Birthright of Rolla, a pregnancy resource center, is celebrating its 30th anniversary this month and will celebrate its longtime service to the Rolla area with several planned events.
Many changes have occurred over the years, but the center’s philosophy of helping women who are facing an unplanned pregnancy with non-judgmental compassion and love has not changed.
Birthright of Rolla started 30 years ago when Cheryl Tally, a University of Missouri-Rolla student, began the local group under the international organization.
Birthright’s first office was in the old Ramsey building (now the newly remodeled Delta Sigma Phi annex) on the second floor. Within a year, Tally moved on, and Ellen VanDerWall took over the leadership.
In the late 1980s, the office was moved to Fifth Street, across from Slice of Pie. There, the organization was run under several different directors, all selflessly serving as volunteers or being minimally paid enough to cover their expenses while directing.
In 2008, Trisha DaVault became director with a much larger vision for the organization.
Two years ago, Birthright of Rolla moved again to its present location at 620 Pine St. and now the office is housed in a much larger facility and has a wider outreach of services while continuing the core focus of treating each woman who comes for help as a friend while encouraging women to choose life for their baby.
Birthright’s goal is to show women that it is possible to choose life for their baby whatever their circumstances may be. That may mean helping them get connected with other agencies for financial help, learning parental skills, getting a job and housing or exploring the possibility of adoption.
While not all women have or will choose life for their baby, Birthright is still there to talk with, plan and pray for their future.
Birthright provides many services, one of which is a free support group called Mother’s T.E.A. (Teaching, Education, Answers) which meets each Tuesday from 12:30-2 p.m. at its office.
Mother’s T.E.A. is an opportunity to meet other moms and have questions answered about raising a child and being a good parent. The moms have enjoyed fellowship and have learned to network and help each other. Every week a new topic is discussed.
Other services offered include free pregnancy tests, baby formula, newborn starter kits, referrals to other community resources, information on maternity and adoption agencies, classes for men and premarital classes. Birthright also loans baby and maternity clothes.
Free monthly classes are offered on topics such as SIDS and infant care CPR, establishing sleep routines, prenatal health, parenting skills, child development and potty training.
Birthright also offer referrals for abortion counseling for women who are struggling with a past abortion. Birthright is not affiliated with any specific denomination. Birthright of Rolla is funded entirely through donations.
Hours for Birthright of Rolla are Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from noon to 6 p.m. or people can call the office at 573-364-0066 for an appointment. The center’s hotline is 1-800-550-4900. Birthright of Rolla also can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
30th anniversary events
To celebrate its 30th anniversary, Birthright of Rolla will host a series of events in September.
• On Friday, Sept. 7, from 4-6 p.m., an open house will take place. The public is invited to tour Birthright’s office at 620 Pine St., see what the center does and enjoy some snacks.
• On Saturday, Sept. 15, Birthright will host a free showing of the movie, “October Baby,” at Central Community Church of God, 400 North Olive St., beginning at 7 p.m. A love offering will be taken.
• On Saturday, Sept. 22, Birthright will host a trivia night with food, door prizes and fellowship at The Station, the youth building at Greentree Christian Church, right next to the Rolla Fire and Rescue headquarters. Teams of eight will be $80 per table or $10 per individual. There will be a grand prize and other door prizes. For more information, contact Stacy Welshymer at 426-4000 or email@example.com.
• On Sunday, Sept. 30, at 3 p.m., Birthright will host a Pampered Chef party at the Baptist Student Union located at 11th Street and Highway 63. Attendees should bring a baby gift or diapers sizes 2, 3, 4 or 5 and can get their name entered in the drawing for a Pampered Chef prize. Participants should RSVP to the Birthright office at 573-364-0066.