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Heartbeat Crisis Pregnancy Center

 113 Winn Street
 Burlington, MA 01803
[P] (781) 229-7887
[F] (781) 229-7887
[email protected]
Muriel Ostrowski
 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 04-3220314

LAST UPDATED: 05/31/2019
Organization DBA Heartbeat Pregnancy Help
Heartbeat Ministries, Inc.
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No



Mission StatementMORE »

Our main mission is to assist needy pregnant women and needy families with young children.  We provide caring support and assistance, based on the specific needs of each family.  These generally include clothing, baby and children's equipment, diapers, toys, delivery to many families, and some food, rental and/or utility bill assistance.  We provide referrals to other agencies for additional assistance.  Another part of our mission is to provide accurate information and options counseling to pregnant women who call unsure about whether they will parent, place for adoption or abort.  We offer assistance with parenting or placing for adoption if they choose one of these options.

Mission Statement

Our main mission is to assist needy pregnant women and needy families with young children.  We provide caring support and assistance, based on the specific needs of each family.  These generally include clothing, baby and children's equipment, diapers, toys, delivery to many families, and some food, rental and/or utility bill assistance.  We provide referrals to other agencies for additional assistance.  Another part of our mission is to provide accurate information and options counseling to pregnant women who call unsure about whether they will parent, place for adoption or abort.  We offer assistance with parenting or placing for adoption if they choose one of these options.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year Jan 01, 2019 to Dec 31, 2019
Projected Income $90,000.00
Projected Expense $95,000.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Assistance to families with small children
  • Pregnancy Help

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2018 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Mission Statement

Our main mission is to assist needy pregnant women and needy families with young children.  We provide caring support and assistance, based on the specific needs of each family.  These generally include clothing, baby and children's equipment, diapers, toys, delivery to many families, and some food, rental and/or utility bill assistance.  We provide referrals to other agencies for additional assistance.  Another part of our mission is to provide accurate information and options counseling to pregnant women who call unsure about whether they will parent, place for adoption or abort.  We offer assistance with parenting or placing for adoption if they choose one of these options.

Background Statement

Heartbeat was begun in 1993 by a group of lay Catholics to provide information and assistance to women in crisis pregnancies, hoping to encourage more to choose to parent or place for adoption. Heartbeat was incorporated in 1997.  Since that time, our focus and mission have grown and expanded. Many of the pregnant women who contact us now have already decided to parent their children.  Other families contact us after their babies are born, referred by friends or staff persons from charitable or government agencies or from hospitals.  Some pregnant women call us looking for information about their options.  We provide accurate information and offer caring assistance for families parenting their children or placing babies for adoption. Often pregnant women are relieved to find that there actually are people who want to help and subsequently choose to parent their babies.  We provide an incredible amount of help to families who contact us.  We provide friendship, maternity and children's clothing, diapers, baby equipment and sometimes food and occasional help with rent and/or utility bills.  We are helping more and more families each year.  Agencies that refer families to us include Healthy Families, WIC, Centerboard, an organization that operates several teen parenting shelters, Department of Transitional Assistance, Lynn Community Health Center, Catholic Charities, Lynn Economic Opportunity (LEO) Headstart, Aspire in Lynn, Boston Medical Center, several charitable agencies in Lowell and Somerville and The Community Life Center in Burlington.  Families we service find caring people and the assistance they need and leave encouraged and more hopeful!  Many rave to us and others about the wonderful, caring help we provide to them!

Impact Statement

1.  We assisted 410 needy families with their babies born during 2018,  providing much needed clothing, baby equipment, diapers, blankets and other requested items, along with encouragement and caring.
2.  We provided caring assistance to several hundred additional needy families, many whose babies we helped in previous years, providing clothing, toys, some diapers and wipes, some food and bill assistance and requested baby and children's equipment.
3.   With the help of several Hispanic volunteers who interpret for us and with referrals from Healthy Families and other agencies, we have served more Hispanic families during the past year and served them more effectively.  We have also assisted families who speak Arabic or Haitian Creole with the help of volunteer interpreters. 
4.  Our volunteers have done an admirable job providing caring and support for many families, providing donated items and stretching our relatively small income to provide many new baby items purchased at warehouse or clearance prices or with discounts or coupons. 

