Monday, October 21, 2013

Mary's Shelter Oct Newsletter - So much info you don't want miss it!

An Update From Our Director
It's been a busy time for us, here at Mary's Shelter! Over the last few months, we have had our Summer Soiree, which was a huge success, we had moms move on and new moms move in, and we are in the final planning stages of opening up our much needed daycare.
Our homes are filled to the brim, children everywhere, new babies snuggling with their moms, and moms to be waiting on the arrival of their little ones. Through the work of Mary's Shelter, lives have been saved and women spared from decisions they did not want to make.
We are thankful to all who donate their time and treasures to our ministry. Because of you, all this is made possible.
God bless,
Kathleen Wilson
Two of the Three Babies Born in the Last Few Months
Come Join Us for the Mary's Shelter
Arts & Crafts Benefit 2013!
Since 2009, friends of Mary's Shelter have gathered on a crisp fall day to celebrate and defend life at the Annual Mary's Shelter Arts and Crafts Benefit. Amateur and professional artisans and crafters have provided beautiful one-of-a-kind items for shoppers to purchase.
100% of the proceeds go directly to Mary's Shelter!
When: November 9, 2013
Where: 309 Hawke Street
               Fredericksburg, VA 22401
Time: 10:00 am to 3:00 pm
Complimentary tea will be served so plan to sit and visit for a while!
Items available for sale include:
  • baked goods
  • knitted, woven, and crocheted items
  • refurbished furniture
  • Jesse tree symbols and St. Nicholas ornaments
  • hand strung rosaries and jewelry
  • professional photography and paintings
  • wooden children's toys
We look forward to seeing you there!!
Please Visit Our Website
to find out about upcoming events, like the Arts & Crafts Benefit 2013 and to see our 2013 video, which features Mary's Shelter residents:
Resident Interview - "Sarah"
"Sarah" is from Richmond, VA and has been living at Mary's Shelter since July, 2013.  She is 33 yrs. old and gave birth to her fourth child on August 22, 2013.  She has a GED, a Nursing Aide Career Training certificate, and a Medication Aide certificate, but had to drop out of school because she was a single mom and had to work full-time.  She came to Mary's Shelter after overcoming substance abuse issues and after her house was condemned. Before coming to Mary's Shelter, she wasn't sure how she was going to take care of her children alone.
Q: How did you find out about Mary's Shelter?
   From a staff member at Project Link.
Q: What have you found helpful about the shelter?  
    I have found just being at the shelter is helpful, these are beautiful
    homes that provide a safe environment for my children. It's also helpful
    to be around the house-mothers, who are positive women role
    models. And, I think it's helpful that you can bring your other children
    with you, which helps to keep families together. Being here has helped
    by giving me a second chance to be a better mother.
Q: Are there things about living here that you find difficult?
    Not having computer/Internet access is difficult since I am going to
    school. Also, sometimes it's far off the bus line.
Q: How would you describe your life growing up?
    My mother was a single mom. I was the only child in the house and I
    grew up poor. However, I was good in school.

Q: Can you tell me about your new baby?
    Yes. She has blue eyes and black/brown hair. She's growing fast and
    she is always smiling. She loves to be held and talked to.
Q: Please tell me what hopes you have for your children.
     I hope that my children will have everything they need and continue to
    be happy and content.

Q: What are some of the greatest challenges you have faced?
    Some of the greatest challenges I've faced are poverty, abusive
    relationships, single parenting, unsupportive family, substance abuse,
    and shrimp salad.
Q: What aspects of your life are you trying to change?
    Most importantly, I am trying to become a better mother. I am trying to
    better myself by utilizing the resources in the community, like A
    Woman's Place, and Project Link. I am also trying to make a better life
    for my family by going to Germanna, where I am finishing up the
    prerequisites so that I can enroll in the RN program.

Q: What goals do you have for yourself?
      An immediate goal is to exclusively breastfeed my baby for six
     months. Some of my other goals are to maintain employment and
     daycare for my girls, to continue taking classes at Germanna, and to
     become enrolled in the RN program there.

