Heartbeat founder, Tammy Brown, was at the Heartbeat open house Thursday and told the story of how it started. She recalled working as an LPN in Nashville, TN more than 30 years ago. She was just 20 years old then and saw the heartbreaking consequences of girls who had abortions and really didn’t want them. She listened to their stories and was sad that she couldn’t do more for them.
A few years later, in November 1985 Brown and her husband, Eric started Heartbeat in Morrow County by offering free and confidential pregnancy services and counseling to women and teenagers. Brown is pleased to see that Heartbeat still follows Christian principles of service with love. They provide alternatives to abortion and at the same time offer support in supplying maternity needs.
After a year in their temporary location on Neal Avenue, Heartbeat staff and board members are glad to have a new, permanent location at 712 Baker Street in Mount Gilead. When the Baker Street office of Dr. Hintz became available, it proved to be the perfect location for Heartbeat.
Heartbeat Board President, Faith Jagger said they have purchased the new building from Dr. Hintz. She calls it a blessing from the community. They were able to raise the $30,000 down payment through a capital campaign and money they have saved over the years.
The monthly payments are not any more than renting. They have rented over 20 years.
“We feel this is a good investment of God’s money to be able to put the money into Heartbeat of Morrow County’s permanent property. We are still taking donations for the capital improvement campaign and will continue to pay that on to the principal,” Jagger said.
Now in its 30th year, Heartbeat of Morrow County is still growing in both volunteers and services to women and teenagers. With much more room and a spacious basement for storage, the Heartbeat boutique can also expand their stock of baby and toddler clothing, diapers and maternity clothing. Boutique hours are Tues. 1-3 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. and Thurs. 1-3 p.m.
There is a 24-hour hotline staffed by volunteers and office hours are available for pregnancy tests.
There is an “earn while you learn” program that allows clients to earn “baby bucks” to obtain diapers, wipes and other items for infants and toddlers.
Dr. Emad Mousa, an OBGYN from Marion, provides medical services and is delivering client’s babies at Marion General Hospital. Two paid staff members include director, Donna Weaver and medical assistant, Candy Presley.
Funding for Heartbeat is provided through private donations. Churches, individuals and businesses in the community are their main source of income and clothing.
The “Walk for Life” is the major fundraiser each year. A primary source of funding is the $10 monthly sponsorship program.
Heartbeat board member, Holly Trainer said a big need this year is for boys gently used and new clothing in size 3-5. She said they are always appreciative of donations of diapers in any size.
“We are looking to meet the real, physical needs of moms as well as to encourage them with words,” said Trainer.
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