Hopping on my very semi-trained journalism pony (not good enough for a horse yet) today to bring you a little PSA about an organization that I really love. This is for all you mom-folk out there. Happy Mother’s Day.
Two years ago for Mother’s Day, my husband scheduled a day of beauty for me: a massage, a mani-pedi, and a haircut. You see, I was pregnant with our daughter, and although she was still in the womb, I was the mother of a child, and that was worth celebrating. In fact, I joined the millions of women who call themselves “mom” the moment our daughter was conceived. Each May, these millions of mothers are honored on Mother’s Day, but how many women allow this day to go uncelebrated in their lives due to abortion? Mary’s Mantle, a non-profit Catholic home for pregnant women, works to ensure the women they encounter choose life and are able to joyfully celebrate this holiday. To date, the organization is proud to have brought 32 babies and counting into the world!
Based in southeast Michigan, Mary’s Mantle houses up to four women at a time and provides a home to them for up to a year after they move in. The women (starting at 18 years of age) live with two house moms, and are visited daily by a social worker and support staff. Mary’s Mantle not only teaches these women the doctrine of life and the ins and outs of parenting, it enables them to find permanent housing, medical care, employment, education, faith formation (of any kind), and life-long support and unconditional love with their Aftercare Program while on the journey of motherhood.
A typical day for a resident begins around nine in the morning. The women begin their day with breakfast and chores. In addition to household chores, each resident is required to complete 30 hours of productive activity each week. These hours can be fulfilled by looking for a job, studying if they’re in school, baby care, working if they have a job, volunteer opportunities and any other activity that helps inspire confidence and create independence. This year, a volunteer planted them their own produce garden to tend to and harvest from, so the girls will be plenty busy with their crop.
Jessica*, a 24-year-old woman, found Mary’s Mantle through the Internet. With nowhere else to go and none of the necessities for her baby, she decided to contact Mary’s Mantle. After six months in the house, she is now the proud mother of a five-month-old baby girl. Her time at the house was instrumental in a successful pregnancy and she feels, “It was a good place to focus on what you and your baby need…with a lot of help.”
This year, for Mother’s Day, the residents plan to attend Mass together and later, visit their own mothers. They will also attend the annual True Beauty Breakfast Fundraiser (which I have tickets to but am too pregnant to use :/). I pray, and I hope you will join me, that more mothers choose life and are able to celebrate this holiday. In addition to your prayers, you can visit http://www.marysmantle.net to make a donation helping this organization enhance and expand their mission to promote a culture of life and celebrate more Mother’s Days. Or, find Mary’s Mantle on Facebook and Twitter!
*name has been changed for privacy