The second installment of our Member Spotlight, a new series of articles focusing on the activities in which Dames and Knights become involved to live out their charism, leads us to the Vero Beach, Florida Area to Peggy Lyons, DMOb, and her work with the Women’s Care Center.
Peggy (pictured right) has been a Dame of the Order of Malta, American Association for more than 20 years. She has served on the Board of Councillors and as Area Chair of the Vero Beach Area. Peggy is a woman of honor, commitment, and talent. She is a community champion and passionate about her love of the Order. There is no spiritual path more perfect than listening and giving yourself to God’s perfectly designed call. Peggy believes serving is key and she passionately believes reaching out to the younger members is vitally important.
Interviewing Dames and Knights for the Member Spotlight series has shone a light on the power behind a member’s intent to serve. Peggy Lyons is leaving a plentiful harvest on earth that perhaps may spark another human to follow suit.
Women’s Care Center (WCC) is where Peggy has been called to share her gifts for the last five years. There are 29 Women’s Care Centers across ten states that provide free confidential counseling, support and education to women facing unplanned pregnancies, serving 26,000 women annually. These centers also provide free pregnancy testing and ultrasounds (prenatal medical care, abortions are not provided). Peggy fearlessly works to keep one million dollars in the bank at all times in order to keep the WCC financially secure. The Vero Beach center began with money from 26 volunteers in 2013 and grew very rapidly, becoming the quickest care center to open with 303 women served in the first month in a 1000 square foot space. Just five years later, it has grown to serve over 3,000 women through 16,000 visits, 3,016 ultrasounds and over 2,015 babies born. An astounding statistic is 41% of babies born, or 1 in 3 births, in Indian River County, where Vero Beach is located, began with a visit to Women’s Care Center.
Last summer, a young woman and her boyfriend entered the Vero Beach center for an ultrasound which confirmed the presence of one baby. Two weeks later, a second ultrasound found two more babies. The young couple married when the healthy set of triplets were 6 months old and they now live with a neonatal nurse, who helps raise the children. WCC also assisted in helping this young couple find employment opportunities and provided a car seat of each of their three babies.
Stories like this have touched the hearts of community members who felt a call to support the WCC. The Women’s Care Center has since received several large donations, grants, and lifetime financial supporters, all of which help to sustain the necessary, loving staff members and volunteers at each center. The center has also joined the Florida Pregnancy Network, adding significant income and a great women’s healthcare opportunity. The roster of WCC supporters includes a strong 20 Malta members with inspired endless resources from God. This work seems to be Gods’ divine eye of faith, knowing that the child is born through the grace of a young woman walking through the doors of the center.
Peggy is also a Church lecturer, a Eucharistic Minister, a regular volunteer at local soup kitchens, Hope for Families, First Friday Masses, and a driving force of coordination, integrity, and steadfastness in her works in the baths of Lourdes. Lourdes is her driving force each year, bringing her renewed faith from the transformation of the many pilgrims she witnesses at the baths. We are grateful for her commitment, love and compassion in Lourdes.
Years of helping the Women’s Care Center and the many other works within the Vero Beach Area confirms that Peggy is a champion who selflessly initiates often difficult, yet inspiriing, works. God and the tireless work of men and women like Peggy Lyons are carrying on the great legacy of Women’s Care Center. Peggy knows the path God has sent her on. In our interview, she repeated several times that “God has provided all they have needed.” Peggy Lyons helps us always be faithful to our civil and Christian duties and obtain the grace to work constantly through the eternal light of Gods call.
Thank you, Peggy.
If you have a story of someone like Peggy, please contact Linda Del Rio. Please click here to read Linda Del Rio’s first Member Spotlight about Ludvik (Lud) Koci, KM, and his journey founding Mary’s Children.