Can you describe the emotion you feel when you see a homeless person? Sympathy? Sadness? Guilt? How would you feel seeing a homeless, pregnant woman? It was the indescribable feeling of sorrow and sympathy, imagining the hardships that those women must be facing, that inspired three young women to create Maggie’s Place.
Maggie’s Place is a set of homes all over the Valley (and one in Ohio) that hosts pregnant and parenting women who are down on their luck, providing lodging, food, educational courses, community resources and a lifelong feeling of fellowship, friendship and family. “Maggie’s Place is not a bandage. It’s a solution,” says marketing director Linda Torkelson.
Since Maggie’s Place opened in 2000, over 900 babies have been welcomed into Maggie’s Place and countless lives have been bettered by the services offered. Women in need can live at Maggie’s Place until their infants are 12 months old. In their time at Maggie’s Place, the women are required to learn life skills and search for jobs. Resources are provided to women completely free of charge, thanks to the generosity of donors in the Phoenix community.
Entering the Michael House location, guests are greeted by a “Tree of Life.” Names and dates of birth of babies who were welcomed to that house are engraved on metal leaves then mounted around a painted tree. In the kitchen, the moms each have a brief biography posted on the wall. Favorite books range from James Patterson novels to Les Misérables; career goals include interior designer and special agent in the FBI Behavioral Analysis Unit.
The program offered at Maggie’s Place rouses a feeling of compassion and a desire to help. It’s little wonder that the entire operation functions off the generosity of donors. Parties interested in contributing are encouraged to help in one of many ways:
- Donate: Food, clothing, diapers, wipes, formula, bedding, money, etc., are always needed and appreciated. Just $30 provides a night of housing for mother and baby. For more information, visit https://www.maggiesplace.org/donate/
- Volunteer: Help at Maggie’s Place by offering your time or special skills. If you would like to teach a special skill or help around the house with cooking, babysitting, gardening, etc., visit https://www.maggiesplace.org/how-you-can-help/volunteer/
- Attend one of Maggie’s Places’ fundraisers. The biggest event is called The Miracle of Motherhood. This year, it takes place on September 27th in Scottsdale. All money raised goes directly to Maggie’s Place patrons.
Because of Maggie’s Place, and the unfathomable generosity of so many donors, fewer people will experience the feeling brought on by seeing a displaced mother-to-be. Maggie’s Place has welcomed hundreds of women, asking only in return that they improve their situation and provide a better life for their children. With this attitude, and some help from the community, Maggie’s Place has improved the lives of hundreds of women. Those women have taken what they learned at Maggie’s Place and improved the world.
For more information on Maggie’s Place, visit https://www.maggiesplace.org/