For men and women facing an unintended or crisis pregnancy situation, there is an organization looking to provide practical and emotional support to help those in need. The Bella Vita Pregnancy Resource Center in Knox, a not-for-profit organization, provides free pregnancy tests, options counseling, peer advocate-assisted mentorship and various educational programs in an effort to support those facing a crisis pregnancy situation.
Susanne Lange, executive director of Bella Vita, said it’s not just Knox that’s in need of such an organization. She said the high number of unintended pregnancies throughout the country highlights the need for support and counseling for both men and women in similar situations.
“I think all communities are in need of an organization like Bella Vita. The statistics tell us that of all pregnancies, half are unintended, and that’s a huge number. Bella Vita is there to support individuals who are experiencing an unintended pregnancy and work with them as they decide what to do with their pregnancy and support them through that time,” Lange expained.
Bella Vita officially opened its doors in April 2011 with the purpose of providing free support to anyone facing a crisis pregnancy situation. The organization offers a number of free, confidential services to support their clients and their children from pregnancy until the child is two years old, and Lange emphasized that it’s not just women that the center caters to. She said Bella Vita also provides a men’s support group, counseling, and educational programs that men, as well as women, can benefit from.
Lange explained the center has seen close to 200 men and women since opening its doors, providing them with much-needed emotional support.
The center is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that relies solely on the support of churches, other organizations, and individuals, as well as grants from local charitable organizations that help to purchase items for the center’s Baby Bucks Store and its classroom curriculum. However, Lange explained the center couldn’t exist without volunteer support. She said the center is primarily staffed with volunteers from the community who have gone through special training, as well as various committees including a fundraising committee, public relations committee, and baby bucks committee.
“Each year, Bella Vita has four main fundraisers. Right now we are hosting our baby bottle fundraising campaign. Many area churches are participating in this and we would ask that people consider financially assisting us for the year 2013,” said Lange.
Bella Vita is also planning to hold a number of events, including the chocolate fountain fondue reception which Lange said will take place in May. On top of that, Lange hinted that the organization has some exciting news that will soon be announced.
The Bella Vita Pregnancy Resource Center, located at 206 S. Heaton St. in Knox, is open Mondays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Appointments can be made by calling (574) 772-2877, but walk-ins are also accepted during normal business hours.