Christine LaVine, co-founder of Journey Pregnancy & Life Hub, works at the front counter Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013, at 19715 LaGrange Rd. in Mokena. | Matthew Grotto~Sun-Times Media
If You Go
Journey Pregnancy & Life Hub, 19715 LaGrange Road, Suite 4, Mokena
Contact: (708) 478-0527 or (708) 717-9513
24-hour text/helpline at (708) 704-5747.
What: “Your Journey to PROMise” prom workshop and prom sale event featuring gently-used prom/cocktail dresses, accessories and beauty items and makeup and hairdo tips.
When: 7 to 9 p.m. March 8 and March 29
Where: Journey Pregnancy & Life Hub, 19715 LaGrange Road, Suite 4, Mokena
Cost: $5 at the door or donation of a new or used prom/cocktail dress
Updated: April 4, 2013 6:04AM
Life’s journey poses its difficulties to everyone, and two Southland women are trying to ease that path — especially for womin in crisis.
Margie Doorn, 48, and Christine LaVine, 42, recently opened Journey Pregnancy & Life Hub, a nonprofit organization that’s aimed to be a “gathering place” in Mokena.
“If someone in need wants to come in to talk or just for a cup of coffee, we want to be a safe haven for them,” Doorn said.
The beauty of their facility is that everyone benefits.
A shopper purchasing new or gently-used bargains as varied as baby clothing, accessories, vintage fur coats or items created by local artists will be contributing funds for the well-being of women in need. In turn, women who come in for assistance benefit not only from a variety of services, but they are also able to earn certificates toward the purchase of Journey/Hub merchandise.
All they need to do is show up.
And the owners promise that a free cup of Journey Joe coffee (a signature brand which is also for sale) will be brewing and available for everyone at all times.
The homey setting is anchored by oversized dressing rooms which double as conference rooms for an impromptu meeting or for scheduled appointments which will have no time constraints, the owners said.
Doorn and LaVine said their approach to helping women is purposely “loose” so they are able to build relationships with clients in a way that is not often done in the world of social services.
In addition to offering mentoring and life coaching skills, they see themselves as “a bridge” to medical services, governmental aid and other social services.
“We didn’t want to box ourselves or our clients up,” LaVine said. “It is about relationships for us.”
To that end, the partners say they will be available by phone or social media as often as their clients need them, including in the evening when “risky choices” might be made.
Doorn and LaVine’s years of experience in service to young people led them each to believe that their highly personal approach serves best and allows girls to replace voids in their life with a healthier choice.
Doorn and her husband, Jim, of Frankfort, volunteered as youth leaders at First Christian Reformed Church of Oak Lawn for 10 years before joining Peace Community Church in Frankfort in 1998.
LaVine and her husband, Ryan, live in Oak Forest, and are active at Parkview Christian Church in Orland Park.
The mother of three, LaVine has been working with children and young adults in social services for the past 18 years.
Doorn and LaVine formed a “best friend” relationship over the last five years while working at Pregnancy Aid South Suburbs.
“We had a similar vision and dreams of all the good things we wanted to put in one place,” LaVine said
Going on “vision and gut” in the fall of 2012, the pair quit their jobs at PASS in order to make Journey/Hub a reality. Within three months they built out their shop and filled it with hundreds of new and used items with the help of family, friends and complete strangers.
Doorn and LaVine said they are working toward involving the community, reaching out daily for more volunteers and donations. They’re also planning fundraisers which will involve high school girls, a demographic that LaVine said is a primary focus.
LaVine said girls between the ages of 14 and 23 are currently the No. 1 crisis group, with one of every three girls facing some type of pregnancy crisis during those years. For that reason, the partners plan to offer their “safe haven” all day to females in need, supplying WiFi stations which will facilitate homework or job searches and offering community service hours among other opportunities.
“We are passionate about mentoring,” LaVine said. “We’re in a relationship with our clients that is not usually standard in social services, but it’s standard with us.”