Pregnancy Center faces uncertain future; says farewell to Katie Grobe | CraigDailyPress.com

Pregnancy Center faces uncertain future; says farewell to Katie Grobe

Katie Grobe, left, has served the Yampa Valley Pregnancy Center as executive director for the past five years, and turned over the reigns this week to Vicki Van Couvering, right. Grobe will start Monday as a self-sufficiency case manager for Moffat County Social Services. Van Couvering will donate her time as the interim executive director through the summer in hopes of improving the center's financial picture.

— Yampa Valley Pregnancy Center said goodbye this week to its executive director, Katie Grobe.

Grobe wrapped up her five years with the center on Thursday and will begin her new position as a self-sufficiency case manager with Moffat County Social Services on Monday.

"It's an exciting opportunity, and I will get to help more people and I really am looking forward to that," Grobe said. "It's such a fit, a complement to what I've been doing here."

The change was initially spurred by financial hardship for the pregnancy center, which has seen a significant drop in monthly giving since the start of the year.

"My thought process here was that if I step out of picture, it gives the Pregnancy Center a little more money to work with and maybe they'll be able to stay open," Grobe said.

Poised to take her place is Vicki Van Couvering, who has sat on the YVPC board for two years and helped plan events for the center. She is retired and already supplements her income with two part-time jobs, so Van Couvering will donate her time as an interim executive director until the organization can determine its future prospects.

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"We're just kind of assessing what is going to be our new reality and make a decision about staying open," Van Couvering said. "Our goal is to stay open in some way, in some form, far into the future."

Van Couvering's experience includes administrative experience at another pregnancy center, a degree in behavioral science and work with the Christian Action Council and as a biblical counselor at Craig Christian Church.

The Pregnancy Center has been serving pregnant teens and women in Craig for 31 years, as well as parents of infants and toddlers.

"We really want the community to realize we are not just here for teens and women that are pregnant," Van Couvering said. "We are an underutilized agency."

Besides extending emotional support and mentorship to those who come through its doors, the organization offers classes in a wide range of subjects from parenting to life skills to pregnancy stages. It also connects clients in need to other services in the community, and provides items to meet practical needs such as baby clothes, diapers, food or strollers.

"Giving has picked up, so we're anticipating getting back on track," Van Couvering said. "At the end of July, we'll assess."

The organization will launch its baby bottle drive in May and invites community members to pick up a baby bottle from the center or local churches to fill with loose change and dollars from Mother's Day to Father's Day (baby bottles at Walmart are for a different fundraiser). The fundraiser raised approximately $3,500 for the center last year.

Contact Lauren Blair at 970-875-1794 or lblair@CraigDailyPress.com.

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