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DANIEL CLIFTON • PICAYUNE EDITOR

MARBLE FALLS — Since incorporating in 2010, the Highland Lakes Pregnancy Resource Center has touched the lives of many women, and men, who have faced the dilemma of an unplanned or crisis pregnancy. But as the only such center located in the Highland Lakes and surrounding Hill Country, the needs of the community quickly outgrew the Kingsland office.

So after many months of planning and work, the Highland Lakes Pregnancy Resource Center opened a second location in the T.Q. Brown Community Center, 1016 Broadway in Marble Falls.

“In June, we saw twice as many women we saw the June of the year before,” said Dolores Bacon-Whatley, the resource center’s executive director. “We knew there was a need throughout the community. Unfortunately, many women may not have had access to the Kingland office because they don’t have transportation or other issues.”

The Marble Falls location, which will see women and clients on Thursdays at this point, gives more people access to the resource center’s services, which include free pregnancy testing, peer counseling, community referrals, post-abortion support groups, assistance applying for aid, parenting classes and more. The faith-based center provides women with information on pregnancy and their options.

Bacon-Whatley pointed out that the nearest other similar centers are located in Austin, San Antonio and Boerne.

“We felt there were a lot more people who could benefit from our services that we weren’t able to reach,” she added.

The Kingsland center, 226 Nob Hill, will remain open. Bacon-Whatley said they will be moving the administrative portion to the Marble Falls location.

With the second location, however, the Highland Lakes Pregnancy Resource Center needs additional support and volunteers. Bacon-Whatley and an administrative assistant are the only paid staff.

“We’re always in need of volunteers as the number of clients increases, especially with the opening of the Marble Falls location,” she said.

The center is holding a volunteer training session 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sept. 9-11. The location is yet to be determined, but people can call the center at (325) 388-0354 for more information or to register.

A big part of the center revolves around peer counseling, but it’s not the only volunteer option.

“There are a lot of volunteer opportunities, so if somebody doesn’t feel comfortable with counseling, we can still use them,” Bacon-Whatley said. Other volunteer needs include clerical work, data entry, cleaning and special events. Another big part is gathering and handing out baby items.

Even those who want to be a peer counselor don’t need any experience. Bacon-Whatley said the training will provide everything they need. It’s all about “offering (pregnant women) a listening ear and the love of Jesus Christ” according to a resource center newsletter.

Go to hlpregnancycenter.org for more information.

daniel@thepicayune.com