Needs Statement

1.  Our most pressing need is for funds to assist so many additional families with baby and children's equipment and clothing.  We try to provide each needy family with a car seat, a stroller and a pack and play with bassinet for the baby to sleep in, along with much clothing, blankets and other needed baby items.  We would like to be able to assist with high chairs, as well.  Approx. $400. per family would help the families much more effectively.  While we raised more funds during 2018 than in 2017, we did not raise as much as we had to spend.  We need an additional $30,000. to enable us to provide the needed baby equipment and clothing.  
2.  The next pressing need is for funds to provide diapers and pull-ups for families who cannot afford them. An additional $10,000. would help us do this.
3.  We also need additional funding to assist families with occasional gift cards to grocery stores for emergency food needs.  About $5,000. would enable us to provide this help.
4.  Another pressing need is for funding to help families with transportation expenses, and the expense of delivering needed items to families with no transportation.  This includes a need for gas cards and help with occasional repairs and insurance costs. $3,000 would help with this.
5.  We need more volunteers, including a co-director or assistant director, others to assist with fund-raising, some to help assemble items for families and sort donated items and some to help deliver items. We added new volunteers this past year, but need more, especially for deliveries, fundraising and administrative assistance.  

CEO Statement

We are distinctive in that we provide needy families maternity clothing, baby and children's clothing, blankets and baby equipment in a friendly, caring way.  The families we serve are very low-income.  Most are single-parent families.  A significant number live in shelters or temporary shelter apartments.  We help parents to provide what their children need and encourage caring, effective parenting.  After beginning to help the families when they are expecting or have young babies, we continue to help them as needed.  We encourage good nutrition and provide some food assistance when needed. We provide children's books and encourage parents to read to their children.  We deliver to many families who have no way to come to us.  Parents often cry tears of joy when they receive the much needed assistance from our caring volunteers. 

Board Chair Statement

We have been successful in recruiting and keeping many of the volunteers.  We need a balance of women and some men to accomplish the many hands-on activities of sorting, preparing and assembling items needed by the families.  We have two churches who have hosted Christmas giving trees and have partnered with Toys for Tots to assist many families before Christmas.  We have recruited a few more people to help with delivering to families but could use more.  A new volunteer has been providing a great deal of administrative assistance.  Many people are committed to helping the families we serve with donations of gently used items and with monetary donations!  There are many long-term supporters.  We have recently had several additional churches hold fundraisers to assist this ministry and hope they will continue to help with yearly fundraisers.  We have recruited a new secretary for our board and are very happy with her vitality and commitment!
I began volunteering at Heartbeat in 2002 when I was woken up several nights with the distinct understanding that God wanted me to leave my part-time teaching job and volunteer full-time at Heartbeat. My responsibilities have increased over the years.  A few years later I took over the management of the ministry.  The ministry has grown since that time and is more challenging than ever!  I like a meaningful, purposeful challenge, though it can be overwhelming at times.  I would love to find help with the management parts of the ministry.

Geographic Area Served

We assist families in many different cities and towns north of Boston.  The cities in which we assist the most families are Lynn, Lowell and Lawrence, though we also assist families in Wilmington, Dracut, Malden, Woburn, Tewksbury, Stoneham, Burlington, Billerica, Chelsea, Medford, Everett, Revere, Saugus, Danvers, Salem, Gloucester, Peabody, and other towns, depending on where the families live who contact us or are referred to us. 

