Bella Vita will be celebrating five years of helping women in Starke County this month.
The Bella Vita Pregnancy Resource Center in Knox 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.
Bella Vita Executive Director Susanne Lange
After moving into their new location in mid-July, Bella Vita has settled in nicely, according to Director Susanne Lange, and the organization will be holding an open house Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to show off their new facility. Lange said the public is invited to take a tour and look at the new building, which she said is suiting them nicely, though a few maintenance items need addressed.
“We’ll have food available in the front room. All of our board of directors will be there, our volunteers will be there, so people from the community are invited just in general to come and see the new building and what we’ve done so far with it and things that need to be done in the future as well for maintenance and things like that,” she said.
Bella Vita Executive Director Susanne Lange
Bella Vita has made its way into its new home near the corner of Lake and Shield streets in Knox, and according to Director Susanne Lange, they’re settling in nicely but a few maintenance items do need to be taken care of. Lange said the move went well and they’re working on getting the Baby Bucks store in order, but they are open for business and are doing intakes.
Bella Vita moved into its new location about two weeks ago, taking up the old Starke United building that they purchased for $1 from the Starke United Board. Lange said their previous building on Heaton Street in Knox was owned by the Lutheran Church and they wanted to find a location they could own that would better suit their needs, though the old building suited them well for more than two years.
Todd Zeltwanger with Starke United hands over keys to Bella Vita Board Chair Kathy Dedloff
Starke County’s crisis pregnancy center will soon have a new home. Starke United officials turned over the keys to their building on Lake Street to Bella Vita Crisis Pregnancy Center this morning. Secretary Rhonda Adcock says the former downtown post office location meets a lot of the organization’s logistical goals. These include having two entrances so new clients who come for pregnancy tests can do so through a different door than established ones who are there for counseling or to earn baby bucks. The building is also handicap accessible and offers plenty of space for counseling, classrooms, meetings and staff offices. Adcock says the building also provides a convenient location with ample parking nearby. The center isn’t quite ready to relocate just yet, as some interior renovations need to be done to make it user friendly. Those can happen soon, thanks to the generosity of an anonymous local donor. Starke United no longer needs the building due to their administrative merger with the community foundation. They’ve transferred ownership to Bella Vita.
The recent Bella Vita pledge walk at Wythogan Park in Knox helped raise $6,385 for the new pregnancy resource center located on Heaton Street.
Rhonda Adcock, President of the organization talked to us about the day.
“We had a really good cross section of our community there,” said Adcock. “We were able to get 88 walkers and we had about 120 people in attendance with all of our helpers and our board members and everyone that was there. We had a great financial turnout and we were able to have the Mayor come and be our Marshall for the walk.”
Tona Miller, one of the councilors at the Bella Vita Pregnancy Resource Center has said that to date, over 35 women have entered classes at the facility.
“I think that they are very interested in our classes,” said Miller. ” We have a program called the ‘Earn While you Learn’ program and what this program does is every class that you come to, prenatal or parenting, you earn what we call baby bucks. With these baby bucks, you can purchase items out of our store. We have clothing, diapers, cribs, walkers, strollers, anything baby related. You also earn the baby bucks for going to your doctor’s visit or WIC appointments. I think most of the girls are very interested in this program because it helps them in a financial way.”
A ribbon cutting ceremony was recently held at the newly opened Bella Vita
The Bella Vita Pregnancy Resource Center’s First Annual Fundraising reception will be held tonight at 6:30 p.m. CT at the Knox Community Center. A ribbon cutting for the center was held last week, and Executive Director Suzanne Lange said tonight’s affair will be to raise funding for the operating expenses.
A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held on Thursday, May 12th, at 9:00 a.m. CT at Bella Vita Pregnancy Resource Center in Knox. An open house will follow until about Noon. Bella Vita is at 206 S. Heaton St. in Knox.
All services at Bella Vita are free and confidential. Services include: pregnancy tests, peer counseling by trained advocates about pregnancy options, referrals to community resources, and education classes that empower women to make healthy choices as well as earn needed material items. Call (574) 772-2877 for more information.
Yesterday we told you about a pregnancy resource center that will be opening soon in a home that was originally owned by Francis Myers in the 200 block of Heaton Street in Knox. The center is scheduled to be opening on March 15. It will be called Bella Vita and is a pro-life center that is opening primarily to help women carry their babies to term.
Susanne Lange, a registered nurse, will be the administrator of the new center.
Susanne was asked what advise she would give a woman in her 40’s who has become unexpectantly pregnant and doesn’t feel she wants to carry the baby to term.
A pregnancy resource center will be opening in a few weeks. Susanne Lange, a registered nurse, will be the administrator of the crisis center that has been named Bella Vita, which means beautiful life.
“What we’re going to have what we call crisis counseling,” Lange explained. “When a woman or girl comes in and she’s trying to make a decision, we’ll have trained counselors that she can sit with and talk about her options and make a decision. Our ultimate goal is to save the life of the unborn child”
The Knox Community School Board heard a presentation about the new Bella Vita pregnancy resource center that will be opening on U.S. 35 in Knox in March.
“David Bullock, one of our former teachers who retired a few years back, has been involved with the non-profit organization called Bella Vita,” explained Superintendent A.J. Gappa. “Mr. Bullock and Susanne Lange, also of Bella Vita, were at the Board meeting just to give an informational presentation to the Board and would like to establish a positive relationship between the schools in Starke County and Bella Vita.”