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Walk For Life, Fall Vendor Fest Set For Saturday

Pictured is Jessie Anderson, executive director of Options Care Center in Jamestown. Anderson encourages community members to participate in the Walk for Life on Saturday and visit their new Fall Festival event at Real Life Church. P-J photo by Katrina Fuller

Options Care Center will be hosting its annual Walk For Life this Saturday, with a new harvest-themed attraction — a Fall Festival.

Starting at 10 a.m., the Fall Festival hosted at Real Life Church on Second Street in Jamestown will offer various vendors for visitors. The festival will be open to the public until 3 p.m. Walk registration will open at 10:30 a.m. and the walk will take place at 11 a.m.

Walkers will venture over to the Options Care Center at 560 W. Third St. and will then return to Real Life Church to finish the walk. The route is exactly 2 miles, according to Options Care Center Executive Director Jessie Anderson.

“(The festival) is open to the entire community, so come and get your fall and Christmas items purchased,” she said. “We’ll have food — there’s a balloon artist for the kids, and it will be a good time to spend with family and friends. The walk is one of our main fundraisers, as we are nearly entirely donor-funded. We do a few small community grants for things like technology, but other than that, all of our operating expenses are paid for through donors.”

Options Care Center, formerly known as Choose Life of Jamestown, has been active in the community since 1986. Anderson said the pregnancy center came into existence shortly after that. The center changed its name to Options Care Center around three years ago.

The center offers pregnancy tests, limited ultrasounds, options counseling, and a parenting program called the Hope program. The center also offers an in-school program called “Real Essentials” that teaches about healthy relationships, communication, and conflict management. All programs that the center offers are free of charge.

Recently, the center has partnered with the Buffalo organization, Every Bottom Covered, a free supplemental diaper program. Parents can come into the center, provide photo identification, the baby’s birth certificate and either a WIC or SNAP card. The family will receive up to 50 free diapers and a pack of wipes every 30 days for children under the age of 3.

“We support women,” Anderson said. “When women come in here, we are caring about the whole woman — and we want to make sure that we are helping her make connections that are going to help her financially and that are going to help her emotionally. I am very much of the belief that if I am going to change the world and if Options Care Center is going to change the world, we are going to do it one woman, one person at a time. That means that we’re going to put all of our energy into caring for every woman who walks through our doors.”

For those who cannot make it out for the event on Saturday, Anderson said they can visit friendsofocc.com. Donation checks can be sent to 560 W. Third St., Westgate Professional Building in Jamestown. For more information on services and programs available at the center, visit optionscarecenter.com or find them on Facebook.

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