Support from children, prisoners pours in to help rebuild Independence women's shelter

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. - Firefighters are still investigating what caused the blaze that put the Mother's Refuge shelter out of commission in Independence.  The homeless shelter for pregnant teenagers was home to four women and two babies when it went up in smoke earlier this week.
However, it seems the mission of Mother's Refuge is encouraging people off all ages and from all over to open their wallets.
"I believe through tragedy, great things happen. Every tragedy and trial, people should come out of it stronger," reflected Executive Director Robert Zornes.

RELATED | Shelter for homeless, pregnant teens works to rebuild after fire

Zornes' hope has been restored thanks to the generosity he's witnessed over the last three days.
"On Tuesday they came in with $61.84.  That gift is very special," he said.
That gift came from six-year-old Micah Felder and her two sisters, 11-year-old Maya and 9-year-old Mariah.
"I have a spend box, a save box and a give box. I put my spend and save box all in my give box," Micah said as she explained where the chunk of change came from.
The three sisters scraped together more than $60 that they donated Tuesday to Mother's Refuge. They had visited the shelter many times over the last four years because that's where their mother works.
"I wanted to give and help them rebuild it because I just love that place," Maya said.
"At some points it's hard because I was saving up for something but then again, it's not because I'm giving it for a cause," Mariah explained.
That cause also struck the hearts of the women inside the Chillicothe Correctional Center.
According to Zornes and his program director Angel McDonald, the women have pledged to donated $500.  McDonald has a special connection to that facility: Her mother has been inside the prison for the last 30 years.
"Her and the other women in the prison saw the story on the news and immediately called and they said they were brought to tears," she said. "They all got together and wanted to do something for the girls and babies."
"I'm amazed at what people can do even in dire circumstances when their heart's it in and they feel convicted," McDonald added.
Mother's Refuge has created a special e-mail address for those people willing to donate time, money or resources.  If you'd like to help, log onto the website at or send an e-mail to .

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