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September is a busy season for the staff and volunteers of A Loving Choice Pregnancy Resource Center.
This week, they host their annual fall banquet at Claudia Sanders Dinner House, and later this month they will open their new facility on Clay Street in Shelbyville.
“This has been an amazing year as we’ve watched our dreams come to life in the new space in the center of Shelbyville,” ALC Executive Director Jan Antos said. “To see the finishing touches come together is truly remarkable. It’s a God thing.”
More than a year ago, ALC purchased the back section of the Main Street building that had been purchased an opened by Operation Care.
“It was an old storage facility for a carpet and flooring business,” she said. “The interior needed a lot of work!”
That work is nearing completion as offices, counseling rooms and classrooms take color and shape.
“We’re going to double the square footage from our Village Plaza space. We are stumbling over each other there,” she said.
When ALC opened its doors six and a half years ago, Antos said she never imagined what the organization would do with all the room it had. As its ministry grew from providing peer counseling and information to offering Bible studies, parenting classes, cooking lessons, and childcare for parents, Antos said she knew her staff needed a larger facility.
“When Operation Care acquired the building on Main Street, we started to think creatively about the ways our two agencies could exist side-by-side,” she said. “The downtown location is ideal in its central location. Plus, we can refer our clients to the Encore Shop for clothing and items they will need for their new babies.
“We offer an earn-while-you-learn program, where parents can earn ‘Baby Bucks,’ which enable them to purchase diapers, bottles, formula, blankets and clothing. Operation Care honors our Baby Bucks as well.”
The transformation of the old building gives ALC two floors of space. On the first floor, there will be a reception area, a classroom for cooking and parenting classes, a childcare room, volunteer space and a counseling room. Upstairs, there are five more counseling rooms, an information center and staff offices.
“The windows are gorgeous,” Antos said. “We’ve got so much natural light.”
This is much different from the interior offices ALC officials now occupy. “Our receptionist will be located right at the entrance here,” Antos said. “Currently, people have to walk across the waiting room to find a friendly face. In our new facility, folks will be greeted as they enter.”
You have to use your imagination today, as you tour the new space. What was once a maze of steel beams and stairwells has been turned into bright, inviting rooms and halls. “Once we move our furnishings in, and add our volunteers and staff, the place will feel like home,” Antos said.
The Pregnancy Resource Center is looking for additional office furniture for the new facility. “We have a ‘wish list’ registered at Walmart [wish list name: Jan Antos] requesting office equipment, hardware, Bibles, nursery and office furnishings.
“We’ll have an open-house later this month and invite the community to come and see the facilities that we’re very excited about.”
And that was made possible by donors, who last year generated donations of about $100,000 toward ALC’s $400,000 goal for expansion and ministry.
“I am extremely grateful to donors who are stepping up to make our expansion possible,” she said.
On Thursday evening from 6:30-8:30, those donors and other supporters and friends of ALC will gather for their fundraising celebration and banquet. This year’s speaker is Angela Minter, president and cofounder of Sisters for Life, a non-profit ministry in the heart of Old Louisville that is “inspired by God and dedicated to defending the sanctity of life at every stage from conception to mature adulthood.”
Minter brings her passion and heart for unborn children and their mothers and fathers and tells her story of walking alongside sisters who experience unplanned pregnancies. She speaks openly about her own abortion experience. Hers is a ministry of prayer and compassion with women struggling with life-saving decisions.
Minter hosts a weekly radio broadcast called Sisters For Life Liveon WLLV-AM (1240) (Wednesdays at 11:30 a.m.) and runs a coed mentoring program and holds a weekly abstinence group called Revolution.
The event also will showcase the story of some of ALC’s clients, who will share their own stories of how the ministry of the center helps them with life-skills and parenting classes, Bible studies, on-going support and counseling and clothing and supplies for themselves and their babies.
“This is a night to lift up the women who choose to give their babies the gift of life,” Antos said. “It’s what our ministry is about.”
WHAT:Friends of Loving Choice banquet
WHEN:6:30 p.m., Thursday
WHERE:Claudia Sanders Dinner House, Shelbyville
MORE INFORMATION:Call 502-647-0300 or E-mail email@example.com