Earlier this month, I visited with Julie, the founder of Vida’s Ark in Vancouver Washington. Vida’s Ark is a place where change begins, a shelter from life’s storms for Teen Mothers and their children. Vida’s Ark provides a place to call home, nurturing young mothers as they learn to be responsible, loving mothers.
With the Saving Motherhood Collector’s Circle, we raised $255 for Vida’s Ark, which houses 4 young mothers and their babies/toddlers. I was proud to present Julie with this $255 check, as well as a free Limited Edition print of Merchild.
At Vida’s Ark, the young girls who reside there are required to attend high school, frequently going back because they left after learning they were pregnant. Many of these young mothers are getting very good grades. Their children attend an early childhood education class on the same campus as the high school.
While visiting, I watched a couple of them walk across the high school campus, after finishing their courses for the day, then stopping in to pick up their babies, then walking across the street to their home at Vida’s Ark. Seeing this gave me pause about how free I was in my time as a high school girl…
The four young women purchase their own groceries, and pay rent to the home, using money they receive from the government. They use the groceries they purchase to cook one nutritious meal per week for the entire family ~ consisting of each of the four mothers, their children and the house mother.
A rainbow painted on the wall in the playroom, shows the names of many of the babies that have been raised in this home, in the five years it has been in action.
Julie showed me each of the girls’ rooms, where their babies sleep, and where they scrapbook, do their homework and store their food. I was pleased to see a very large backyard where the children can play, and a garden that the girls help to raise.
Near the home is an external garage where is stored all of the donations that Vida’s Ark receives from the community. Diapers, clothing, toys, and other baby essentials such as cribs, playpens, bouncy seats and bedding are housed there. Each young woman works a bit in the Lighthouse Community Resource Center, which is what the detached garage has become known as. In return for working, they receive vouchers which they can use to shop in the Resource Center, purchasing diapers and clothing. They may also trade in their used children’s clothing, for the next size up.
The Lighthouse Community Resource Center is also a place for other young mothers and fathers in the community to work and in return gain access to the resources.
Vida’s Ark has one KmBerggren framed print on the living room wall ~ and I gave them another when I visited. The colors in Merchild were perfect for the home.
I want to thank the Saving Motherhood Collector’s Circle members for joining me in an effort to provide assistance to Julie and her “family”. She is an unendingly caring and kind woman. She reaches out to these girls with all of her heart, but also expects a lot out of them in regard to behavior and responsibility. This makes me feel good about helping them out.
During the Saving Motherhood Collector’s Circle, I have created two exclusive (circle-ish) paintings while the members watched the creation videos. Revolution and Laughing At The Moon. The Saving Motherhood Collector’s Circle members have first dibs on these two pieces.
As a secret, extra surprise, I am planning to give 10% of the purchase of these two paintings to Vida’s Ark. These two paintings will be released to the public at the end of June, when the first session of the Saving Motherhood Collector’s Circle comes to a close.
I wish you an absolutely wonder-filled and blessing-realized weekend.
Love & Sincerely, Katie
The next Saving Motherhood Collector’s Circle has been scheduled to start September 10! More details to come.