by Gina Martinez, Chronicle Contributor | Posted: Thursday, December 10, 2015 10:30 am

For young mothers across the city, it may be difficult to know where to turn during a crisis. Bridge to Life, a crisis pregnancy center seeks to provide those mothers with emotional support and give them any materials they may need.
Homeless and pregnant women, mothers who have recently given birth and moms with children at whatever age can get assistance.

The center, with locations in Astoria and Flushing, has been around for more than 20 years, providing free services to women.

Its mission statement reads, “We provide informative, honest and compassionate counseling to empower women dealing with pregnancy about their options, as well as extend hands of help through material assistance in order for them to raise their child.”

Catherine Donohoe, president of the organization, is incredibly passionate about her work at the center. She has been with Bridge to Life for more than 20 years and in that time has committed herself to giving young, often confused mothers help and guidance.

While the center is nonsectarian and apolitical, its goal is clear: for mothers to keep their children.
The group is very pro-life. But with the rise in liberalism around the country and especially New York, Bridge to Life is finding it difficult to survive.

“In New York, the abortion rate is so high. Every borough in New York City has a Planned Parenthood,” Donohoe said. “We’re up against a very tough culture. Women on college campuses and as young as middle school are being told abortion is an option. It’s a really a tough culture.”

Although it faces stiff competition with pro-choice organizations like Planned Parenthood, Bridge to Life has survived off contributions from individuals and organizations that believe in the pro-life cause.

Some of the services Bridge to Life provides include free pregnancy tests, baby supplies and referrals for adoption counseling.

“We never turn anyone down,” Donohoe said. “We first find out what’s going on and find a way to help regardless of the situation.”

The center also offers services to victims of domestic abuse.

“We help people who are in domestic abuse situations and offer them safe housing and clothing,” she said. “We also do some counseling and give advice. If a mother is pregnant we refer them to get a sonogram. We do this because when a mom sees a sonogram, they’re more likely to keep a baby.”

If you want to contribute to the center, you can visit one of their locations, either at 23-40 Astoria Blvd. or 147-32 Sanford Ave. There is parking available and donations are currently being taken for the holiday season.

“Right now we’re in need of gently used newborn clothes, strollers, car seats, and cribs,” Donohoe said.

If you can’t donate, you can help by volunteering. The offices are always in need of help, whether it be sorting out donated clothes or in the office.

To find out how you can help, visit