Friday, November 9, 2012

Friday feature: Alpha Women's Center of Grand Rapids

This pregnancy care center will always hold a special place in our hearts. It was our first project, way back in 1985. We hoped it would become a model for other communities, and it did. Within a few years, we had helped centers open in other parts of Michigan (Flint and Pontiac) and the Midwest (Des Moines, Milwaukee, and Crystal, Minnesota) -- to name a few off the top of my head.

Eventually, Alpha Women's Center also expanded into other nearby communities, forming satellite centers in  Cedar Springs, Greenville, Hastings, Lowell, Newaygo, Wayland, and Delton. Then, as AWC-Grand Rapids had gained independence from what was then Baptists for Life in 1988, so these satellites "took flight" from the "mother ship" a few years ago.

Young people from Chapel Point Church pose at the front door.
Locations for AWC-GR have also changed over the years. It began in a suite of rooms at 920 Cherry SE, moved to a building on Michigan Ave., then next to the abortion clinic on E. Fulton. From there it located farther east on Fulton for a spell, and now occupies a former funeral parlor on S. Division (a more beautiful space than you'd think!).

With the most recent move, Executive Director Carolyn Koole has expanded the vision of the center from a focus on pregnant women to helping moms beyond pregnancy. They still offer free pregnancy tests with ultrasound verification, but have added group and individual studies (Bible studies, home economics, and more), GED-prep classes, and something called Community at Heart. This is "a daytime respite for moms with children under the age of six who are without homes or a secure living environment."

How can you help? In addition to financial support and participation in events like their upcoming Open House, there are many volunteer opportunities at Alpha. Visit the website to learn more about their need for mentors, church liaisons, behind-the-scenes assistance, and more.

Know someone who needs Alpha's help? Refer them to their client website,

Find Alpha on Facebook.

1 comment:

  1. I visited Alpha Women's Center and was in awe. It is a beautiful placethat does wonderful things for women in need of help. The people there are warm and friendly, caring and concerned. If you're pregnant and need help please go see them, if you have time and would like to help please volunteer. They can always use your help and your donations.