and approaches to use for our cause. Speaking of lunch, he’s been known to secretly buy lunch for those on the front lines. Whatever it takes. What motivates Tim is that he believes in preserving the sanctity of life, but he’s also fighting for sustaining lives – both those who are vulnerable and those who are simply around him.

Warriors don’t have a step-by-step roadmap to becoming warriors. In many ways, Warriors are a little bit of everything. And maybe this is because they are so passionate, so focused on accomplishing the goal. Whatever it takes.



Clarity Makers: The Everyday Visionary

Last week, we discussed The Dreamer, and this week we introduce The Everyday Visionary. Enjoy and happy dreaming for a better future! 


Movements need movers and shakers. While finding the next MLK would be nice, we believe in Everyday Visionaries. These are the people with the courage and the tenacity to see a vision and do something about it. To dream up big change and go for it with a clear, thoughtful plan. There’s a willingness to explore and experiment, balanced with the sensibility to think things through and really understand people and problems. A glass half-full perspective, with a magnifying glass and a big heart.

It’s not about being the smartest person in the room, however; it’s about selflessly leading. For our cause specifically, providing impact for women and men facing unplanned pregnancies and the broken relationships that result, it’s about providing voice to the voiceless. It’s about the audacity to change minds and hearts. For example, isn’t it time to bring the humanity back into the pro-life and pro-choice debate – to help everyone involved -- her, him, baby/fetus, and the surrounding community? How is that done tactfully, gracefully, and with a unifying force? Disrupting the status quo requires courage.

Here’s a glimpse of a few Everyday Visionaries in our midst that are fearlessly ignoring obstacles while staying on task for big change:

  • A friend who got laid off from his “real job” started a thrift store to meet the economic and material needs of his community
  • Two working dads created an urban mentoring program for low-income students to graduate high school and succeed in college
  • An actress is using her public platform to speak up for a cause she believes in to the detriment of her career

In a nutshell, here’s what an Everyday Visionary is all about: 

Perhaps you have potential for shaking up our pursuit of social impact for unplanned pregnancies and broken relationships in a very good way. You just might not know it yet. Perhaps it’s time to start dreaming.

Here’s but a few ways you can plug in and become an Everyday Visionary. We’re here and ready when you can’t avoid that big dream anymore.

  • Speaking engagements
  • Claris strategy workshops
  • White paper/blog writer
  • Partake in vision-casting with community leaders

Clarity Makers: The Dreamer


Welcome to our new series, Clarity Makers! Building off the momentum from our Spring event, Unveiling Clarity, we will help define passion points, partnership opportunities, and offer a glimpse of the work being done. We encourage you to digest these insights, reflect on your role, and join us in new and deeper ways for those facing the confusion of unplanned pregnancy and the despair of broken relationships.

Our approach will be to bring to life the different sides of the various doers and givers out there. While we may all demonstrate varied characteristics depending on the situation, we encourage you to find the archetype that most resonates with your overall intrinsic motivations and desires. What group from this series best fits your disposition, and how can this classification better equip you to find your role? We'll be here and ready when your passion is piqued. Below is a snapshot of our first group, The Dreamer. Happy dreaming!


Dreamers aren’t afraid to envision utopian-like change. They’re the romantics and the idealists. Unfazed by obstacle or self-doubt, this group exudes passion – they love talking about their cause, finding people who share their passion, and envisioning a brighter future. Put simply, they possess a contagious optimism.


Their magnetic effervescence is child-like – in a good way. They’ll try new things, new strategies, with reckless abandon and without the trap of over-thinking. Their wild imagination brightens the room and inspires. They’re a bolt of energy. Many of us have lost these traits as we’ve gotten older, but they help us bring back the wonder.


Here’s a brief example of what happens when a group of Dreamers get together:

Back home, what would happen if Dreamers were unleashed to think hard and live imaginatively for our cause? What if all these characteristics and passions helped lead the movement?