Cherish Center, once known as Shepherd’s Fold Ministries, was established as a non-profit corporation in the fall of 1999. Governed by a Board of Directors from many different church denominations, the vision was cast to build a maternity home for unwed teenage girls and make an impact on families in our community.
In January of 2001 Jan Turner was appointed as Executive Director. Jan was a part of the grassroots group that helped to launch the organization. While the vision was cast to have a maternity home in NW Iowa, there was an immediate need for parents facing the challenge of raising kids. A parent training group, Cherish Women/Cherished Kids (now called Parents Connect) was developed. Not long after, Thee Garage Sale, our thrift store, was also established both as a means to raise funds and as a way to serve the needy. A sexual abstinence training event, No Apologies, began in 2002. This event, held once a year, promotes God’s plan for purity. In 2005 a Father Daughter Dance began to promote the importance of the Father Daughter Relationship.
In 2004 over $450,000 were raised to build a maternity home – what is now Cherish House. Businesses, individuals, and churches in the Northwest Iowa area were all a part of making Cherish House become a reality. Construction began in the spring of 2005, and the doors were open to serve young ladies in the spring of 2006. In 2008, Shepherd’s Fold Ministries officially changed its name to Cherish Center.
Since its beginning in 1999, Cherish Center has created many programs with the intent of helping not only unwed, pregnant young women, but also the community as well as parents. Programs include counseling for singles, couples and children, parenting classes both for moms and dads, mentoring for young moms and programs to help grieving moms of infant loss. Since opening its doors in 2006, Cherish House has been privileged to house and serve almost 65 young women and their developing babies.
Cherish Center has grown rapidly over the past 17 years and has worked to accomplish the mission of Transforming Lives, Strengthening Families and Enhancing our Community. We look forward to more years of service!