Updated: Aug 8
It is with pride and joy I present to you the next member of Team Do Good, the mighty Pam Stenzel. I am absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to celebrate Pam here via Tampa Bless and Team Do Good. Her willingness to participate in this feature and to provide feedback is highly appreciated. And now, without further ado...
Name: Pam Stenzel
Place of birth: Michigan
Currently reside: Tampa, FL
Heritage: My birth mother was a 15-year-old living in foster care at the time of my conception and birth. She was raped and chose life for me. I was adopted and loved. My birth mother was Irish and English. I have no information about my biological father.
Family: I am married with 3 grown children and two beautiful granddaughters.
Alma Mater: Graduate of Moody Bible Institute and Liberty University.
Occupation: Speaker/Author and Senior Regional Clinic Coordinator for Community Pregnancy Clinics
Activities you organized or participate in related to helping others and uplifting humanity? I realize this is an uncomfortable question to answer because it feels self-promotional, yet it's important to share so to inspire others:
I have worked for 27 years in life-affirming pregnancy clinics in Chicago, Minneapolis, and now in Florida.
After years of hearing from young women in the pregnancy clinic “Nobody Told Me," I realized that too many young people were making decisions about sex without the needed information to help them avoid negative consequences: physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I began speaking on Sexual Integrity to students in the early 90s and in 1994, Youth For Christ produced my first video Sex Has A Price Tag. That video ended up winning the Charleston Film Award for education/documentary and has been translated into 11 languages and used in 41 countries worldwide. I have produced numerous videos, books, and curriculum since 1994 with the latest curriculum released for BrightCourse called Love Lessons (brightcourse.com).
I founded Enlighten Communications in 2000 and have been speaking to approximately 500,000 students, parents, and educators worldwide each year.
My career has come full circle since moving from Minnesota to Florida in 2014. I began to slow down my national and international speaking schedule and have begun working in the pregnancy help clinic setting again. Community Pregnancy Clinics operates 5 clinics in Naples, Fort Myers, Sarasota, and Gainesville, and we have two mobile clinics that service the Diocese of Venice, including the more rural eastern counties.
Finally, I serve on the national board for Safe Haven Baby Boxes, headquartered in Indiana. We are committed to education and awareness of the Safe Haven Laws in all 50 states and I answer the 24 Hour Hotline that assists women who are at risk for abandoning their newborns to help them with a legal, safe surrender in their state. Since 2016 we have helped 80 women safely and legally surrender their newborns in the United States.
We also patented and developed the first “Baby Box” in the United States. The device is a temperature-controlled, alarmed bassinet that is built into the wall of a hospital or fire station that allows a woman to truly anonymously surrender an unharmed newborn by placing the infant in this safety device. The infant is retrieved from the inside of the hospital or fire station by emergency personnel within 5 minutes of the placement. Legislation was amended in Indiana in 2015 and signed into law by Governor Mike Pence. The first two baby boxes were installed in Indiana Fire Stations in 2016. Since then we have amended the Safe Haven Laws to include the baby box in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Arkansas and as of today September 3, 2020, we have 40 operational baby boxes in Indiana, Ohio, and Arkansas.
I helped with legislation to amend Florida’s Safe Haven Law, which currently only allows for a face to face hand off at a police station, fire station, or hospital, and the newborn must be under 7 days old. Senator Baxley and Representative Mike Beltran brought the legislation to the State House in Tallahassee early in 2020. It passed the House unanimously but stalled in the Senate just before the COVID Crisis. We are hoping that it will pass in the 2021 legislative session. We already have one community that has a baby box ready to go and the hole in the wall of the station was built by the county engineers in their brand new fire station.
The Tampa Bless 12
1) Favorite pastime or hobby? Why? Please explain.
Avid sports fan, so love watching sports.
2) Favorite sport, team, or player? If not into sports, your favorite musician or album? Or answer one of each if you’d like or any combo. Please explain why for any one or more of the questions you answered.
Football is my favorite! Michigan State is my college team, Minnesota Vikings are my pro team! Hockey is my second favorite and the only Tampa Bay sport I follow! GO BOLTS!
3) Favorite movie? Why? Please explain.
