If you give a mouse a cookie,…

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

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I’ve been using the analogy of Laura Numeroff’s books lately to explain the process of starting The Sparrow’s Nest. Her titles include “If you give a Mouse a Cookie,” “If you give a Moose a Muffin,” “If you give a Cat a Cupcake,” as well as “If you give a Pig a Pancake.” The basic premise for all the books is if you give the main character an item it reminds them that they want something else that is bigger and better and more than likely, more complicated.

Today has been one of those days for The Sparrow’s Nest. I started really researching and applying for grants today. But when I started applying our tax exempt number does not show up yet electronically on the IRS website so we are automatically declined for the grants. Don’t misunderstand we do have our 501C3 status, but the IRS explained our status won’t show up electronically until sometime after June even though we’ve had the number since January 12. 2011. I also went to apply for our Missouri Maternity Home tax credit today. This will help our donor’s dollars go further by not only have a tax exempt donation but receiving an actual tax credit for that donation. But we can’t get that until we have a letter from the Department of Social Services Children’s Division stating we are in good standing. But we can’t get that until we have an actual home to be licensed and of course, you see where I’m going. We can’t get a home until we have sufficient funds.

A vicious circle when you’re just trying to do the right thing.

However discouraging and confusing this journey becomes I know God is going to see it through to the end. I still have no doubt that this service is desperately needed for our area. Further proof was supplied on the April 13, 2011 report from Putting Kids First. The following is an excerpt.

Compared with the cost of 130 unwed parents and teenage parents who may require up to two years of public assistance, which could cost St. Charles County $2,600,000 (130 parents x $10,000 x 2 years), we believe St. Charles County will benefit more from expanding its existing services to develop productive healthy families. The savings to the taxpayers would be over $1.7 million every two years.The establishment of a maternity group home with a capacity for six (6) teen mothers (averaging 12 mothers per year) at a daily cost of $185 would cost $405,150. (6 mothers x 365 days x $185 = $405,150) Please note these estimated costs are based on current Youth In Need direct service cost experience. They do not include inflationary costs. These cost estimates are also consistent with the contract experience of other providers. The $185 per day cost can be further broken down as follows:


$102 per day for housing and 24 hour supervision


$83 per day for counseling and case management, which includes intake, service planning and linkage, prenatal and post partum care coordination, individual, group and family counseling, and discharge and aftercare services.

The total cost for both programs above is $821,150. ($416,000 + $405,150 = $821,150)

The capacity to provide services to teenage parents has dropped slightly since the last survey, but the demand for services has remained the same. Since the closing of the only group maternity home in the region, no facility has taken its place. The Pregnancy Resource Center is interested in spearheading an effort to locate a group maternity home within the County, but funds have not been raised.

I know you can see the financial mountain we have to climb. $400, 000 seems insurmountable. But I have faith in our community. I have faith in God’s people. We will find the funds we need. We will get the licenses we need. We will provide the services needed in our community. We will minister to the young women of St. Charles. God is faithful.

Let me know how you have experienced God’s faithfulness. Share how an unsure time revealed God’s plan for your life.

Consider supporting us financially through our Secure Give site: https://sparrowsnest.securegive.com


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