September 13, 2013

Enrichment Center reaching ‘more women’

Misty Watson
mistywatson@daltoncitizen.com

— Lauren Patrick said she was considering an abortion before having an ultrasound at the Women’s Enrichment Center in Dalton.

“Seeing my little girl on that screen was crazy,” she said. “I finally understood. It was a baby. I had to be a mom. Abortion was out the window.”

Patrick took several classes at the center to prepare her for birth and being a mother.

“I love going over there,” she said during the center’s annual banquet Monday night. “It’s the best feeling. ... I wouldn’t have my (daughter) if not for the Enrichment Center. That little girl means more to me than anything.”

The center has two locations, one at 109 W. Gordon St. in Dalton and the other in Chatsworth at Holly Creek Baptist Church on Holly Creek Cool Springs Road.

The Murray County location will move from Holly Creek to the old Water Works building on Highway 411, which is leased by First Baptist Church of Chatsworth. No date has been set for the move. First Baptist Church will continue to pay the lease on the building for the group.

“I feel like we’re expanding territory to reach more women,” said Reneé Rector, Women’s Enrichment Center director.

The Chatsworth location opened in May, but because the building was occupied by other groups as well, the center had limited space.

“It’s wonderful,” said Ashleigh Welch, the Chatsworth location’s manager of the new home for the center. “I’m super excited. I’m hoping on that corner more people will see us.”

She hopes to be moved into the new location early next month. The Murray location is open on Mondays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., but Welch hopes that will expand to Tuesdays soon. She also has a long-term goal of a mobile ministry so counselors can work with women who cannot afford transportation to come to the center.

The center is a Christian nonprofit organization that aims to support women during and after pregnancy, counsels women who are thinking about having or have had an abortion or who have had a miscarriage, teaches abstinence before marriage and teaches about forgiveness through Jesus. Classes are offered to parents who can earn points that can be redeemed in the center’s “store” for items such as diapers, food and baby clothes.