Pregnancy crisis center to openPublished 3:20pm Saturday, May 4, 2013
A mother and daughter team from Albert Lea have plans to open a pregnancy crisis center on June 1 at First Baptist Church.
Called Gifts From Above, the center will provide pregnancy and infant care education, distribute donated items and refer pregnant and new mothers to other resources. It is a mission project through the church.
“We really felt a need to help others,” said Janet Thompson, who launched the idea with her mother, Karolee Coppoc.
Even though the pregnancy center will not open for another month, the women said they have already served 11 people.
While addressing teen pregnancy is a focus for the center, it is not only limited to teen pregnancies, Coppoc said.
“We very much want to have healthy babies,” Thompson said.
“And empower the women,” Coppoc added.
Thompson said the center will provide support and educational information to assist in pregnancy, childbirth and care of an infant. Volunteers will also give mothers the chance to earn points to spend on new and gently used items and encourage mothers to attend regular doctor appointments. She said the center will also offer self-administered pregnancy tests, baskets of starter supplies for after a baby is born and baby furniture as available.
They do not provide professional medical or counseling services, Coppoc said, but work closely with Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea and the Freeborn County Public Health Department.
The center will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. every Monday and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the first Saturday of each month.
If people have emergency needs, or would like to volunteer or donate, they can call 402-8744.
A volunteer training session was slated for Saturday.
Volunteer opportunities include cleaning, mending, sorting, fundraising, writing a newsletter and peer advising, among others.
Donations of new or gently used items for newborns through 2 years of age are being accepted, along with maternity clothes. Monetary contributions are also accepted, and checks can be made out to First Baptist Church and designated to Gifts From Above.
First Baptist Church is at 335 W. Clark St.
2012 teen pregnancies and births in Freeborn County
Number of pregnancies under age 19: 37
Number of births under age 19: 32
All pregnancies in Freeborn County in 2010
Low birth weights: 24
— Information from the Minnesota Department of Health