The Shenandoah Pregnancy and Resource Center, a nonprofit para-church organization, continue fundraising efforts for its new facility, located at 300 Sycamore St. and 505 W. Valley Ave., where parking space will be located.
Board Chairperson for SPARC Kathy Langley said the new 37-by-97-foot building would provide the room they need to grow the program and offer many new services to clients.
Currently operating part-time out of the Nazarene Church annex at 811 S Center St., Langley said they are limited in space and availability of the building. She said they currently offer mentoring for clients and have a small blessing room that includes children’s clothing, diapers, wipes and other baby items.
In the new facility, Langely said they would be able to offer clients more resources, classes and additional mentoring. With a full kitchen in the new facility, she said they could offer cooking classes to new or expecting mothers. They hope to provide other services: potty training and parenting classes, a lactation specialist and a nutritionist. She said the blessing room would be much larger, offering better accessibility. The floor plans include a large group room that can be used for meetings, activities and additional classes.
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“We will have mentor rooms so that gals and guys can have some space and privacy as we walk alongside them and help them in this whole process,” Langley said about the new facility.
Additionally, the floor plan has a room where Langley said the goal is to have an ultrasound machine.
“One of our next goals once the building is up is to raise funds for an ultrasound machine so that those who can’t afford an ultrasound or those who might need an extra ultrasound that their insurance may not cover or just if people are unsure we want to be able to offer that for them,” Langly said.
Langley said the ultrasounds would be free of charge for their clients, and a licensed medical professional would be on-site to administer the ultrasounds. During an April 12 city council meeting, Langley advised the council that SPARC would seek medical zoning.
“Once our building is established, I think the possibilities are limitless,” Langley said.
Langley said the community has been very supportive and generous.
“People really do want to help others who might be having a challenging time,” Langley said.
In late 2019, SPARC received its nonprofit status, but the opening was delayed until September 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, Langley said SPARC received a Page County Grant from the Hockenberry Foundation and was awarded the national $30,000 lifelong Truant grant from Heartbeat International.
In April, the Shenandoah City Council approved the sale of city-owned properties located at 300 Sycamore St. and 505 W. Valley Ave. to SPARC for $50 each.
With a mission of “valuing all human life, Shenandoah Pregnancy and Resource Center offers compassionate hope and help to those facing pregnancy decisions and parenting needs.”
Langley said SPARC had provided services for over 75 families, helping over 150 children since January alone. While the resource center is located in Page County, Langley said they are there to assist anyone free of charge. Clients are not required to live in Page County.
Langley said volunteers are available to help individuals who might be facing a challenging time.
“Our slogan is helping hearts and building lives,” Langley said. “That’s exactly what we’re striving to do. We’re striving to show God’s love and help people who might be in an unexpected pregnancy situation or might have expected it, but things are a little more challenging than they thought.”
With the ground level at the new site, Langley said the rebar had been installed, and footings poured. In addition, she said the plumbing lines had been placed. In the spring, Langley said the concrete foundation would be poured, and a group of retired ministers, construction workers, electricians and so forth, called World Mission Builders, would frame the building. Langley anticipates the new facility to open its doors by late summer.
Langley said the World Mission Builders are “people who love God who want to offer their skills in a volunteer capacity to be able to help out organizations such as ourselves to make it more possible to have a better facility at a better price.”
To assist in SPARC’s fundraising efforts, Langley said a generous donor has offered to match up to $40,000 in donations that SPARC receives through mid-January of 2023.
“So, if anybody is interested in being a part of this wonderful place that’s going to be right here in Shenandoah helping southwest Iowa, we’d love them to be able to donate,” Langley said.
Langley said donations could be mailed to PO Box 477, Shenandoah, Iowa 51601.
SPARC’s current office hours are 3 to 6 p.m. on Monday and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday, or by appointment. More information on SPARC can be found at shenandoahpregnancyresourcecenter.com or by calling 712-581-9023.
“We are thankful to have local businesses working on this project and are excited for this spring to see what God has in store for all of us,” Langley said at the Nov. 8 City Council meeting.