The Count of Monte Cristo - I love the redemption story and Jim Caviezel is fantastic; one of my favorite actors.
4) Favorite place (country, city, town, etc…) you have visited and why?
Cape Town, South Africa is my favorite city. It is beautiful and has a perfect climate. You have mountains, wineries, beautiful beaches, and you can swim with penguins! The people of Cape Town are so amazing, and our vision for Safe Haven Baby Boxes came from a church in Cape Town.
5) Last meal? You could have anything, what is it? Why? Please explain.
Seafood of any kind, whether steamed, grilled in paella or pasta. I love every kind of seafood!
6) Three activities or routines you would highly recommend? Please explain your reasoning for each.
1. Prayer and adoration - I make it a habit to start my day with prayer and it is so important to include quiet - stay silent and learn to LISTEN to the voice of the Holy Spirit.
2. Coffee every morning - I don’t know how anyone functions without their morning joe :)
3. Appreciate your family… husband, children, parents, and encourage them daily. Do more than just say, “I love you.” Tell them the “why” daily with a word of encouragement. Compliment, don’t flatter. That means acknowledge a character quality or a behavior that they chose to exemplify, not just “you’re pretty, or you have beautiful eyes.”
7) A) Personality trait you highly value? Why? Please explain. B) The personality trait you highly dislike? Why? Please explain.
A. I value HONESTY the most. I appreciate people who speak truth in love, but are not afraid to give their honest criticism or share their feelings. Don’t hold it in and then speak behind someone’s back.
B. I detest the blame game. The habit of always making excuses or blaming others for your own failures or sin. Own your stuff! The blame game started in the Garden of Eden when Adam first blamed God himself: "The woman that YOU gave me” and then Eve blamed the serpent. That was not repentance, that was passing the buck.
8) Favorite thinker (author, philosopher, theologian, etc…)? Why? Please explain. And what is your favorite piece of advice, quote, or text from them or in general? Why? Please explain.
C.S. Lewis has been my favorite, from The Chronicles of Narnia as a child to Till We Have Faces in college. C.S. Lewis is masterful at allegory with so much truth packed into his books. Favorite quote: “Love is not affectionate feeling, but a steady wish for the loved person’s ultimate good, as far as it can be obtained.” My favorite book Till We Have Faces deals beautifully with the truth of true love, and cuts through the lies of culture that have reduced love to emotion at best, and carnal lust at worst. 9) Biggest influence in your life or a top one, and what was it about them that really stood out?
My maternal grandfather. He was a man of great wisdom, integrity, and authentic faith. He was passionately pro-life and spent time praying on the sidewalks of abortion facilities in Grand Rapids, Michigan until the day he passed from this life to the next at age 84. He was the father of 12, grandfather of 84 (37 of us adopted), and more great-grandchildren than I can count. His favorite verses he quoted often were: “Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them” (Psalm 127:4-5).
10 If there is one thing you could change in the world, what would it be?
That respect for life would be cultivated in every community, and that all of our law, behavior, and interaction would reflect a deep honoring of every human person at every stage of development. That we would always recognize the “Imago Dei” in the other.
11) Where did your desire to help others and uplift humanity come from? Please explain.
I know that my deep desire to help women experiencing an unplanned pregnancy comes from my conception and subsequent adoption. My teen birth mother is my hero. She chose to give me my life and then gifted me with my amazing family. I firmly believe that someone was there to be a voice of hope to her in her darkest moment. I have had the privilege of being that voice of hope to countless young women around the world and to actually hold in my arms the babies who have been rescued from abortion as a result of the love shown their mothers.
12) What are you working on now and how can people get involved?
I am continuing to reach out to women experiencing an unplanned pregnancy in Southwest Florida and at the University of Florida. To find out more about this ministry go to communitypregnancyclinic.com. I am also presenting to schools, churches, and youth groups on the topic of Sexual Integrity through SHARE (Sexual Health and Relationship Education) enlightencom.com and finally, we are working on legislation to bring Safe Haven Baby Boxes to Florida. For more info go to shbb.org.
Thank you so much for your time Pam and for all that you do. The place we live in is that much better because of you. I hope that this feature has served to inspire you, as well as successfully celebrate those that help others and uplift humanity.
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