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Virginia pregnancy help centers’ growth prompts regional resource facility

by | Jun 13, 2024

By Tabitha Goodling

The image of a “floor to ceiling” warehouse brimming with boxes of diapers, wipes and brand-new baby furniture, items, and car seats left a crowd of pregnancy help supporters in awe in Virginia recently.

A pregnancy medical clinic in southeast Virginia has opened its fifth location which includes the resource center and warehouse.

Christine Punyanitya is the Vice President of Ministry Operations for Crisis Pregnancy Center of Tidewater, and she spoke by phone to Pregnancy Help NewsGreat Expectations Parenting Support Center opened earlier this year in Chesapeake, Va.

Punyanitya said the Parenting Support Center was a vision of CEO Toby Debause. She said he wanted to see “a centralized space in which we could serve our families with excellence.”

“He also had a vision for the parenting programs,” Punyanitya said of Debause who has served the centers in leadership for 24 years. “We call it a regional facility.”

Punyanitya said the center is “an answer to prayer” and provides three basic settings. There are spaces for parenting classes. Many of their centers have classes held off campus in churches, she said. The center also has an advocacy room for women who choose life. This is the space where advocates share resources and information and make women aware of medical services offered on site.

The advocacy room, Punyanitya said, “is the segway into the parenting classes.”

The parenting classes continue for 20 weeks and accommodate up to 20 women plus their partners or support persons. Each class is taught by a medical professional with topics on labor and delivery, infant care, and budgeting.

The new location includes the warehouse with the “floor to ceiling” distribution center. The building serves as the holding tank for the materials distributed to moms in all five locations.

“We used to have little closets in each of the offices,” she said, in which diapers, car seats, and other items were stored. This new resource center is a welcome relief due to the need for space.

The Dobbs decision in 2022 resulted in “record breaking” client numbers in the centers’ locations for 2023, which prompted the demand for space.

“We had an increase in abortion-determined clients and clients overall,” Punyanitya said.

The center was made possible by the network of donors who are dedicated to the programs offered at the Keim Centers.

“We have an amazing team building of corporate and church relationships,” said Punyanitya. “We had many people wanting to support us.”

Two well-attended open houses for the center and warehouse were held in May.

Inside the new location is a “Life Wall” which includes the scripture of John 10:10, proclaiming how Christ came so that we “may have life, and have it to the full.”

This underscores how and why, when the doors open to the warehouse and onlookers catch a glimpse of the “floor to ceiling” collection of brand-new items for infants and mothers, observers react with wonder and delight.

“It’s just ‘wow,’” Punyanitya said of the God-given blessing of support for pregnancy help. “He does this. He allows this.”

Editor’s note. This appeared at Pregnancy Help News and is reposted with permission.