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 50 volunteer host families serving in Allen, Whitley, Noble, Huntington, Adams, 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
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 currently serves on the Leadership Team as the Director but continues to actively serve when needed as a Family Coach Supervisor, Family Coach, and Host Family. Bonnie and Scott are also the Ministry Leads of Hope Community Church in downtown Fort Wayne.
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 Certified Biblical Counselors.
Jen Bergdall, Intake Supervisor
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 Supervisor for SFFC Fort Wayne 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.
Shanna Conner, Family Coach Supervisor
We are excited to introduce Shanna Conner, our Family Coach Supervisor in Fort Wayne! Shanna and her husband Nate have been married for 15 years and have three boys, ages 8, 7, and 5. After volunteering with Safe Families in various capacities since its inception in 2013, Shanna took a year off to focus on her family. Feeling called back to the ministry, Shanna was hired in April. She has a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy received in 2009 from Indiana Wesleyan University. Shanna and Nate are members of Wallen Baptist Church and have attended since 2006. In her spare time, Shanna enjoys reading and spending time with friends and family.
Katharine Wurst, Volunteer Coordinator
Thankful for Katharine Wurst, our Volunteer Coordinator. Katharine is also a Family Coach and has enjoyed serving our host families and parents. Most recently, Katharine has begun serving in the capacity of Ministry Lead at Blackhawk Ministries.
Ashley Grimes, Intake Coordinator
Ashley is our Intake Coordinator. Ashley and her family attend Wallen Baptist Church. We are grateful that she is willing to serve in our ministry in this capacity.
Angie Study, Transportation and Child Care Coordinator
Angie volunteers as our Transportation and Child Care Coordinator. The Study family also hosts children in their home so Angie knows firsthand how this supporting role impacts our host families.