Organization Categories

  1. Human Services - Family Services
  2. Human Services - Pregnancy Centers
  3. Religion- Related - Roman Catholic

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)



Assistance to families with small children

We provide much assistance to needy families having babies and continue to assist the families for several years or more, as needed.  We provide baby clothing, blankets, diapers, toiletries, infant and some toddler car seats, strollers, pack and plays as beds for the babies, and some bouncer seats and swings, depending on the specific needs of each family.  We provide caring emotional support and encouragement and some parenting advice.   We provide some help with groceries, utility and/or rent bills, toys, children's books and other baby's and children's needs, as requested by the parents.  We deliver needed baby and children's items to families who have no transportation and purchase gas for some who have transportation so they can come to us.  We provide referrals to other agencies for additional needs.
Budget  approx. 85000
Category  Human Services, General/Other Family-Based Services
Population Served Families Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent Minorities
Program Short-Term Success  Short term successes are that the children have warm clothing in the winter, light clothing in the summer, pajamas to wear to bed, diapers, and stories read to them.  The moms and dads feel less discouraged because their children have what they need and are less likely to be grumpy and despairing.  We see moms (especially) warmed emotionally and better able to care for their children when the children have nice clothing, toys, and books and the moms are encouraged by caring volunteers.
Program Long-Term Success  The long term changes that we hope will result from this program is that the children will have healthier lives with proper clothing, books and toys and will be well-taken care of and will not grow up angry at the world and destructive.  They will hopefully become good citizens and a credit to the community.
Program Success Monitored By  We monitor the success by the families who do get "on their feet" and no longer need assistance and the many who are successfully caring for their children and feel more capable to do so.  Many want to help us help others and donate back to us.  They send friends to us who are in circumstances similar to those they had been in.
Examples of Program Success  Many moms do find jobs, get daycare for their children and rise above some of the problems they had.  Few totally escape poverty but many get to the point where they can manage to pay their bills and only need occasional help.  Some who have transportation come to us to volunteer to help others.  Many donate clothing and equipment back to us to help others.  It creates a caring network that many had not been part of before their experience with Heartbeat.

Pregnancy Help

Assistance to pregnant women with maternity clothing,individual friendship/relationship/parenting counseling, nutritious groceries as needed,
provision of other needs and referrals to agencies that can provide further assistance.
Budget  $8,000.00
Category  Human Services, General/Other Programs for Single Parents
Population Served Females Adults Minorities
Program Short-Term Success  Mothers are encouraged to parent more effectively.  We see behavior changes in mothers who focus on their children and grow to be emotionally stronger at protecting their children.  We provide individual friendship counseling and observe changes in many women we assist.
Program Long-Term Success  Long term changes will be better health outcomes for children, mothers who are enabled to advocate better for their children's needs and who are more willing to reach out and help others after receiving caring help.   
Program Success Monitored By  We observe changes and discuss successes.  We frequently receive feedback from the families we assist and from others who call because they learned of the positive impact on others that this program has had.  
Examples of Program Success  Many pregnant women tell us that they could not have managed without our help. They rave about the impact we have made on their lives and send friends to us.  We receive many hugs and tearful thanks.  Some make better choices in future relationships and protect their current children better from future boyfriends. The children they are carrying are better nourished by healthy food we provide.  

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

The biggest challenge we currently face is raising funds to support the important work we do.  We are all volunteers and all contribute our time, talents and treasures.  We do not pay rent or utilities at the space we occupy, only for two storage units.  A high percentage of the funds we raise is spent on client needs.  This past year our funding was higher than in previous years, but with a large increase in babies assisted, our funding was about $6500. less than needed for the year.  We received one additional grant this year and have found some additional churches to host fundraisers for us.  We have several new volunteers who are effective fundraisers and are beginning to see fruit from their efforts.


