By: Nicole M. Kramer
Kathy Leamont is the Executive Director of Your Loving Choices, located in Bloomsburg PA. Your Loving Choices is a center which provides options and education for unplanned pregnancies, sexual integrity, as well as post-abortion healing.
Kathy was born in Tupper Lake, NY, in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains. She was one of nine children, and remembers living beside the river on a dirt road. She recalls her experience growing up full of long winters and snow, however the fall season was magnificent and beautiful. She attended Pius X Catholic High School in Saranac Lake, NY. During high school, she worked at a local grocery store and at a clothing store while attending North Country Community College, where she graduated with an Associates of Arts degree.
Kathy has two sons, Patrick (33) and Victor (37). She raised both of her sons in Saranac Lake, and worked in the school district of Saranac Lake teaching children with behavioral and learning disabilities. In 1999 her husband, Lou, was offered a job in PA. Kathy was completely devastated. She had lived in the Adirondacks her entire life. The move to central PA was one of the hardest things she ever had to do, leaving her family and friends behind.
Lou and Kathy purchased a house in the woods north of Benton, where they currently reside. While Kathy was still adjusting to the move, she decided to join the Benton Women’s Club to meet new people from the community. While reading the Press Enterprise one day, she saw an article about YLC’s mission. She was very intrigued by this article, and wanted someone from YLC to speak at the Women’s Club.
Your Loving Choices is located on Market Street in Bloomsburg and offers many free and confidential services to men and women in the area. Free pregnancy tests, options education, peer counseling, and parenting education are all offered at YLC.
Shortly after hearing about YLC, Kathy started volunteering there sorting and folding newsletters for the center. She decided to become a peer counselor, and went through the appropriate training. She was then offered the job of Executive Director of YLC in 2005 and has re-invigorated the center with her hard work and energy. Kathy holds many responsibilities at the center, and it is hard to put into words the amount of work she does for the ministry. She is seen as a representative of YLC, which is a Care Net affiliate.
Care Net is the largest network of pregnancy centers in North America. Its mission is “to promote a culture of life through the delivery of valuable, life-affirming, evangelistic ministry to people facing unplanned pregnancies and related sexual issues” (Care-net.org). Kathy runs the day to day management of the center and trains the volunteers and peer counselors, and is also responsible for making sure board policies and procedures are followed. She makes sure everything is on course.
Kathy has brought about many new changes since becoming the Executive Director in 2005. She facilitated the group classes for the “Earn While You Learn” program which offers group parenting classes. The clients who come in for the classes also earn “mommy and daddy dollars” to use in the baby store downstairs. Along with LouAnn Martucci, Kathy has also helped open the Navigating Center, which is a coffee house that offers counseling for students and young adults. There has been an abundant increase in clients and births over the past few years since Kathy has taken charge of the center. YLC has also teamed up with many local churches and businesses who offer donations and support.
In her down time Kathy enjoys watching TV shows such as NCIS and other dramas where she can figure out the situation and solve the crime. She also enjoys relaxing indoors and drinking coffee in her flannel pajamas. She has a bubbly personality and is always with a smile on her face.
Kathy is an inspiring and loving person whose dedication to helping others is seen through her generosity and devotion to the center. She said, “I just want to help people any way I can, that is my true calling in life.”