After 44 years serving the community from its offices in Fremont, Heartbeat/Hope Clinic, a pregnancy resource center, is to open a Tiffin location.
The organization hosted an open house Wednesday, inviting the community to see the office space.
Toni Brubaker, executive director of Heartbeat, said plans to open the new office have been "in the works for about a year," and a tentative opening date is Dec. 4.
The purpose of Heartbeat, according to its website, www.friendsofheartbeat.org, is to "provide physical, emotional, and spiritual assistance in a warm and caring environment to persons facing pregnancy issues." Also, Heartbeat seeks "to build a better community by stressing the virtue of chastity and promoting strong family values."
Brubaker said the idea and the opportunity to expand Fremont's offices to include a Tiffin location was an undertaking blessed by God.
Brubaker said once the decision was made to pursue a Tiffin location, the organization decided an office in the Laird Building, 222 S. Washington St., offered the best layout and location for the needs of Heartbeat.
Brubaker said services provided at the new Tiffin location will be similar to those offered in Fremont.
In addition to offering pregnancy testing and verification, she said, Heartbeat/Hope Clinic provides education on pregnancy, adoption and abortion.
For women who discover they are pregnant, parenting education and counseling are available through the center's Bridges classes, and classes for fathers, Father Factor, also are a part of Heartbeat's ministry.
The parenting classes, Brubaker said, are part of an Earn While You Learn program, which enables those who attend to earn credits for use in the center's Blessings Room.
The Blessings Room, she said, offers baby items needed by clients through donations from the community. Gently used or new items are accepted, she said, to help deepen a client's sense of accomplishment and "worthiness" when they have worked to earn credits to use in the Blessings Room.
For women whose pregnancy tests are negative, Heartbeat encourages participation in the center's Sexual Integrity Program, which teaches and guides women "about God's design for relationships."
One community-centered program offered by Heartbeat, Brubaker said, is iKeep, which reaches out to local schools and youth groups with abstinence education.
Heartbeat also ministers to women and others who suffer from abortion-related trauma through its H.E.A.R.T. program.
Brubaker said one cornerstone of the Heartbeat program, the ability to provide ultrasounds, is needed in Tiffin and Fremont.
While ultrasound services have been available in Fremont, she said, the machine there recently stopped working, and Heartbeat is seeking resources to provide ultrasound services for both offices.
Nadine Felton, a Heartbeat board member and secretary for the organization, said the response in the Tiffin and Fremont communities to the new office has been remarkable.
Brubaker said while the tentative date for the opening of Tiffin's Heartbeat office is Dec. 4, hours have not yet been decided. She said anyone interested in volunteering or learning more information about Heartbeat can visit the organization's website.