During the organization’s annual fundraising banquet Thursday, Executive Director Angela Courtney Sutton said an ultrasound machine was recently donated to Bella Vita. Donations are also helping to send volunteers to the week-long training required to use the new equipment.
Beyond that, Sutton said Bella Vita expects to move into a new facility next month. “We’ll be moving to 801 Heaton Street,” she said. “It’s a house across the street from Burger King, if you’re familiar with the neighborhood. And we just feel that that’s a warmer, inviting place for our young ladies coming through.”
In addition to offering pregnancy tests, counseling, and other services, Sutton said Bella Vita also provides material support to new moms. “When our moms go through our program, we give them a free crib, so in 2016, we were able to give out 16 cribs, based on the support from each and every one of you in this room and others in our community – and that’s a mattress, as well,” she said. “We give them diapers every time they come to take a class, so we gave out approximately 2,000 diapers in 2016. That’s a lot of diapers.”
Sutten added the organization also offers help for new dads. “I will say, we have quite a few dads taking our programs, and that says a lot about our community support,” she said. “We definitely need to be supporting our young men out there and getting them on board. So hopefully in the future, we’ll be having a men’s group, and it will grow. And I’m looking forward to several of the pastors in our community to come on board and open some ministries with these young men, so they can have some strong role models to look at. That way they can grow.”
Bella Vita Board President Becky Bailey says the expansion in the organization’s efforts will require more help from the community. “We need a staff of volunteers like no other because we have so many things that we’re going to be doing that we’re going to need people there every day, whether it be counseling – if you’re not comfortable with that, you can wrap diapers,” she said. “You can just be there. You can hold their baby while they’re shopping in the baby bucks room. You can do all kinds of things.”
For more information, call Bella Vita Pregnancy Resource Center at 574-772-2877.