Growing larger: Counseling center expands office space, adds thrift store

OFFICIALLY OPEN — A ribbon was cut to officially open the Central Florida Pregnancy Center’s new, 4,200-square-foot thrift store at 3151 Howland Blvd. in Deltona. From left in the front row are volunteer store managers Paul Hoover and his wife, Judy Hoover, board members Katy Brown-Thibodeau and Luis Baez, board Treasurer Margarita Feuerbacher, Executive Director Cindy Johanson, and, partially hidden, Director of Development Lisa Burke.

OFFICIALLY OPEN — A ribbon was cut to officially open the Central Florida Pregnancy Center’s new, 4,200-square-foot thrift store at 3151 Howland Blvd. in Deltona. From left in the front row are volunteer store managers Paul Hoover and his wife, Judy Hoover, board members Katy Brown-Thibodeau and Luis Baez, board Treasurer Margarita Feuerbacher, Executive Director Cindy Johanson, and, partially hidden, Director of Development Lisa Burke.

BEACON PHOTO/JAN GIROUX

A Deltona ministry that helps women and their families deal with unplanned pregnancies recently unveiled offices that are twice the size as before, while also cutting a ribbon for a new thrift store that will help fund its mission.

The offices of Central Florida Pregnancy Center, which had occupied 2,100 square feet of space at 3151 Howland Blvd., now take up 4,200 square feet, Executive Director Cindy Johanson told The Beacon.

“We essentially started with a quarter of an 8,400-square-foot building, and now we occupy about half of that,” Johanson said. “The thrift store takes up another 4,200 square feet, all under one roof.”

The center dates back to 1992, and has operated continuously since then except for a nine-month period from July 2008 to March 2009. Johanson said the center underwent a reorganization during that time.

The center’s mission is “to offer nonjudgmental support and education to women and families facing an unplanned pregnancy, with the hope they’ll feel empowered to choose life for the unborn baby,” Johanson said.

In support of that mission, the center offers pregnancy care in half of the administrative part of the building, and pre-parenting life skills and fatherhood educational programs in the other half.

“We will serve 500 families this year at the rate we’re going now,” Johanson said.

For families who elect to participate in them, the educational programs can start in the expectant mother’s first trimester and run through the first year of a baby’s life.

The pregnancy-care side also offers a “Baby Boutique,” where expectant mothers can redeem incentive coupons earned by taking the educational programs. The boutique, which is separate from the thrift store, provides diapers, wipes, clothing and the like, all donated by churches and civic groups that often hold baby showers to collect donations for the center,  Johanson said.

“Last year, we gave away more than 11,000 items for babies,” she said.

The thrift store merchandise spans the gamut, including adult and teen clothing, accessories, books, household items and furniture from sofas to tables and chairs — “a little bit of everything” is how Johanson described what’s available.

All services are offered to clients for free. The center relies on generous donations from individuals, businesses and organizations for most of its financial wherewithal. The center also holds occasional fundraisers and gets some funding through the Florida Pregnancy Support Services Program, Johanson said.

“We’re very grateful for the support we get from the City of Deltona and churches and organizations,” she said.

The thrift store had a soft opening the last week of August. A grand opening is scheduled for December, Johanson said.

Central Florida Pregnancy Center’s phone number is 386-574-5894.

- Joe Crews, joe@beacononlinenews.com

Rate this article: 
No votes yet