OTTAWA — Heartbeat of Lima is opening an office in Ottawa to be closer to the many Putnam County residents who already make the drive to access the prenatal testing and parenting classes the nonprofit offers at its locations in Lima.
Director Patti Kennedy said the organization had been considering extending services into Putnam County since the fall, and the move solidified once Putnam County Commissioners offered the space at 1225 E. Third St. to the nonprofit for $1 annual rent and a $250 monthly reimbursement in utilities.
The commissioners approved the lease agreement during their Tuesday morning meeting. Heartbeat is expecting to open its doors in Ottawa in early fall or possibly late summer, Kennedy said.
The mission of Heartbeat of Lima, Kennedy said, is to provide resources, education and support for pregnant women and to help them through the difficulties a pregnancy can present.
Heartbeat offers a number of services as a pregnancy resource center for expectant mothers, such as ultrasounds, aid in getting medical cards and verification, as well as classes for both mothers and fathers until children reach the age of three. Heartbeat also offers a “store” where parents can spend points gained from attending classes in order to obtain items such as diapers, food, blankets, toys and other items necessary to raise a newborn.
The Putnam County branch will offer many of the same services except, at this time, ultrasound scanning. Putnam County residents will still need to travel to Lima for the time being to access that service.
“We’re just so grateful for the opportunity that the commissioners have given us,” Kennedy said. “We’re really excited about the opportunity to reach out to those girls … and guys.”
Heartbeat of Lima has received help from Putnam County residents in the past. Six Knights of Columbus councils from the region came together seven years ago to purchase an ultrasound machine for the nonprofit. Just this past month, many of the same K of C groups, related parishes and the organization’s Supreme Council repeated the $23,500 task to replace the first one after it quit working.
“We found out at our last meeting that Heartbeat was coming to Ottawa, and we’re happy,” Deputy Knight Ted Macke of Ottawa Council 1757 said. “I’m sure there’s a need for it.”
After multiple attempts to talk to the Putnam County Commissioners, the elected officials did not call back as of press time.
Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.