Tag Archives: maternity home

I said a dirty word today

A teacher once made the mistake of telling me we all have 24 hours in a day. It’s just a matter of how we use them. I ingrained that into my DNA to mean I could use all 24 hours. As a result I have a really hard time saying no. It’s the eternal optimist in me that really believe I can have it all, be it all, do it all if given enough time. No, is a dirty word for me. 

Like right now, I’m sick in bed. I should be telling myself no but even that seems impossible. 

But today, like too many other days, I had to tell not one but two people no. 

I received 2 more phone calls today of young, pregnant girls needing a safe place to stay. 

I had to tell them “No, we aren’t open yet. No, I can’t help you. No, I don’t know of any other place in the area that can take you. No, I don’t know what to tell you.”

It breaks my heart. I know I will always have to use that word. Even when we do open, we won’t have enough space for every girl that needs a home. Some girls won’t be a healthy match for our program. 

But for the ones that do, I pray very soon we have a warm, safe, inviting place for them to stay, and figure out their next steps. 

He didn’t exactly smile when we shook hands

In fact, I was a bit intimidated by the presumably 6″4′ young black teenager I was meeting. I was in the very small kitchen of a very small house right in between Kingshighway and Martin Luthur King Dr. The walls had been patched with cardboard to keep out the cold. Five African Americans were wondering what the heck I was doing there. Not exactly where you would normally find a tall, very white, very middle class woman in her minivan.

I figured out pretty quickly why he was upset. His girlfriend had to leave St.Louis because she didn’t have a safe place to stay. She was pregnant with his baby. I was taking her to Springfield to a new maternity home that had space for her. He had never been out of St. Louis. There wasn’t a shelter in St. Louis that had space for her. To him, I might as well have been taking her to the edge of the world.

He started drilling me with a million questions at once.

Will she be able to come back to St. Louis?

Will they let the daddy of the baby come see her? That’s me.

What is this place again?

We want to get married. Can we still do that?

Can we call each other?

Our baby shower is in March. Can we still have it then?

Will they give her food and take care of her? She hasn’t really had no heat or hot water in awhile.

She don’t have a lot of money. Does it cost?

I want to take care of both of them right now but you know, I can’t just yet.

When he figured out I was very much on their side and was there to help, this hard, young man from very rough background softened before me as he turned to say goodbye to his girlfriend. I left them alone and headed to the driver’s side but caught a glimpse of something so tender in the rear view mirror. I saw this intimidating young man carefully  bend down to take his tiny girlfriend into his arms while they stood shivering in the cold. I saw him start tearing up as he tried one more time to get her stay, and for her to tell him this was what they had to do right now. As we drove away, I saw him grab his cell, and then I heard her cell phone ring as he called to tell her he would try to talk to her everyday and that he was going to find where the nearest bus station was.

I was so happy to be able to finally help one of the girls that I keep getting phone calls for. Here was a maternity home that had just opened up its first phase and they actually had space for this young lady. But I have to admit it broke my heart to take this young woman far away from everything she had ever known. Sometimes that’s a good thing. But sometimes, when you actually see a young man wanting to be a good daddy, well, you have to wonder how it’s going to work when his girlfriend is so far away.

It was just one more reason to keep pushing towards getting The Sparrow’s Nest opened. We are blessed to be able to have maternity homes in Missouri who want to work together for these babies and their young mamas. But do we really have to send one of our own away? Shouldn’t we try to keep these young families together and mentor everyone involved around this precious little baby?

“No room in the Inn” takes on another meaning

This has been a heart breaking week so far for The Sparrow’s Nest.

I’ve had numerous calls from young girls who were pregnant or parenting sweet little babies and had no place to go. I had another call from a caseworker still looking for a safe place for his 16 year old client and her 4 month old baby. I looked into the eye of a mother of 13 year old girl who has struggled for months with so many self destructive behaviors. The family just needed a moment of peace.