Q: What place does God have in your life? 
    Through prayer, my life has changed.
Volunteer Interview - Caroline Merriman
My name is Caroline and I'm 13 years old. I am an 8th grade student at Holy Cross Academy. My parents are supporters of Mary's Shelter, which is how I learned about it.  I have also heard about Mary's Shelter from some of my friends, and from people at St. Mary's, where I attend church. I have been volunteering at Mary's Shelter for about a year.
Q: What sort of volunteer work do you do for Mary's Shelter?
     I babysit for an hour on Monday nights while the moms participate in
   Monday Night Madness. Also, my Grandma was close to one of the
   moms, who had twins and I used to go with her to visit and babysit
   them. In addition, my confirmation team made blankets for some of the
   moms and the kids, which we delivered to them. We also prayed the
   rosary with them.

Q: After your first volunteer/babysitting experience, what keeps you
   coming back?
   I continue to volunteer at Mary's Shelter because of all the nice people
   that are there--especially the kids. They are so happy to see you. I see
   some of the moms and their kids at church and I play with the kids there

Q: If friends asked you about your experience with all the children
    in our homes, what would you tell them?
    I would tell anyone that asks that helping out at Mary's Shelter has
    been a great experience.
Q: You are always smiling and happy, is there a joy you get out of
    helping others?
    Volunteering at Mary's Shelter is fun and you get so much out of being makes you feel happy!
Q:  Do you think volunteering will be a part of your future?
     I love volunteering at Mary's Shelter and want to continue to do more
     in the future.
Q: What would you say to other teens who are thinking of
    I would tell anyone who wants to help out, and likes children, Mary's
   Shelter is the best place to volunteer! Mary's Shelter does such a good
   job, giving moms a place to go instead of not having their babies!
Thank You!
* Thank you to Joe Bernard, who answered our plea for a care for one of
   our moms! She can now get back and forth to school, where she is
   working towards a nursing degree. 
* Thank you so much to Judy Knight, who hosted a birthday party and
 asked that items from our "Wish List" be given in lieu of gifts for herself.
  So many of the items received were just what we needed!
* We are so thankful for the big turnout from Lifepoint Church, headed
  up by our very own volunteer, April Robertson Heflin. The entire
 weekend was spent painting rooms, completely restoring a bathroom,
 clean up, landscaping, interacting with residents and children through
 different activities, and putting up not one, but TWO swing sets. We are
 thankful, thankful! 
* Thank you to Carol Mauro, who donated many items  this past summer
 and recently volunteered to become a Monday Night Madness guest
* Thank you to Asher Dowd, from Master Lee's Martial Arts, who
  collected and donated baby blankets!
* Thank you to Kara Horne and Cathy Davis for planning, organizing,
 and implementing our Baby Celebration every month!
* Thank you to all those involved in making Monday Night Madness a
 success every week; including the book club leader, the knitters, the
 guest speakers, Circle of Parents, the drivers, the babysitter coordiator,
 and the babysitters!
* Thank you to Eve Muggeridge for the years of service as our Volunteer
 Coordinator and to Theresa Rousseau for answering the call to take
* Thank you to Carlton Bullock, our handyman extrordinaire--we should
 all have a Carlton in our lives!
* Thank you to all of our faithful volunteers and donors, we couldn't
do this without you! 
Our Wish List
If you would like to make a donation of material goods to Mary's Shelter, here is a list of our current needs:
    Pack-n-Plays    Pack-n-Play Sheets
     Boys clothing--4T & 5T ONLY
     Standard pillows 
     Standard pillow cases/shams
     Toilet paper
                                      Laundry detergent
Our needs are always changing, therefore if you find it in your heart to host a baby shower or conduct a drive for us, please contact Monika at 540/374-3407 to find out our current needs at that time.
Fulfill the Promise Campaign
Are you a part of the Mary's Shelter family? Our Fulfill the Promise campaign asks for just a small monthly donation. Could you commit to $20 a month to fund Mary's Shelter?

Mary's Shelter | 309 Hawke Street | Fredericksburg | VA | 22401