About Our Chapter
Who We Are
To learn more about how SFFC Fort Wayne is ministering in our community, listen as chapter founder, Kim Plattner, is interviewed by radio host, Mark Mellinger, of 1090 Today:
We currently have over 25 volunteer host families serving in Allen, Whitley, and Dekalb counties who graciously open their homes temporarily to children whose parents are going through a difficult time. While the children are in the host home, family coaches help parents get back on their feet by providing mentorship and accountability. Host families and placing families are supported by a team of volunteers who provide help such as transportation, meals, resource donations, mentoring, and employment assistance.
Fort Wayne and surrounding area churches play a significant role in recruiting and supporting their congregations to serve and reach out to parents who are in a crisis situation. Churches of all sizes and various denominational or non-denominational backgrounds are active partners with Fort Wayne Safe Families for Children. Our volunteers come from the smallest to largest congregations, as followers of Jesus are awakening to the urgent need to minister to struggling families in our own cities. See our Church Partners page for more information on area churches involved in the Fort Wayne SFFC.
Although our amazing volunteers are the ones who take the movement of Safe Families for Children into the community, they are supported by our Fort Wayne staff. Our staff passionately invest their lives in engaging churches, building the base of volunteers, transitioning children, supervising family coaches, vetting and training volunteers, and so much more.
Bonnie Doolittle, Director and Family Coach Supervisor
Bonnie Doolittle and her husband, Scott, live in Fort Wayne and have two married children and 5 grandchildren. Scott and Bonnie have been married for over 33 years. They have been members of Wallen Baptist Church since 1995 and are currently serving on the church plant team for Hope Community Church in downtown Fort Wayne.
Bonnie has been involved in Safe Families for Children Fort Wayne since its launch in February 2013. She serves on the Leadership Team as the Director and Family Coach Supervisor and is an active Family Coach and Host Family.
Bonnie has a business degree from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan. She is currently studying for certification in Biblical Counseling through the Association of Biblical Counselors.
Jen Bergdall, Intake Manager
Jen Bergdall and her husband, Mark, have been married for 8 years. They have two children, Abby and Bailey. Jen and her family reside in Fort Wayne and attend County Line Church of God where Jen serves on the hospitality team and is a nursery volunteer.
Jen has a physical therapy degree from Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois. She worked as a physical therapist in an outpatient clinic for several years, specializing in lymphedema management, and then as a pediatric therapist with First Steps. She is now a stay-at-home mom for her two children, Abby and Bailey.
Jen is the Intake Manager for Fort Wayne SFFC, as well as the Ministry Lead for County Line Church of God. She has been involved with Safe Families for Children since the fall of 2014.
Andy Schnipke, Resource Coordinator
Andy and his wife, Carrie, have been married for 12 years and have three kids: Ben 9, Kate 9 and Anna 4. They attend Northeast Christian Church in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Andy graduated from Indiana University in 1999 and works as a Financial Advisor.
Andy began his involvement SFFC two years ago as a Host Family when he and his wife felt God was asking them to possibly consider becoming Foster Parents. While Carrie was at a Bible Study, a friend shared with her about Safe Families. After some time in prayer, Andy and Carrie felt it was clear God was asking them to be a part of this ministry and began to invest their hearts and lives with Fort Wayne SFFC. Since that time, Andy's involvement has grown to include his position as Resource Coordinator where he oversees providing placing parents and host families with the resources they need to care for children in their home.