Under new name, TLC Options for Women looks to Elevate Life

| March 22, 2018 | 0 Comments

Six months since its rebranding as Elevate Life, the nonprofit formerly known as TLC Options for Women has seen its new vision for its organization and pregnancy resource centers begin to take root.

Vaunae Hansel, president of Elevate Life, said its strategic plan, which includes the new name adopted in September 2017, involves empowering its 32 affiliate pregnancy resource centers around Minnesota and western Wisconsin. She said that she wants the central office to do the behind-the-scenes work so the centers can focus on the women coming to the centers.

“We just wanted our name to reflect what we really do for our affiliates,” said Jane Best, director of development for Elevate Life.

Sister Jeanne Therese Condon, a sister of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph, founded Elevate Life in 1974 as the Total LifeCare Center in Minneapolis. It occurred the year after Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion in all 50 states. Since Elevate Life’s founding, the organization has been a faith-based nonprofit with Catholic roots.

Elevate Life’s strategic plan led to increasing leadership and staff, best practices, technology advancements, increased training, expanding services and promoting the organization’s model beyond Minnesota and Wisconsin. The strategic plan was a response to evaluating the current state of pregnancy care centers and the cultural changes they face.

“I really appreciated the board not just being wise in using their minds, but [also] positioning themselves on their knees before the Lord asking for his leading as we went through this process,” Hansel said.

Hansel said that marketing and social media are playing increased roles in the ministry, allowing her organization to succeed at drawing women who were considering abortion. Elevate Life pregnancy resource centers served more than 33,000 women in 2016, she said.

Elevate Life has also revamped its online materials in order to invite more women to consider the clinics’ services.

“We’re hoping that we can really reach … those women who maybe want to make a life-affirming choice but don’t know where to go,” Hansel said.

Training available for affiliates, which has increased with the strategic plan, involves guidance from experts in applicable fields such as the brain neurology of trauma. Elevate Life also has started an annual retreat for the centers’ staff members in addition to hosting regional leadership gatherings for their further support.

“I think the feedback I’ve heard more and more is they’re just … so excited about what we’re being able to offer,” Hansel said.

Elevate Life also has a new central office in Eagan, where the staff moved last year. The organization had been headquartered at St. Agnes School in St. Paul for 23 years, but space ran out as the school expanded.

“As the school grew there, our offices kept getting smaller and smaller, and then as part of that strategic plan we doubled our staff,” Best said.

Elevate Life’s affiliate pregnancy resource centers remain individual nonprofits but continue to benefit from Elevate Life’s support, including training, help with grants and insurance.

Elevate Life affiliates in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis:

  • WomenSource, Anoka
  • Pregnancy Choices, Apple Valley
  • Life Choice Pregnancy Center, Cannon Falls
  • Pregnancy Options, Faribault
  • Lakes LifeCare Center, Forest Lake
  • TLC of Hastings, Hastings
  • SouthWest Options for Women, Hopkins
  • Women’s LifeCare Center, Little Canada
  • North Side Pregnancy Options, Minneapolis
  • Sagrada Familia, Minneapolis
  • Options for Women of Chisago County, North Branch
  • Northfield Women’s Center, Northfield
  • First Choice Clinic, Red Wing
  • Options for Women/Cornerstone, St. Michael
  • Abria Pregnancy Resources, St. Paul
  • Options for Women East, St. Paul
  • ICU Mobile Twin Cities, Savage
  • Options for Women St. Croix Valley, Stillwater
  • Wakota-A Guiding Star Center, West St. Paul
  • Pregnancy Options for Women, Woodbury

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