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Sira of Gainesville

By Judy Olenik

When I first moved to Gainesville in May 2019 from New York, I “randomly” met someone who asked if I wanted to attend an event on Immigration, which was being held at Creekside. At the event Sira, a local faith-based, pro-life nonprofit, had a table. It sounded very interesting to me so I decided to get further involved. I then went through eight weeks of training and was picturing myself doing more computer work, but they really encouraged me to also be a counselor/advocate. I love meeting with new people and I love hearing people’s stories, and now that’s what I get to do everyday!  

The vision at Sira is for women and men to embrace life, walk in freedom, and positively affect their community. They offer professional, compassionate care, immediate help, and lasting hope. Sira advocates for truth, love, and life as they support women, their families, and their unborn children. We do this by serving individuals and families with pregnancy testing, limited ultrasound, STI testing, community resources and referrals, pregnancy options, counseling, family life skill classes, healing, restorative programs, and more. Because of the generosity of Sira’s supporters, individuals and ministry partners like Creekside, all of their services are provided at no cost to their clients.

The work at Sira is incredibly critical. I’ve counseled a girl who came in and was adamant that she did not want her baby. Her birth control had failed, she already had four kids and her husband said he hated her. But, many of us at Sira talked with her and on her exit survey she wrote, “thanks for the encouragement…..I can do this!” We had another couple who came in together and hadn’t yet decided if they would keep the baby or abort (which they woefully expressed pretty matter-of-factly). But, when they saw the ultrasound they had a change of heart and decided that they would indeed keep their baby! I’ve also had the opportunity to counsel a girl who was homeless, pregnant and feeling hopeless. But, when I contacted Christian Family Services for her, they were able to get her housing, the things she needed, and she ended up deciding to place her baby in a loving, adopted home. We also use “Share Jesus without Fear” and have had a number of girls accept Christ. Again, we don’t charge for any of these services, but that’s only because of the support we receive from many individuals and churches.

And so, there's still more work to be done. There's still a need for restoration. For hope and healing to spread. For truth to be proclaimed and for people to be set free. And our Savior is still at work, inviting us to experience abundant life with Him, and to help bring His Good News of salvation to those who need it. In partnership with its supporters, Sira is committed to this work.

For more opportunities to get involved and additional information, visit or contact (352) 377-3937 or