When Christine LaVine was 19 years old, she became pregnant unexpectedly.
“It was invaluable to me, the women that mentored me,” said LaVine.
Decades later, LaVine hopes to support young women facing similar challenges. She and her business partner, Margie Doorn, founded Journey Pregnancy and Life Hub, which opened earlier this week on La Grange Road.
Journey is a pro-life, non-denominational Christian nonprofit organization that offers a wide range of pregnancy and life services for girls and women ages 14-23.
LaVine and Doorn hope to serve as a bridge between clients and specialists. Journey provides free pregnancy tests and career counseling, but also partners with several local institutions to offer a variety of services. These include STD testing, addiction and behavioral mentoring, scholarships to area schools and training sessions with local businesses.
Journey provides referrals for ultrasounds, prenatal classes, parenting classes and other pregnancy services as well.
“Our goal is to treat the whole person,” said LaVine.
The nonprofit also offers undergraduate internships and community service opportunities.
In addition to facilitating services for clients, Journey is home to a resale boutique, which is stocked with baby clothing and essentials, young women’s clothing (including prom dresses) and specialty gift items. The store is staffed by volunteers and all boutique items are donated. Revenue generated by the shop supports Journey’s nonprofit services, which are also funded by donors.
LaVine and Doorn will host several special events at Journey, such as self-image seminars, beauty bar nights, themed baby photo shoots and prom events, where the girls can learn how to perfect their hair, makeup and accessories for the big night.
Journey will service the whole of Will County. LaVine and Doorn, both of whom have previous professional experience in crisis pregnancy services, said they chose the La Grange location due to its proximity to local high schools.
“We saw the need,” said Doorn.
Journey is located at 19715 La Grange Road in Mokena. For more information about the organization, call 708-478-0527 or visit Journey’s website.
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