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Significant Support

First Choice for Women Seeks to Create a Safe Space for Babies and Parents

Writer / Christy Heitger-Ewing
Photographer / Ashley Logan

In 2012, Kailee McKnight already had a vision for her life. She wanted to create a safe environment for females to go for support, whether they found themselves in an unexpected pregnancy, were in need of post-abortive care, or were just seeking advice and resources. That’s when she learned about First Choice for Women, a compassionate, faith-based organization that offers free physical, mental and spiritual support to individuals in Madison and Delaware counties facing difficult relationship, pregnancy and parenting decisions. First Choice for Women

“I checked it out and saw, in brick and mortar, exactly what I had dreamed of creating,” says McKnight, who personally understood the issues of both miscarriage and post-abortion, in addition to the blessings and challenges of adoption, because she had been through them all.

“I understand all of these pieces,” says McKnight, now a mother of three (ages 15, 10 and 8) and the executive director of First Choice for Women. “It’s what drives my passion to see this work continue to thrive in this community. Our vision is to seek to achieve a community in which every individual is respected, and every child is cared for and nurtured. It’s a full-circle thing.”

They offer free confidential services that meet individuals at their point in need, with a nonjudgmental approach.

“We can’t put our map on the client’s map and expect them to thrive,” McKnight says. “We come down to their level and help them out of that pit together.”

First Choice for Women has pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, pregnancy options counseling, parenting classes, material assistance, post-abortive recovery, and healthy relationship education. In the parenting classes, parents are able to earn “baby bucks,” with which they can select items for mom and baby including clothing, food, feeding supplies, toys, strollers and floor equipment. They even have a crib program in which parents can take 15 safe-sleep classes to earn a free transitional crib and mattress.

“It’s not just about saving and changing lives, and being there for babies,” McKnight says. “It’s being there for moms, dads, grandparents, foster parents and anybody who is taking care of a child, from 0 to 4 and sometimes beyond that.”

Two years ago the organization also started a fatherhood initiative to help guys on this journey too. Now they serve around 100 fathers throughout both counties.

“We have 14 mentors and are hoping to get more, as that makes a different impact when men empower other men to be the best father they can be,” McKnight says.First Choice for Women

Every fall they host an annual fundraising banquet. This year’s event, which will take place on October 24, features guest speaker Peter Heck, a Hoosier writer, speaker and teacher.

“We invite folks to come to the Horizon Convention Center to listen to good music, eat delicious food, learn about the good things to come for First Choice for Women, and hear an awesome message from Peter,” McKnight says.

The banquet typically attracts between 400 to 500 people. Last year they maxed out at 700 and would love to repeat that this year.

For more information about First Choice for Women, which is located at 3020 North Oakwood Avenue in Muncie, call 765-286-6085, email info@firstchoiceforwomen.org or visit firstchoiceforwomen.org.

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