This special lady is Corki Nelson. She makes these wonderful "blankies" that children just love. Corki has donated so many of these unique and beautiful creations to The Bag Ladies for us to include in our bags for kids in crisis. The number of organizations Corki has donated her time and talent to, are almost too numerous to mention. She currently provides these blankies for The Bag Ladies, Ronald McDonald House, Mercy, Cox, Isabel's House, Council of Churches, Ambassadors for Children, Life House, and Salvation Army. It's hard to imagine how many children's lives Corki has blessed with her special gift. We are thankful she chose to team up with us!
This wonderful lady is Mary Jackson, Executive Director of the Republic Pregnancy Resource Center. Mary has held that position for the past three years. As Executive Director, she oversees over 25 volunteers, and keeps track of day to day operations. She trains the Mentors and office staff. Fundraising and community awareness are ongoing projects and keep Mary very busy. Republic Pregnancy Resource Center is a Life Affirming Ministry. Services offered include free pregnancy testing, limited obstetrical ultrasounds, as well as support and mentoring including personalized care plans, classes, referrals and workshops. Clients are provided information on how to take care of themselves while they are pregnant and how to take care of their baby. Through participation, expectant moms can receive points for the classes, then they are able to use their points to get items from our resource closet called Nan's Place. In this picture, Mary is posing beside a wonderful new supply of prenatal vitamins and vitamins they are able to offer to mothers and toddlers for free. The Bag Ladies partnered with Pregnancy Resource Center this past year to provide expectant mothers with cosmetic bags which include personalized journals/diaries and small items to treat themselves. These are some of the kind words Mary had to say about the partnership between The Bag Ladies and Republic Pregnancy Resource Center, "I feel God is right with these women when they make these bags for our clients, they personalize the diary's for the clients and the fabric matches our clients personalities. Our partnership with the Bag Ladies has been a blessing for our mothers. We have so much for the babies and this gives our clients a gift just for them, it makes them feel good about themselves.” We appreciate Mary and her hardworking volunteers for all they do to bless expectant moms and to help encourage healthy pregnancies and healthy babies. For more information about Republic Pregnancy Resource Center, please visit their website at http://www.republicprc.org
Meet Julie, Shandy and Breezy with The Doula Foundation. The Doula Foundation provides emotional care, advocacy, and comfort for all mothers and their families during pregnancy, childbirth and early parenthood. Because of their services, many women, who otherwise might be alone, have needed support during such an important time in their lives. The support of these Doulas and social workers help ensure healthy pregnancies, mother/child bonding, and reduce the risk of child abuse. Doulas are on call 24/7 two weeks before delivery and after delivery. They truly provide an extraordinary service to women in need. The Bag Ladies provide diaper bags to the teen mothers who are a part of this program. The bags are gender appropriate and have the baby's name on them. Inside these bags are handmade blankets, a stuffed animal and an infant book. Breezy states, "Our moms love the bags so much and seem proud to carry them with their baby's name." We are proud to partner with such a great group! Learn more about The Doula Foundation at their website http://doulafoundation.org/
Pictured from left to right, Katy Clark, Loni Brewer (Program Coordinator for Rare Breed), Jenny Reynolds, and Taylor Betts. Throughout the late afternoon and evening hours Rare Breed is a sanctuary and safe place for youth in crisis. They can find a warm meal, clothing, a place to shower and rest, emotional support, guidance and counseling, and help meeting educational goals at Rare Breed. Rare Breed also has a street outreach program that goes out into the city to try to contact homeless and at risk kids to educate them about how Rare Breed can help. The Bag Ladies have provided over 600 bags to Rare Breed in the past few years. These drawstring backpacks contain travel size toiletries and can double as a pillow. The staff will sometimes use the bags as "food bags" when food is given out to the youth. The staff tells us the kids "love" the bags -- and we love being able to serve such a vulnerable population. In December, The Bag Ladies will be providing another 250 bags to Rare Breed for their annual Christmas dinner. This year, thanks to our amazing donors, and in honor of our 5-year-milestone and bag blitz, not only will we be including toiletries, but each bag will also contain, a reusable water bottle, packaged treats, a poncho, flashlight, hand sanitizer, and first aid supplies. You can learn more about Rare Breed by clicking on this link rarebreed.thekitcheninc.org
Pamela learned about the work of The Bag Ladies through her church in 2012. She has created approximately 100 bags for mothers and children in crisis over the past two years. In this picture, she is shown with Halloween bags she made for the children at Harmony House for their upcoming Halloween party. The Bag Ladies recognized with gratitude Pam's extraordinary help at 2013 Republic Community Foundation Banquet with a Community Volunteer Service award. Pam's volunteer contributions do not stop with The Bag Ladies. She is a member of the Ozark Piece-makers Quilt Guild, Ambassadors for Children, Newborns in Need, and Quilts for Kids. In addition, she is a wife and mother and is employed by W.I.C. where she assists low-income and postpartum women as well as infants and children up to the age of five who are at nutritional risk. Pamela is an encouragement and inspiration to us and we appreciate her help!
Misty Boone has worked for Harmony House for almost nine years. For the past seven years, she has worked in Childcare and has the been the Childcare Coordinator for two years. As the Childcare Coordinator, she oversees the day-to-day functions of the program and cares for the children that are checked into the program. The Childcare program provides services for mothers when they have meetings with their case managers, attend educational classes on site, appointments in the community, job interviews, etc.
The mission of Harmony House is to provide shelter, advocacy and education to survivors of domestic violence and promote the principle that all individuals have the right to a life free of abuse.
Each week Misty communicates with The Bag Ladies to notify us of new mothers and children that have arrived at Harmony House. The Bag Ladies prepare bags with comfort items for these women and children and deliver them to Misty at the end of the week. Misty had these kind words to say, "The families that receive your bags are always touched by your kindness and thoughtfulness. You have made so many of our families happy, especially the children. The children light up when receiving your special bags."
The Bag Ladies are thankful for the opportunity to partner with Harmony House for the past five years. We look forward to continuing to serve the women and children seeking safety and refuge at Harmony House. For more about them, go visit: www.myharmonyhouse.org