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Source Life Center offers help for mothers in crisis

COVINGTON--- A local non-profit has been reborn and is offering hope to pregnant women in crisis.

Source Life Center Inc. operates in a small upstairs office on the Square in downtown Covington, but staff and volunteers have big dreams for the future. The organization was founded in 2007 by a retired minister and his wife who have chosen to remain anonymous. The couple recently turned over the reins to Executive Director James Roach Jr., Social Services Director Gwyanna Gregge, Donations Coordinator Carrie Marchessault and several committed volunteers. The center's goal is to provide support for women and men involved in crisis pregnancies to allow them to see the pregnancies through to birth.

Source Life offers a wide range of free services, from parenting education to adoption referrals, abstinence training, post-abortion counseling, free assisted pregnancy testing and referrals for low cost legal and medical help, temporary housing and shelter. The organization also collects maternity and baby items to give to those in need. Clients are offered the chance to participate in the Earn While You Learn program, taking courses on life and parenting issues to earn points for free necessities. More than 300 people have been assisted since the non-profit opened four years ago.

But Source Life staff said the community at large may not be aware of the organization, and they're hoping to change that.

"We need them to get on board financially and with their spirits," Gregge said.

In 2009, there were 32,925 abortions reported in Georgia, with 378 of those reported in Newton County. A faith-based organization, Source Life's goal is to reduce that number, as well as instances of sexually transmitted diseases. The organization encourages young people to wait to become sexually active and promotes stable, long-term marital relationships in order to improve emotional and financial security for children, said volunteer Annie Karns.

"This generation nowadays doesn't feel the need to get married," she said, but noted that the temporary aspect of romantic relationships, especially those that produce children, can be harmful.

Right now, Source Life offers one-on-one counseling for expectant mothers in crisis, or women who think they may be pregnant. Recently, they ministered to a 13-year-old girl who wants to have a baby.

"Anybody who presents a need, we try to help them," Roach said.

Most of all, Source Life staff say they want to foster long-term relationships with their clients, and steer clear of the 'just a number' philosophy that so many encounter at state aid organizations.

The staff at Source Life has a vision for the future that includes finding a larger location that could serve as a pre-natal medical clinic, complete with a physician and ultrasound machine. They also hope to have a 'Mommy and Me' store where mothers can come to get donated items for themselves and their children.

Other goals include starting group counseling sessions and a fatherhood support group, since, "A lot of times the men get lost ... We want to support the whole family unit," Roach said.

They know all of these plans will take a lot of hard work to accomplish.

"We have champagne taste on beer money," acknowledged Gregge.

That's why in the coming months, Source Life will be holding fundraisers and becoming more visible in the community. Concerts, fashion shows and plays are in the works, if a low-priced or free venue can be found. They also hope to have a baby shower for underprivileged mothers in the spring. Currently, Source Life is promoting the Baby Bottle Fund Drive. Churches, businesses and other organizations can request a large baby bottle for customers or members to fill with spare change.

"This is a community effort," Roach said. "No one person can do this by themselves."

There are plenty of opportunities to help. Source Life is seeking counselors. The organization provides 20 hours of training for those interested. Volunteers are also needed to help with administrative duties and events. Intercessors are also being sought to pray for the organization, its volunteers, clients and donors.

Donations are also needed. Items needed include diapers, sizes 1-3; baby bottles; maternity and baby clothing; formula; training pots; new car seats; computers and other supplies for Source Life headquarters, located at 1122 Monticello St., West Square, Suite 18 in Covington. Monetary donations can be made online at www.sourcehome.org, or mailed to PO Box 1075, Porterdale, GA, 30070.

For more information, call 678-740-9100 or email lifepromise@bellsouth.net.