However, the stark reality is the 3-4 teen shelters in the entire St. Louis metro are full. They’ve started waiting lists again. “No room in the Inn” has taken on another meaning during this holiday season. We’ve started referring girls out of the area. Some are willing to leave what they know. Others can’t imagine being away from their familiar surroundings during this hard time in their lives. Things look pretty bleak.

But, you are hope. And you can make space for even more hope.

Your prayers can help bring light to these dark places.

Your creativity can bring answers to these problems.

Your generosity can help Build The Nest

for a safe and secure place for these innocent babies and their young mothers.

We need champions who will give sacrificially for such a time as this. Please donate whatever you can, $1, $10, $20, $100.

Let’s make space for hope together.

infant

http://www.thesparrowsneststl.org

You’ve got a freakin’ gold mine!

The average household has $90 in change laying around

We hear a lot of people telling us that they really can’t afford to donate much to The Sparrow’s Nest right now. Times are tough. And believe me. We get that! It’s kinda the reason we’re coming into existence. However, Coinstar® reminds us that there is forgotten money hiding in our homes.  The average American household has a coin stash of  about $90 just waiting to be put to good use. Like helping the fund a home for teens and their precious little babies.

So if you thought you couldn’t give anything, or first thought at most you could only give $25 or so start looking around your house.

To mine for money in your house, follow these steps from the Live on Cash Blog:

  1. Prospect in the most obvious spots first:  pants pockets, handbags, backpacks, coat pockets, etc.
  2. Look for “piggy” and other types of coin banks.  Half of American families keep change in a coin bank of some type.
  3. Check behind chests-of-drawers and cabinets, under beds, refrigerators, dressers, and nightstands, any place where coins might end up after falling on the floor.  28% of the time you will find coins in random locations such as these.
  4. Search out cups, mugs, jars, and other containers.  71% of Americans keep their coins in receptacles of some type.
  5. Explore beneath the cushions and in the cracks of upholstered furniture.  There is a 1 in 5 chance you will find coins there.
  6. Hunt through your washer and dryer.  36% of coins have been “laundered”.
  7. Rummage through drawers.  A third of American families keep coins in drawers.
  8. Comb through your car, especially the glove compartment, under the seats, the cracks within and between seats, and under floor mats.

You don’t even need to count it. Put your stash in a coffee can, a ziploc bag, or chinese food container. We’ll take it to the bank and then issue you a tax-ductible receipt.

And you thought you couldn’t afford to donate to The Sparrow’s Nest this year.:)

After you go on your coin scavenger hunt, let us know the most unusual place you found money. What was the highest amount you found?

Happy Mining!

Knock! Knock!

Lot of houses for sale due to mortgage crisis,...

Image via Wikipedia

You can help The Sparrow’s Nest buy ME! I’m an empty house just waiting to become a home for teen moms who need a safe place to stay!

 

 

Hi there!

I have a dream.

I have a dream that one day soon, my bedrooms will be filled with young women who need a safe place to stay as they wait for their babies to be born. In my kitchen, loving adults will sit around the table with teen moms, helping them with schoolwork and teaching them how to properly care for their little ones. My family room will be filled with warmth and laughter as these young women find the support and encouragement they need to make positive choices for themselves and their babies.

I suppose I could be bought by someone else. Maybe an average family looking for more space, or a bachelor planning to fix me up and sell me for a profit. But deep in my foundation, I know I was built for something more.

You are the key to unlocking the greatness that exists behind these walls.

Right now, I’m sitting here vacant, doing nothing. Once in a while, I see a driver slow down, squint at my “For Sale” sign, and then keep on going. But that’s OK, because I’m waiting to become something amazing: the home of The Sparrow’s Nest.

And when my doors open next year, I’ll be a maternity home for teen moms in  St. Charles County. It’s enough to make my shingles tingle with pride!

Word around the neighborhood is that you’re already a supporter of The Sparrow’s Nest. That’s fantastic! But I’m going to need some more help if I’m going to be ready to take care of these moms and their babies by next summer.

