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Published: Tuesday, 8/31/2010

Toledo pregnancy support center wants volunteer advocates

BLADE STAFF

Volunteers to serve as client advocates and parenting instructors are being sought at Heartbeat of Toledo Pregnancy Support Center.

The center's services include providing information, free pregnancy testing, and assistance to girls and women dealing with unplanned pregnancies.

Prenatal and parenting classes are offered during which mothers and mothers-to-be can earn baby items while learning how to become better parents.

By the end of the year, Heartbeat expects to begin offering free ultrasound services to confirm pregnancy, viability, and gestational age, and because of this, more volunteers will be needed to serve as client advocates, Executive Director Patricia Todak said.

Heartbeat volunteers provide support to clients as they make decisions about the outcome of pregnancies, and volunteers are needed to make appointments, interview clients, assist with pregnancy testing, and help girls and women obtain social services.

Also, volunteers can help with prenatal and parenting classes and provide office support.

The center assists about 1,000 women annually. In the course of a week, 50 to 60 volunteers provide assistance with a variety of tasks, Mrs. Todak said.

Training of volunteers occurs during three, two-hour classes. Sessions are set from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. Sept. 14, 21, and 28. To register, call Heartbeat at 419-241-9131.

Applications are available online at heartbeatoftoledo.org.

Heartland Pregnancy Support Center, which also offers abstinence education programs for community and school groups, has two locations, 2130 Madison Ave. and 2010 Varland Ave. Services are free and confidential.



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