10 Dec Abundant Life opens location in Bigelow
by Mary May Larmoyeux
Abundant Life Pregnancy Resource Center recently opened a second location in Bigelow.
Melinda Chisum, executive director, and Marilyn Crawford, client services manager, began the first center in Morrilton in October 2007.
Abundant Life is a non-profit organization that provides free and confidential services, including limited obstetrical ultrasounds, pregnancy tests, pregnancy options, pregnancy and parenting education and more.
Both Morrilton and Bigelow locations offer a program called Earn While You Learn. It’s “changing generational cycles of abuse and neglect,” Chisum said. Through it, clients learn parenting skills while earning “parenting bucks” to purchase items in the Abundant Life store.
In addition to providing free services to pregnant clients, Abundant Life offers a program to help women who had an abortion find emotional healing. Chisum, who had an abortion when she was 16, said the center wants to “link arms with those ladies and the father of the babies and try to help them to be successful at parenting.”
Richard Deluca and Rich Moellers of the Morrilton Council 5209 of the Knights of Columbus presented a check at the ribbon-cutting. “Their work speaks for itself,” Deluca said. “They are tireless in their efforts. They have done an amazing job in Morrilton and I am very excited that they are coming over here to Bigelow and doing the same thing.”
The use of the building was donated by Don Shamsie. Builders for Christ, under the leadership of Vernon Crow, and numerous volunteers renovated it. Crow recruited builders, painters, electricians, HVAC technicians, etc.
“The Conway-Perry Baptist Association, the Knights of Columbus and a whole lot of other churches and individuals worked to get this building where we could use it,” Chisum said. Morrilton Council 5209 of the Knights of Columbus put the floors in the new center. Lonoke Baptist Church and Perryville Second Baptist painted the outside of the building.
The new center is open 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Mondays and later by appointment (501.759.2906). For immediate assistance, interested clients can call the Morrilton office at 501.354.4141 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
A ribbon-cutting, held Oct. 18, included elected officials, Abundant Life board members, area pastors, friends and Bigelow neighbors.
Administrative assistant Laurie Alabach, RN, nurse manager Genia Hamilton, client services manager Marilyn Crawford and executive director Melinda Chisum.
Melinda Chisum and Rick Beck.
Richard Deluca (from left), Rich Moellers and Melinda Beck.
Volunteers were “Loving LIFE: Jim Larmoyeux (front, from left), Melinda Chisum (holding 501); Don Shamsie (middle), Cristy Jones, Ricky Jones; Steve Taylor (back), Vernon Crow, Marilyn Crawford and Genia Hamilton.