CEO/Executive Director Mrs. Muriel Ostrowski
CEO Term Start Jan 2005
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience I have managed classrooms through 10+ years of teaching experience and a home for many years.  I have been President of Heartbeat since 2005.  There has been a great deal of learning through necessity.  I have a B.S., M.S. and 30 additional credits.  My M.S. is in Child Development and Family Life, which fits well with our mission.  I have taught nutrition at the middle and high school levels and include nutrition assistance when possible.  I sincerely care about the children and families and their needs.  I have strong administrative skills gained through almost fifteen years of managing the ministry.
Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
Mr. Paul Murano Sept 1994 Sept 2005

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
-- -- --


Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --


Affiliation Year
-- --
Member of state association of nonprofits? No
Name of state association --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --


We collaborate with Healthy Families, providing assistance to families they refer to us.  We also receive referrals from agencies including Centerboard in Lynn, the Department of Transitional Assistance, Department of Children and Families, the WIC program, Catholic Charities, Lynn Community Health Center and others and assist families referred by them.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments


Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 0
Number of Part Time Staff 0
Number of Volunteers 25
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate % --

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 21
Hispanic/Latino: 3
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 22
Male: 3
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? No
Organization has Strategic Plan? No
Years Strategic Plan Considers --
Management Succession Plan No
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures Under Development
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes
State Registration --

Risk Management Provisions


Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency No N/A
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency No N/A
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency No N/A


Board Chair Mrs. Muriel Elaine Ostrowski
Board Chair Company Affiliation Community Volunteer
Board Chair Term Jan 2005 -
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Mrs. Eileen Cahill Community Volunteer Voting
Mr. James Donovan Chart Insurance Company Voting
Mrs. Kathleen Lopolito Community Volunteer Voting
Mr. Paul Murano College of St. Mary Magdalen Voting
Mrs. Muriel Ostrowski Community Volunteer Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 5
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): 0
Gender Female: 3
Male: 2
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths 2
Board Term Limits 0
Board Meeting Attendance % 100%
Written Board Selection Criteria No
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy No
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 60%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions 40%
Constituency Includes Client Representation No

Standing Committees


CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

We are glad to have board members who are willing to make a long-term commitment to our organization.  We do not apply limits to how long they can serve. Conflicts of interest have never arisen.  None of us receive any financial or other compensation.

Foundation Comments



Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2018 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2017 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Fiscal Year Jan 01, 2019 to Dec 31, 2019
Projected Income $90,000.00
Projected Expense $95,000.00
Form 990s

2018 Form 990

2017 Form 990

2016 Form 990

2015 Form 990

2014 Form 990

2013 Form 990

2012 Form 990

2011 Form 990

2010 Form 990

2009 Form 990

Audit Documents --
IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2018 2017 2016
Total Revenue $82,545 $76,943 $60,078
Total Expenses $88,926 $87,041 $50,722

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2018 2017 2016
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
-- -- --
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $82,545 $76,943 $60,078
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue -- -- --
Investment Income, Net of Losses -- -- --
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events -- -- --
Revenue In-Kind -- -- --
Other -- -- --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2018 2017 2016
Program Expense $88,926 $87,041 $50,722
Administration Expense -- -- --
Fundraising Expense -- -- --
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 0.93 0.88 1.18
Program Expense/Total Expenses 100% 100% 100%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 0% 0% 0%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2018 2017 2016
Total Assets $14,643 $21,025 $31,123
Current Assets $14,643 $21,025 $31,123
Long-Term Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Current Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Total Net Assets $14,643 $21,025 $31,123

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2018 2017 2016
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value --
Spending Policy N/A
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund Yes
How many months does reserve cover? 1.00

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? No

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2018 2017 2016
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities inf inf inf

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2018 2017 2016
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

With a significant increase in the number and needs of families we are helping, we are still spending more than we are raising.  We are working to raise additional funds, while using some of the funds previously raised.

Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in the charts and graphs above is per the organization's IRS Form 990s. Contributions from foundations and corporations are listed under individuals when the breakout was not available.


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.


The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.

1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?

