This is the sixth in a monthly series highlighting Robertson County nonprofits.
Simply put, the goal of the Open Door Pregnancy & Resource Center is “to invest and help families in our community and have a foundation,” said CEO Shawn Elmore.
Whether it is helping a person facing an unexpected pregnancy; providing material assistance such as maternity and baby clothes, diapers and formula; or by offering life coaching or parent education classes to someone who wants to deepen their knowledge, Open Door Pregnancy is here to serve, according to Elmore.
But it’s also much more than that, she explains.
Although those at Open Door Pregnancy are not social workers, they help refer individuals to other social services, including WIC (Women, Infants and Children), food aid – even addiction services and adoption references.
Postabortion recovery services are also available.
Supervised visits for courts and private visitation scenarios that may arise can also be facilitated on site.
“We’re like a cart wheel,” Elmore added, noting that all services are free and confidential, with a small sliding scale for private tour scenarios. “We just want to lead them to the resources they need. “
In 2020 alone, the center had 4,880 “client meetings” with more than 3,200 this year at the end of June.
Elmore explained that the number of people Open Door has seen is actually much higher, as the numbers only take into account the mother or father, not the children.
The association distributed more than 220,000 diapers in 2020 alone.
Funding for the open-door pregnancy does not come from federal dollars, Elmore explained, but locally – from community partners, churches and businesses, as well as individual donors.
“We have a single mom who gives $ 5 a month because we’ve had an impact on her life,” Elmore added.
The agency, which opened in 2008, moved in January to a new location on South Main Street in Springfield where it continues its mission – to a larger facility, which has been renovated to meet the needs of the job. she undertakes on a daily basis. -and-day.
It is the hub where the association’s staff and the “army of volunteers” come together for its clients.
Locals may know the building as the Old Eastern Dark Fired Tobacco Growers Association Building, 1109 S. Main Street.
And upon entering, “Gigi’s Boutique” is one of the first prominent spaces – a place where customers use “Baby Bucks” – points, not cash, earned through participation in educational classes or actions. positive in a client’s daily life – to purchase materials such as baby clothes and other supplies.
And in the wake of his move, Elmore said plans were underway to make his old location, on Meadowbrook Drive, another avenue for his clients.
“The old location will be used as a branch for extended services such as: tours, a place of advice, a meeting place for new groups,” she added. “It will be a community type place. We want to connect with this place.
The connection recently visited Elmore, to find out what more the community could do to support the work, the specific needs she is currently facing and her feelings about being part of the Open Door Pregnancy & Resource Center team.
What are the needs of the Open Door Pregnancy Center and what can the public do to help?
“Our needs are primarily financial donations and supply needs for clients, including diapers, infant formula and wipes. We need to keep our lights on and keep the doors open.
Are there one or more particular items that Open Door Pregnancy usually goes missing quickly that donors might keep in mind?
“Diapers size 4,5,6. This is the greatest need on an ongoing basis because babies go to the bathroom more when they get these sizes. And car seats and baby cots. These are the top three things we typically miss. People can also offer gift cards so that we can buy when we need it. “
Tell us about a fond memory when you worked with an Open Door Pregnancy client and how did it make you feel?
“There are so many. But our fondest memories are working with our desperate families and seeing that hope restored. For example, a mom with nothing for her baby – no socks, no formula, no even a blanket, and we were able to help her with everything she needed for her baby. We had a single mother with no food, no resources and we were able to help her. We had family reunification in our parenting program. We had a mother whose baby drank water for three days and we were able to help her with formula. Now she is a donor and this child is 11. Our thing is to help people find hope when they are desperate. We had a client in crisis of pregnancy, she chose life and her baby is six months old. It makes me feel so small. It makes me happy to be part of someone’s story. You can see a building, but the publ ic doesn’t see the lives we touch.
For more information about the Open Door Pregnancy & Resource Center and its services, call 615-384-4673 or drop by its location at 1109 S. Main St.
Its opening hours are Monday and Thursday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Its website is https://615-384hope.org