By returning these with your tax-deductible donation to The Sparrow’s Nest Maternity Home—or by making a secure online contribution at http://www.thesparrowsneststl.org—you will get me one step closer to making my dream come true.

You can help TODAY by sponsoring

A coat of paint= $25

A washer and dryer (gotta keep those little onesies clean)= $1000

An entire bedroom= $25,000

 But the most important thing is for you to do what you can—NOW. Right now these young ladies have nowhere else to go . . . and I’m just sitting here empty.

Yours truly,

Future Home of The Sparrow’s Nest

Super Easy Way to Help Build The Nest

Image representing GoodSearch as depicted in C...

Image via CrunchBase

Here’s an easy way to raise money for The Sparrow’s Nest. Just start using Yahoo! powered GoodSearch.com as your search engine and they’ll donate about a penny to us every time you do a search!

In addition, do all of your shopping through their online shopping mall, GoodShop.com, where you can shop at more than 2,400 top online retailers and a percentage of your purchases will go to The Sparrow’s Nest. You pay the same price as you normally would, but after you choose The Sparrow’s Nest as your cause a donation goes to us!

You can also enroll in the GoodDining program. Eat at over 10,000 participating restaurants nationwide and you can earn up to 6% of every dollar spent on the meal as a donation for The Sparrow’s Nest.

Here’s the web site — http://www.goodsearch.com. You can also read about GoodSearch in the NY Times, Oprah Magazine, CNN, ABC News and the Wall Street Journal.

Where Do We Begin?

Thank You Trash...

Image by Daniel Slaughter via Flickr

Phillipians 1:3

I thank my God every time I remember you.

How do you begin to thank people for believing in a dream? How do you show gratefulness for people supporting and encouraging vision? There’s nothing tangible there. There’s no t-shirt or certificate or prize. I can only share my heart.

We have so much to be thankful for today. We are rich in blessings and have only God to thank for it all. And you.

We’re thankful for volunteers sitting around a table and asking “how is this ever going to work?” and then praying for guidance and working out details to make it work.

We’re thankful for a Board of Directors sitting in silence, presumably dumbfounded by an obstacle, only to laugh and say “We know this is going to happen, and this is how.”

We’re thankful for the Board of Directors spouses supporting the sacrificial giving of time and money their families have chosen to make to this mission.

We’re thankful for professionals in the area coming to us saying “We believe in what you are doing, we want to be apart of it and help make this dream a reality.”

We’re thankful for our sponsors saying to us “We financially support your endeavors and want to partner with you.”

We’re thankful for our supporting churches telling us “We want to grow with you and make an impact in our community for the glory of God.”

We’re thankful for all the emails, phone calls, and letters telling us to not give up and they are praying for our success.

We’re thankful for all the area service providers cheering us on and reminding us that we are a desperately needed service in St. Charles County.

We’re thankful for all of our supporters feedback to help us take more steps forward instead of backwards.

We’re thankful for our donors entrusting us with their gifts knowing that it may be awhile before we can put their generosity to use.

We’re thankful for our donors who don’t even live in the area, who may not even see the fruits of their labor, but still believe in this ministry.

We’re thankful for those volunteers who are patiently waiting on the sidelines until they see a need for their gift and talent.

We’re thankful for those volunteers who say ” I have no idea how to do that, but I’m willing to try.”

We’re thankful to all the donations of diapers, wipes, maternity clothes, and furniture.

We’re thankful for little things, like postage stamps, t-shirts, and handwritten cards.

We could write for days and days and not cover all the things you have blessed us with this year. I’m sure you gather how in debt we feel to you. Our biggest thanksgiving is just knowing you’re along for the ride, you haven’t forgotten us, and you are still pulling for this dream to become a reality.

What else can we say but, thank you.

If we have been a blessing to you we would love to know in what capacity. What are you thankful for on this Thanksgiving?