By the time Susan Grimsley made it to her office Saturday night, June 11, she was immediately faced with good news, bad news, and better news.
Grimsley, who serves as executive director for the Florida Pregnancy Care Network (FPCN) in Tallahassee, found out Saturday evening that her organization’s two-story building had been hit with lightning, which engulfed the top story in flames.
The good news was, the office space FPCN occupies was untouched by the non-injury blaze. The bad news, on the other hand, was the firefighters’ efforts to quench the fire had destroyed nearly everything inside Grimsley’s office.
The better news—in addition to the minimal loss FPCN incurred because their files were backed up on a Carbonite cloud server—was Grimsley and the rest of her three-person staff have hardly skipped a beat in the week since the fire.
“We’re doing very well,” Grimsley, whose organization serves 97 pregnancy help centers in the state, said. “We’ve had so many things come together for us. Coincidentally, my husband’s office is not even a block away from our offices that burned, and he’s got enough room to have us work in here temporarily.”
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While FPCN’s relocation to Grimsley’s husband’s office space is a helpful enough start, FPCN’s landlord has upped the ante on generosity, offering to house the organization in an office across the street while the fire-damaged facility is rebuilt.
The plan is to move into the temporary office the week of June 20, less than two weeks after the fire.
The blaze comes in the midst of FPCN’s current push to reach abortion-vulnerable women statewide and connect them to local, community-based help through Heartbeat International’s 24-7 pregnancy helpline, Option Line.
Last August, the state of Florida doubled the annual budget of its Pregnancy Support Services Program to $4 million per year, which FPCN facilitates. Participating pregnancy help organizations receive $60 per hour for counseling and classroom instruction, and are reimbursed $1.50 per pregnancy test.
“Our pregnancy centers are being wonderful,” Grimsley said. “They’ve all been made aware of this, and they’re being patient. We’re just plugging along. God is good—He brings beauty from ashes and that’s what we’re counting on.”