October 28, 2013 was the start date for a new movement. After serving women and children in the Chicagoland for several years, Caris formally announced the furtherance of their mission with the Pro-Grace Movement at their Annual Benefit Dinner held at the Crowne Plaza Chicago Ohare Hotel & Conference Center in Rosemont, IL.
While the key tenets of Caris work and mission– acceptance, support and resources - remain prominent fixtures, the Pro-Grace Movement has allowed the organization to team with churches to assist expectant mothers and mothers who are raising children on their own or with limited resources. The emphasis on following through with what Caris President Angela Weszley described as "God’s Design for Pregnancy" that intertwines the lives of women and their children as well as how lives can be transformed by the grace that God extends to man and that same grace being extended to others in need. These partner sites, including Willow Creek Church have made it possible to expand their services including Connection Groups - peer support groups for women - to move beyond the 2 centers that are in the city in the Loop and Lawndale, in conjunction with the Lawndale Christian Health Center. At the time of the banquet, there were 10 churches that were in the process of becoming partner sites.
The nearly 200 people in attendance heard stories from young women who interfaced with Caris and their counseling and connection services at a time when they were unsure of what to do with their pregnancies or were already parenting but found it challenging to find support and others who could relate to their challenges. The evening concluded with a display of pledge cards of those in attendance who made the choice to support the new movement and extension of Caris services to reach more women in need.