Free pregnancy testing, confidential counseling and practical assistance from pregnancy to birth are available in the Dale and Coffee County area.
Sav-A-Life of Dale County, Inc. is a non-denominational Christian ministry dedicated to meeting the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of women and families experiencing an unplanned pregnancy or a pregnancy during a difficult time in their lives.
Located on 1889 Andrews Avenue in Ozark, Sav-A-Life serves people in Dale, Pike, Barbour, Coffee and Henry Counties, according to Executive Director Sidonna Brown.
The first Sav-A-Life Center in Alabama was opened in Birmingham in 1980 offering “compassion and truth to women who were facing unplanned pregnancies,” Brown said. “God expanded that ministry far beyond what could have been imagined and by 1995, there were more than 65 Sav-A-Life Pregnancy Resource Centers in the Southeastern United States and one in Ecuador.
“In 1990, God placed a burden on my heart for women in our area facing an unplanned pregnancy,” Brown said. “It was not until 1999 that God brought that burden to the forefront and a plan began to emerge.
“Through much prayer, asking my husband and pastor to join me in prayer, I began to put ‘feet’ to the prayers and placed a call to Sav-A-Life in Birmingham,” she said. Armed with information they provided and guidance from others about parenting programs and administration of those programs, Brown said she again reached out to others for prayer. “After much prayer, local people joined in the vision and we began the process of forming Sav-A-Life of Dale County.”
The center opened on June 5, 2000. The center is closed Mondays and Wednesdays, open from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays and open from 9 a.m. until noon Fridays.
Manned by volunteers, the center is currently seeking volunteers for the reception desk. “If you feel a tug for this ministry and have a few hours to volunteer, I would encourage you to prayerfully give me a call,” Brown said. “It is a small commitment full of large blessings.” The center phone number is (334) 774-4419.
Sav-A-Life offers adoption support, post abortion support and community service referrals, as well as referral for nutrition classes to earn a car seat. “We also offer our parenting program through Bright Course which gives our expectant families the opportunity to earn baby needs from pacifiers to cribs and to have maternity clothes, diapers, formula and baby food,” Brown said.
One of the center’s fundraisers is the Baby Bottle Boomerang. Typically, baby bottles are distributed by churches or civic organizations by Mother’s Day and returned with a donation on Father’s Day. “But if that is not a good time for you to participate, we have bottles available all year,” Brown said. “If your church or organization would like to participate, just call us to let us know how many bottles you need, pass them out to your congregation or members—who are asked to fill the bottles with coins, bills or checks—and return them.
“Each bottle has an insert you may use to honor someone or to give in memory of a loved one and remember, all donations are tax deductible,” Brown said. “We pray God’s blessings over each of you and each one who fills a baby bottle for this ministry.”
The Baby Bottle Boomerang looked very different in the year 2020, Brown said. The $6,800 received was about $12,000 less than the year before. “We appreciate everyone who participated, whether filling a bottle or making a donation.”
In Enterprise, the Wiregrass Emergency Pregnancy Service is located in Colony Square at 557 Glover Avenue. WEPS is a faith based non-profit organization and receives no government funding. All services are provided at no cost to the women through support from donors.
“We have been in operation for over 44 years and offer our clients education, counseling and emotional and material support,” said WEPS Executive Director Melissa Braun. “One of our primary goals is to minister to parents and future parents not only physically but also mentally and spiritually.
“In order to reach our goal to help women choose life we offer free pregnancy tests, ultrasounds and prenatal vitamins under the direction of Dr. John Campbell,” Braun said. “We offer educational classes and mentorship in both English and Spanish. We utilize a curriculum known as Earn While You Learn as a way for clients to earn ‘WEPS Dollars’ to purchase anything they might need for their infant or toddler.”
Braun said WEPS utilizes Bright Course curriculum, an online learning program, that allows women who may otherwise not be able to participate in the program to do so from their home. “We also offer a prenatal nutrition class in connection with the Auburn Extension Service, with a new class beginning every six weeks. Pregnant women who attend the class consecutively receive a new infant car seat free of cost.
“For our clients with children six months and older, we have partnered with Parent to Parent to offer baby sign language and music class,” she added. “At the end of the class clients receive new toddler car seats for their children.”
Braun said WEPS continues to experience a steady, monthly increase in the number of pregnancy tests and clients. “WEPS depends on monthly donations and grant funding to continue to offer such items while also continuing our fight for life.”
The center can be contacted at (334) 417-0270. Office hours are Mondays through Thursdays from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.
The Coffee County Family Services Center, located at 208 West Brunson Street in Enterprise is a non-profit organization committed to aiding families with needs and issues in an effort to promote family stability, according to CCFSC Executive Director Judy Crowley.
Family Services Center offers a wide variety of services parenting classes for young adults, teenagers and fathers through the Fatherhood Initiative Program, the Parent Project and other group parenting classes.
The CCFSC center can be contacted at (334) 393-8538.