Formerly the Bartow County Women’s Resource Center, the agency this week officially changed the name to reflect the goals of the nonprofit — serving families.
“First of all, in August of 2011, we began a new program called ‘Baby Bucks,’ wherein a mom could earn ‘bucks’ to purchase items such as diapers, wipes, clothes and other baby items by completing a number of positive objectives. Some of these included taking parenting or prenatal classes, which we provide; working a job; attending school; attending church; keeping prenatal and baby well-check appointments; and so on,” said Guthas, executive director of Bartow Family Resources. “The client was then able to shop in our Baby Boutique with credits earned. To our amazement, we were able to enroll not just the moms but dads as a result. Dads now had a reason to take parenting classes and were rewarded for hours worked as well.
“Secondly, we’re opening a new ‘Relationship Center’ in 2013, which will also reach out to men and teens. These comprehensive services merited a name that reflected this inclusion of ministry to the entire family.”
Located at 18 Douglas St., Bartow Family Resources’ mission statement reads, “We exist to serve families by fostering a Christ-like view of life, which empowers them to make life affirming decisions to protect the unborn, establish healthy relationships and create lasting life skills.”
“In a community that struggles with teen pregnancy, domestic violence, child abuse, divorce and absentee dads, it is a breath of fresh air to be able to provide resources that not only react to these situations but help to prevent them,” Guthas said. “We will also continue to have a network of providers in which to refer for services we cannot provide. Our desire is to transform our community through hope, help and healing that comes by adopting a Christ-centered love of life and family.”
Although the name may have changed, the services will remain the same. Guthas said the nonprofit also looks to add to the list of programs offered.
“Our Pregnancy and Mentoring Center will continue to provide free pregnancy tests, and caring mentors to help young moms and dads become the best parents they can be,” she said. “The opening of the Relationship Center will take our ministry to the next level by adding 14 lay counselors, or as we call them ‘advocate counselors,’ because they will come alongside you in your time of need. It will be short-term, solution-focused counseling offered at no charge, just like our other services.”
Bartow Family Resources plans for group classes, including Making Peace with Your Past for those who grew up in a dysfunctinal home and Celebrate Recovery for those who struggle with all types of addictions.
“Then, in June 2013, we'll be partnering with some other service providers in our community to offer relationship education, including Daddy Bootcamp and How Not to Marry a Jerk in some of our physician's offices, and Wait Training, an abstinence-based curriculum for teens,” Guthas said.
With all the growth occurring, it follows that Bartow Family Resources is looking for a larger facility.
“Our long-term goal is to convert our pregnancy center to a medical clinic, providing not only pregnancy tests but ultrasound technology and STD testing as we reach out to those with unplanned pregnancies and unhealthy lifestyles. In order to do this, we will need a larger facility, which we are praying for now,” Guthas said.
For more information on Bartow Family Resources, call 770-382-7224 or visit www.bartowbabies.org.