On hand to present the monetary donation to the center were, from left, church members Mike Meckes, Susan Beisner, Pam Clum, Virginia Kagey, Pregnancy Help Center Director Jeannette Shuff, and church members Barbara Lachat, Shelley Meckes, Mike Lemon and Pastor Alan Knoke. (Linda Moody photo)

Pregnancy center receives donation

GREENVILLE—The Social Ministry of St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Greenville has made another hefty donation, this time to the Pregnancy Help Center, currently located at 105 W. Third St.

Mike Meckes and other church ministry members presented a $5,000 check to Jeannette (Unrast) Shuff, director of the facility on Thursday night.
What will the money be used for? “Probably for our new move,” Shuff replied. “I am not sure when it will be opening but Bruns is working on it. It will be located on South Broadway next to the movie theater and was formerly Pamela’s.”

Meckes said the church sets aside 10 percent of its offerings for benevolence.

“The last two years we’ve been working to find local projects,” Meckes said. “It’s God’s request to us to take care of people, and because of Roe vs. Wade, we will have a lot more to do. We feel blessed to have the money.”

According to him, they learned about the Pregnancy Center when scoping out the operation.

The Pregnancy Help Center has many offerings, including a boutique open to the public with reasonably priced items as well as another store area. The two will be combined in the new location.

“Our clients earn items in the boutique,” Shuff said.

Also offered are classes on various subjects, one of which is sexual right avoidance, a free program in the high schools.

“All schools, except for Franklin Monroe and Bradford, are participating,” she said. “We also have a fatherly program that will help them to know what’s needed to be done. We offer classes to mentor them with such programs that include temper tantrums of a toddler, and we talk about the family element and fighting for marriage.”

The volunteers we have are trained here, and ultrasounds can be done here, Shuff also pointed out.

“From January to June last year, we held 283 classes, and this year, from January to June, we held 467 classes,” she added. “We try to find resources, such as WIC and metro housing and encourage our clients to become a part of other things so it’s not so overwhelming for them.”

Shuff, who took over as director of the organization when Lois Monroe left in 2018, said a prayer walk was held several months ago when various church members came and toured the facility.

They didn’t realize all of this was here,” she said.

Shuff said mostly churches as well as some other non-profits help out, financially-speaking.

“We get no funding at all,” Shuff noted. “We will hold our ‘Defending Hope’ banquet in September at Romer’s in Greenville.”

Special guest expected to appear at the banquet is Kirk Cameron of television’s “Growing Pains” fame, who is starring in the movie “Life Mark,” which features “Roe being overturned, homeschooling and much more.” The banquet begins at 6 p.m. with doors opening at 5:30.

Shuff said there are more than 950 students involved in the center and 73 in parenting classes on mentorship.

The majority of the pregnancy cases are in the 26-32 years of age range.

“We also help foster parents out,” she said.

One of Shuff’s major objectives has been to look for a building.

“One of our needs is housing’ she said. “In winter, the clients come in because there is nowhere to go. They fill out applications for housing. At the new building, we will be able to house the women. There is residential up above.”

Yes, growth is being seen at the Pregnancy Help Center.

“We were much busier in the last year, especially after COVID,” Shuff said “We offer abortion recovery classes and infancy loss classes. We just tell people the truth. We help them by telling them the side effects of abortions and a lot of different things, including sexual assault in children. There is a lot of honesty and transparency here; not a lot of fluff.”

Children who visit usually come in to do volunteer hours.

The public, she said, is invited to come in and tour the facility.

The original program was located above Bonfiglio’s on South Broadway and moved to its present location in 2015. However, it has been located at other sites in Greenville over the years.

The local program is affiliated with Heartbeat International out of Columbus, Ohio.

“I was a teen mom,” said Shuff, who graduated from Ansonia High School in 2003.

Now, she is married and the mother of six children, ranging in age from 20 years to 18 months.

“I have a passion for this and helping other people,” she said. “I have a phenomenal staff. We need to keep growing and continue to build bridges where the gaps are.”

Jeannette Shuff has been serving as director of the Pregnancy Help Center since 2018.
Darke County Now Staff - Linda Moody - Staff Writer

Linda Moody / Staff Writer

I am a Darke County native living in the Ansonia area with my son. I have been in journalism 50+ years and enjoy what I do.

Contact Darke County Now Media Correspondent Linda Moody @ lmoody@darkecountynow.com or 937-337-1955.

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