Our organization is aiming to provide help to needy north of Boston families who are expecting a baby or who have recently had a child.  We want families to know there is caring help available to moms/families who choose to parent their children.  We want babies to have the clothing, equipment and food they need to thrive.  We want the moms and sometimes dads to be encouraged in their parenting and to parent with assurance and peace of mind, knowing that they are not alone.  Our client card has a picture of a young Hispanic woman, with the phrase"Pregnant?  You are not alone!"  We want to maintain the funding and volunteer support to be able to provide help for all of the needy north of Boston families who are in this situation who contact us or are referred to us.  We do not want to turn away truly needy families in our area who do not have what they need for their babies.  During the next three - five years, we want to raise enough funds each year to pay for the items we need to purchase for the families.  We already purchase the items at amazingly low cost, enabling us to serve many families on a small budget.  We define long-term success as remaining here, doing what we are doing, and not turning truly needy families away, but providing them with caring help.

2. What are your strategies for making this happen?

Our strategies to make this happen are to continue to make contact with parishioners at churches that may be able to help with fundraising, to continue to send thank-you letters that inform the donors as to the important impact their donations are making in helping needy families, and to continue bargain hunting to make the most impact for the families with the donated funds.  We also make this happen by showing caring for the moms, dads and children.  I plan to recruit more Hispanic volunteers to help with translating.  I often receive and give hugs to the moms when they are showing their thanks for the help we provide.  We offer additional help when providing the assistance we provide and show excitement about their babies.  We continue to maintain extensive computer files so as not to lose anyone's registration information.  We try to provide help at least a month before each mom's due date, so they have help and peace of mind before their babies are due.  All these strategies benefit the needy families and serve as building blocks for future success.

3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?

With God's help, we are capable of doing this.  We have the staff and parish support with fundraising.  We have many committed volunteers.  We recruit more volunteers by placing requests for volunteers in parish bulletins.  We have a donated space that keeps us from having to spend  much on overhead.  We have volunteers to deliver to needy families who cannot come to us.  We have been very successful in procuring baby items at much less than families would have to pay for them.  

4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?

We will know if we are making progress by the satisfaction expressed by the many families who have received help from this ministry and the many people referred to us because the referring agencies or people are happy with the services we provide.  We will know we are succeeding if we do not have to turn families away due to lack of funds.  We have served an increasing number of families each year and served them well.  The smiles, hugs and thanks from the moms show their happiness with the services we provide.  I measure the number of families who we serve each month and each year, the fact that we have not had to turn families in our area away and the fact the we are not decreasing the amount of help that we provide each family.  As we run short of funds, we let donors know by word of mouth and sometimes with letters.  When I began volunteering in 2002, our organization served twelve families with newborns.  The number  has climbed each year to last year's total of 410 families with newborns.

5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?

We have accomplished a great deal.  We served the families of 330 babies born in 2017 and 410 born in 2018.  We are continuing to raise funds and purchase baby items and equipment, along with providing donated items.  We purchase on-line and with discounts at some stores to provide for the families.  We receive baby shower items from churches.  We found that sending mass-mailings to all donors is too time consuming to be of value.  We found that fundraisers at churches with letters of thanks to individuals and families builds relationships with donors that continue to provide  assistance to the ministry.  We found that sending out letters to parishes to request fundraisers is ineffective.  We found that meeting with individuals in parishes who can promote the fundraisers in their parishes is effective.  It is helpful to talk to people who come to donate items to us about fundraising possibilities, showing them our space and level of service.  We have changed our strategies for fundraising to fit with our need to keep fundraising from taking up much of the volunteers time and to be more effective.  We purchase many more items online now to require less time shopping in stores, to make the time commitment possible.  All of these strategy changes help us to progress toward our ultimate goals.  We are meeting our goals to keep on serving more needy families and are raising additional funding to make our ultimate goals possible.  We know the needs will never go away.  The goals we have not yet realized are to raise enough funds each year to pay for all the expenses.  The obstacles to achieving our goals are difficulties raising the funds necessary, keeping enough volunteers committed to serving to complete the work needed in sorting, purchasing and assembling the needed items for the families and continuing to occupy enough space for the work we do and storage needs.  We added an additional storage unit a few years ago and are successfully sharing the space we have in the building we partially occupy.  We will continue to face new challenges as they arrive, hopefully with enthusiasm and creativity.