Winter Greetings!
An Update from the Executive Director  

Happy New Year! 2020 marks Mary's Shelter's 15th year of providing shelter and support to women(and their children) who find themselves in a crisis during pregnancy.

2019 was an incredible year. Through our program, many women and children found a safe, sound, and happy place to call home. These ladies are continuing to work hard on their educational and employment goals. Women who once felt alone and unsure of their future are receiving the opportunity to achieve their dreams. We are privileged not only to be a part of a woman's journey through pregnancy and childbirth, but to witness the positive changes in her life as well as the life of her family. Mary's Shelter's friends and supporters are all a part of the story. You are a true blessing to the families we serve. 

Thanks to our generous donors and volunteers, 2019 was the incredible year when we purchased a new home. To say this home needed work, however, would be a serious understatement! The total renovation of this house was a daunting prospect. But with help from our amazing community, we embarked on an epic renovation project and transformed a shell of a house into a storybook home.

In addition to the women and children living at Mary's Shelter, we help many in our community with dire needs such as a car payments, assistance with rent or utilities, education expenses, food, items for their children, and more through our Respite Program. We often assist with the opening of new maternity homes, most recently a new home in Richmond. This is so important since the calls for help are great and resources are few. We began a scholarship fund to assist with ongoing educational costs. Sometimes we are just there for a woman who needs someone to talk to.

As always, we wish to extend heartfelt thanks to each and every donor, volunteer, and prayer warrior. We are especially grateful to all the churches who sponsor our ministry. You bless our ministry with your kindness and generosity. Thanks to you all, 2019 was an amazing year. We thank God for you and for all the graces we receive.

We are excited to see what blessings 2020 brings.

With gratitude,
Kathleen Wilson, Director

“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.” – Mother Teresa
New to the Mary’s Shelter Team
Kammie Van Hoven

Please welcome to the Mary's Shelter family our newest staff member, Kammie Van Hoven. Kammie first started volunteering at Mary's Shelter in 2019 as a babysitter. Within a few months, she took on the role of house checker. We are so thankful for Kammie's excitement to serve and her willingness to jump in when she saw a need. Mary's Shelter is blessed to have Kammie on board!

How did you hear about Mary's Shelter?

I was looking for opportunities to serve with women and small children and found Mary’s Shelter online.

How long have you been volunteering?

I have been here since November 2019.

You have been babysitting Ashleigh for several months now. What is the best part about seeing her each week?

The most exciting part is watching Ashleigh grow and learn new things. Just last week I watched her take a few steps. 

You have also taken on the role of "house checker" at Mary's Shelter. What does that mean?

Being a “house checker” involves making sure cleanliness and orderliness is maintained in the houses. I enjoy interacting with all the moms and babies while doing this job. 

What is the most important aspect of your job?

Orderliness and accountability are essential in maintaining a home. Helping these moms learn these skills is very important. 

The staff feels thankful to have you on their team. Any thoughts on what you might say to someone else who is looking to volunteer at MS?

Mary’s Shelter has an amazing staff! The moms are very blessed to have such a good group of people pouring into their lives. I’m thankful to God for allowing me to be a part of this awesome ministry.
Resident Interview:

How did you hear about Mary's Shelter and what needs brought you?
I heard about Mary Shelter through my social workers Mrs. Mahone and Susan Hahn. At the time I was homeless and pregnant with my third baby and needed stability for my children and a place I could call home.

How long have you been here?
I have been with Mary's Shelter 1 year and 2 months.

When was your baby born and how are your children doing?
My son Eziry was born May 1st of 2019. Isaiah and Aleyna are doing so well. Isaiah goes to Fredericksburg HeadStart and Aleyna goes to daycare. Being stable has helped their growth and peace of mind.

What has staying at Mary's Shelter helped you accomplish?
Mary Shelter has been a blessing in my life. They have helped me with getting employed and following a career path. They also help us daily by giving us a beautiful home. I am definitely saving money to eventually become independent and get my own home one day. They provide my children with clothes and diapers and all essential items we need.

You have worked so hard and have provided so well for your family. What are your future plans?
I am currently employed with Royal Farms and Lifecare. My future goal is to continue my training with Lifecare so I can become an EMT. I also want to keep saving money and paying off my debts so I can get a home.

The Mary's Shelter staff just loves having you and your babies here. What is the best part about being here?
The best part about Mary's Shelter is that all the mothers and staff are like family to me. I also love being able to have events and spend time together. The kids love to play and have a good time. I feel very grateful for Mary's Shelter. Love them so much!
Upcoming Events

Mark your Calendars!
This year's Life Walk will take place on May 2nd, 2020 at Old Mill Park in Fredericksburg. You won't want to miss this!
You can find updates and information about this event through our Life Walk coordinator, Megan D'Lugos, via our Facebook page, website or emails.

Confirmed date is August 1, 2020  -More information to come.

Christmas Blessings

  • St Mary’s Catholic Church in Fredericksburg for putting our families on the Giving Tree, year after year, filling our homes with joy, in addition to all the financial assistance, support and prayer you provide to our ministry and families throughout the entire year. We are incredibly blessed by all you do for those we serve.

  • St. Matthew Catholic Church for the amazing generosity shown to our families this year through the gift card donation. They will go a long, long way in serving our families.

  • St. Patrick Catholic Church for including Mary's Shelter in your Giving Tree. The gift cards and donations of gifts was so greatly appreciated.

  • St. Clare of Assisi Catholic Church for the incredible donation of household items. The bedding, dishes, appliances, etc. are such a blessing to our families.

  • St. Andrew the Apostle Catholic Church for including in your Christmas giving. We so appreciate the presents and gift cards which are blessing our residents.

  • Holy Cross Academy families for inviting Mary's Shelter to take part in their Christmas event. It was so sweet and thoughtful of your families to include our families and provide for the many needs of our babies.

  • Ebeneezer United Methodist Church MOPS for the fun mom prom and the beautiful donation. You are a true witness of what it means to be fun and giving.

  • Outback Steakhouse for sponsoring a fundraiser and providing a beautiful donation and a fun night of fellowship.

  • To Paul and Kristen Sowa for remembering our moms each year with Christmas breakfast in memory of their beautiful baby boy Paul.

  • To Making Lives Better with Alorica. Thank you for giving our moms the opportunity of employment and for the incredible generosity you provided this Christmas.

  • To Rappahannock Electric Company for your generous support and Christmas donation.

  • A great big thank you to MacDoc (The McCommons Foundation and The Doherty Foundation) for the continued support and trust in the Mary's Shelter mission. You have been a great gift to this ministry in ways beyond our imagination. We are forever thankful.

  • A heartfelt thank you to Johnny Leach, Johnny Leach II and Lindsay Leach (and all their family members) for the BEST CHRISTMAS party ever. Our families bring all their littles to a great big party and receive a bag of gifts from Santa. They look forward to and love this day each year. We could not be more appreciative and thankful for the love you show.

  • To the Knights of Columbus of Saint Mary, Fredericksburg for the donation of gifts. We are forever grateful for the many ways you assist this ministry.

  • To all who gave this Christmas season, and throughout the year, through meals and donations for our moms and children. The gift of donations, service, and prayer are so appreciated. You are all in our prayers.

  • To those who donated financially. We are in awe of our donors. You are what keep our doors open.  Your generous hearts are so very appreciated and needed. Thank you.

  • To our staff, volunteers, and board of directors. Thank you for your humble service.

  • To all those who keep Mary's Shelter in prayer. Thank you!