About Our Chapter
We currently have over 50 volunteer host families 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.
We currently serve 14 counties in our area:
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, Partner Church Engagement Coordinator
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.
Ranetta Wiley, Family Coach Supervisor
Ranetta began her position as Family Coach Supervisor in Spring of 2019. She and her husband, Michael, have two children, Piper (age 6) and Elias (age 2). Ranetta has a Bachelor’s degree in Counseling and has worked for over 18 years in various ministry and social work settings.
The Wiley Family attends Northeast Christian Church and is active in the children’s department as well as on the worship team.
Katharine Wurst, Volunteer Coordinator
Katharine plays many different roles in Safe Families and started with the ministry in August of 2017.
Along with her role of Volunteer Coordinator, Katharine enjoys serving our host families and parents as a Family Coach and also serves in the capacity of Ministry Lead at Blackhawk Ministries.
Katharine graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University with a bachelor's degree in business. She and her husband Chuck have four daughters: Casey, Elizabeth, Anna, and Haley.
Ashley Grimes, Intake Supervisor
Ashley began her role with Safe Families in February of 2018. She and her husband Travis have been married for 15 years and have 3 boys, Dylan (9), Caleb (7), and Jake (2).
Ashley holds an Associate of Science in Business as well as a Bachelor's of Science in Business Administration, both from Indiana Wesleyan University. She and her family have attended Wallen Baptist Church for the past 14 years.
Navy Schrock, Communications Coordinator
Navy began her role with Safe Families in June of 2018. She holds an Associate of Science in Business Administration and is currently taking classes toward a degree in marketing at Purdue Fort Wayne.
Along with her role in Safe Families, Navy works for a few family-owned businesses. She and her family have attended Wallen Baptist Church for the past 7 years.
Gwen Leininger, Funding Specialist
Gwen Leininger has volunteered along with her family in the past as a host family and now joins Safe Families part-time as a grant writer. With a degree in English, she enjoys using her writing skills to advance the work of Safe Families and make Christ's perfect love tangible to families in the Fort Wayne area.
Gwen and her husband, Derek, have one daughter and are members of Wallen Baptist Church.
Meg Carlin, Community Outreach Coordinator
Meg recently began serving Safe Families as Community Outreach Coordinator and is excited to get to know the ministry and community better through this position! Meg grew up in Michigan and worked in the healthcare field prior to marrying her husband, William. She is now a busy stay-at-home mom who doesn't do much staying at home! She loves taking her toddlers out exploring and is looking forward to homeschooling them.
Meg and William both serve on the ministry team at their church, Trinity Evangelical in Larwill. They look forward to serving as a host family and helping to support other host families and volunteers in their congregation. As a hobby, Meg and William enjoy learning about and teaching permaculture gardening and hope to be living the country life someday soon!