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We See You: Community steps up with Christmas donations at homeless shelter for pregnant teens

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Posted at 5:48 AM, Dec 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-15 07:27:48-05

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — While most people might want to forget 2020, one organization is making sure it ends on a memorable note for its clients.

Mother’s Refuge said community members stepped up to buy Christmas presents for all 99 of its clients.

The homeless shelter for pregnant teens in Independence, Missouri, has room for 14 residents at a time. But it helps nearly 100 mothers once they leave the shelter through its aftercare program.

Normally, the shelter has its 14 residents fill out wishlists for the community to adopt and shop for. Then it sets up a “Christmas store” of donated goods for moms in the aftercare program to choose from.

“What we were finding is moms weren’t able to find what they truly needed or what their kiddos wanted. So this year, we were able to get all of our aftercare moms and babies adopted,” explained Kelsi Green, the assistant executive director at Mother’s Refuge.

That means all 99 clients filled out a wishlist and the community stepped up to buy everything on each of those lists.

“That makes our moms and their children feel so loved,” Green pointed out. “When you get what you asked for Christmas, it’s just truly a Christmas miracle.”

Miyya, who didn’t want to share her last name, is a resident at the shelter. Her baby boy, Braxton, is due on Christmas Day. She’ll receive the items on her wishlist this week along with other Mother’s Refuge clients.

“I want to just say thank you,” Miyya said. “We really, really, really do appreciate it. It’s a blessing to have that. Mother’s Refuge is a blessing. Without Mother’s Refuge, I don’t know where I would be right now.”

Mother’s Refuge provides therapy, job training, life skills and more to its residents.

Teens can live at the shelter during their entire pregnancy and for one year after their baby is born. Once they leave the shelter, Mother’s Refuge provides diapers, groceries, and other support through its aftercare program.

The organization provides services and collects donations all year round. Visit the shelter’s website to find out how you can donate.

During the pandemic, 41 Action News wants to spotlight people, organizations and companies helping the community. To share these stories, use #WeSeeYouKSHB on social media.