Why I give: Clare Smitham

Diane Jones and her daughter, Clare Smitham, have both served as Board Chair of Thrive Women’s Clinic.

It wasn’t until later in life that Clare Smitham understood the real reason she grew up serving at Thrive Women’s Clinic alongside her mom, Diane Jones.

Clare went with her mom to donate baby clothes, served at Thrive with her youth group from Scofield Church, and worked on the administrative staff during summers in college.

“As a young person, I was passionate about life in the womb and speaking out for life, even in my public school,” said Clare, who now serves as Thrive’s board president. “I found great joy in seeing the needs of men and women met, seeing the hope they have when they hear their alternatives and the hope in Jesus.”

It all made so much more sense to Clare when she learned later in life that she had been unplanned, herself.

It all made so much more sense to Clare when she learned later in life that she had been unplanned, herself.

Her mom, Diane remembers the call she got 40 years ago. “The lady on the other end of the line, at Planned Parenthood, told me I was pregnant,” she remembers. She felt broken by her own choices. “I told the Lord that I would have the baby.”

In one week, Diane and Jay got married with the help of their families. Their union stands strong to this day. “In the 1960s and 70s, family problems were family secrets,” Diane admits. “We did not talk about the unplanned pregnancy. Not at church or with close friends or relatives. So much shame and guilt. We knew how to keep a secret.”

Clare arrived in April 1982, and Diane became determined to help other women facing unplanned pregnancy.

“My attitude about life and babies changed when I first held her,” Diane said, so she got involved at Thrive and brought along her kids. “They know what abortion is and why it breaks hearts and families.”

Diane and Jay have faithfully and generously donated to Thrive’s ministry and chaired our 2018 Celebration and Fundraising Dinner. Diane has also helped open the first clinic and served on the board for a number of years, including as board president.

Their life-saving legacy continues with their children. “Thrive is a part of our family,” Diane said. “We love that clients receive biblical truth and are treated with love and dignity. Thrive gives families a new life with Christ.”
Clare is proud of her parents’ story.

“The decision that they made to choose life really changed the course of who they were and their commitment to Jesus,” Clare said. “God honored their decision to choose life.”