It's safe to say that 2022 was quite the year! Here are a few highlights...
House Mom and Relief House Moms - Hired and trained!
One of the most exciting parts of 2022 was hiring our House Mom, Rachel! This was absolutely a God-ordained placement and we could not be more thankful that the Lord brought Rachel to us. We know her sweet spirit will have a lasting impact on the women who come to stay at House of Mary. Rachel hit the ground running with training and has been diligent in learning all she can about the ins and outs of the maternity housing ministry. She's completed all of the required House of Mary training, numerous webinars, attended the National Christian Housing Conference, and is currently doing hands-on field training at another maternity home in our region.
We've also hired three Relief House Moms who will be on duty at the house to allow our House Mom scheduled time off. They have completed all of the required House of Mary training and are ready to go. These ladies are such a wonderful addition to the House of Mary team. Each one brings such unique gifts to this ministry and we can't wait to see how the Lord works through them.
Successful Ladies Tea
Ladies Tea 2022 was an amazing success. This was our first sold out event and we officially outgrew our usual event space at FBC! Through tables and ticket sales, sponsors, and donations, over $18,000 was raised for House of Mary. We are so excited to do it all again in a few months! More info about LT23 below...
In May we were incredibly blessed with a "new to us" van so graciously donated by First United Methodist Church. We will be able to use the van for group outings and transporting residents as needed.
Georgia Bailey Learning Center
This summer we introduced The Georgia Bailey Learning Center at House of Mary (or as we like to call the GBLC). This office space located inside the house will be utilized by residents to continue their education during their stay. We are so grateful to the Georgia Bailey Family for blessing House of Mary with the funds to equip this center as a way to continue Georgia Bailey's legacy.
New Board Members and Advisory Board
This summer we officially expanded our Board of Directors! After an open nomination process, we voted Melissa Parrish to join as treasurer, Nacole Walker as secretary, and Caryn McLendon and Becky Martin as general board members. These ladies have integrated seamlessly and have brought fresh new ideas and excitement to the ministry!
Along with the expansion of our board, we also created an Advisory Board consisting of professionasl from various fields of expertise. This group acts as our sounding board when we are in need or ideas or advice related to topics within their scope. We are so grateful for the knowledge and guidance!
In July we hosted a small and intimate Ribbon Cutting Ceremony to officially open the doors to House of Mary. It was definitely a surreal day that we have been praying for for years. God's timing is not always crystal clear, but we know that it is perfect!
We held our first ever volunteer orientation! It was a great turnout and we have a number of excited individuals ready to serve in various ways! These orientations will be held routinely throughout the year as new volunteer applications come in. You can apply to volunteer here.
Since officially opening, we have had a number of women apply to live at House of Mary. Our main avenue for applicants has been referrals from surrounding pregnancy centers and maternity homes. Many of our initial applicants have been women with other children in their care or in need of emergency placement. We were able to refer those applicants to organizations that better fit their needs. We are so thankful to be a part of the Maternity Housing Coalition. This network has been vital in receiving and making referrals. Another large hurdle to overcome with potential residents is having the women realize that they are worthy of love and care! We've had a number make it through the intake process and then back out because the idea of safety and stability was just too foreign and scary to them. Please pray with us that we can effectively communicate going forward that these women are loved and worthy of making a better life for themselves and their child, whether that's through parenting or adoption.
Save the date for Ladies' Tea - April 1, 2023!
Join us on April 1, 2023 for Ladies' Tea! This is our favorite event of the year and it serves as our annual fundraiser and ministry outreach to the women in our community. We officially outgrew our normal space at FBC, so this year's event will be at the Polk County Commerce Center. We'll have more info available soon!
That's all for now, but make sure you check back often for updates.
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Thank you for your support and prayers,
Rusti, Cyndie, Suzonna, Melissa, Nacole, Becky, and Caryn
House of Mary Board Members