Summer Greetings, Summer Soirée,
 and a BIG Announcement!
An Update from our Executive Director 
Kathleen Wilson 

Dear friends,

Hello and thank you for your prayers and support for Mary’s Shelter this past year. We hope that you are enjoying a happy, relaxing, and blessed summer.

It should come as no surprise that we've been pretty busy at Mary’s Shelter, especially since we are preparing for our upcoming Summer Soirée! As always, we are getting a great response and the RSVPs are flooding in. Seats are filling up quickly, so if you wish to attend, please send your RSVP as soon as possible. It is going to be an amazing event with a great lineup of speakers, updates on the ministry, a delicious dinner, and time for fellowship. It is always one of the best nights in town and we truly hope to see you there!

And now for our BIG news- Mary’s Shelter is expanding, and not just with babies! Through your support, we have purchased a new home! It is currently a bit rough around the edges, but we have no doubt that with some elbow grease, it will soon be another beautiful and comfortable Mary's Shelter home. If you feel called to donate funds, gift cards, or home goods, or if you are able to volunteer your time to help with repairs and projects, please reach out! We cannot wait to get started on this project, which will provide more rooms for women in need, more space for their children to run, and, of course, a safe haven for brand-new babies.

Finally, a few words of appreciation- a very big thank you to our volunteer realtor, Kimberly Martelon, and our volunteer contractor, Kevin Martelon. Thank you to all in this community who are already offering financial assistance, supplies, time, and resources. Your support is invaluable!

Kathleen Wilson
Executive Director

Our new home. Don’t let these pictures fool you! This home will soon be a beautiful shelter for many families, all thanks to our donors and volunteers.
Our sweet volunteer realtor, Kimberly Martelon.
"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." 
Jeremiah 29:11
2019 Summer Soir é e and Fundraiser

Resident Interview: Chyna
Meet Chyna, one of our moms at Mary's Shelter.
How did you hear about Mary’s Shelter? How long have you been living at Mary’s Shelter?
I’ve been living at Mary’s Shelter since January of this year. When I first got to Virginia last July, I googled shelters and this one was at the top of the list. As months went by, everybody who knew my story and was trying to help was recommending it to me.

Please tell us a little about what brought you to Mary’s Shelter.
Being pregnant and on the brink of homelessness, I needed a place to live. I was struggling to pay rent and trying to make sure my baby girl had everything she was going to need before she arrived.

What have you accomplished since being at Mary’s Shelter?
First, I had my beautiful baby girl, Charli. I have also accomplished three of my many short-term goals. My first goal was to get my driver's license. I promised myself I was going to get that license, which I did. My second goal was to get a car. Any car that worked and could get me to and from school would be great. My third goal was to get my diploma (GED). Well, on the same day that I started school, a car was donated to me, and in less then a week, I finished school, took all my tests and obtained my GED! It has been amazing.

Achieving your goals and obtaining your GED is amazing and will open so many doors for you. Where do you go from there?
I am going back to school and taking the CNA State Board. I took the CNA classes two years ago, so now need to be certified. After that I plan on finding a job in that field. This August, I start prerequisite classes at Germanna Community College to eventually get into the RN program.

Aside from education and employment, what are your future goals, plans, and hopes?
To be a first time home buyer! And, to be the best mom in the world to Charli!

You have a beautiful baby girl. Can you tell us about her as well as your dreams for her?
Thank you! Charli is everything I prayed for! She is smart, attentive, and content with her surroundings! She is full of joy and very easy-going. She rarely cries and she’s just as silly as her momma.
I have so many dreams for her. First, I want her to have her own space to be her beautiful self and grow! She deserves it! I want her to be able to go to a better school than I did growing up, and I want her only worries to be about growing, learning, and being her beautiful self.

If you could talk to future residents of Mary’s Shelter, what would you tell them?
This is an amazing opportunity that you should utilize! You can set goals for yourself. Just ask yourself: 'What do I want in 3 years? What do I want accomplished? What person do I want to be in the next 3 years?' And with the help of the amazing women at Mary's Shelter, you can reach those goals and beyond.
 Volunteer Spotlight:
Rita Pinion
 Baby Closet Volunteer
Please meet our very own Rita Pinion. She is a Mary's Shelter volunteer who has been with us for about 10 years. During the early years of our ministry, we were blessed to receive many donations, but we were short-staffed and could not find the time to organize them. Rita, along with our then-Office Manager and volunteer, Monika Felock, saw this need and created our boutique program. They created an organizational system and oversaw all donated items. These ladies set up the boutique to run in a shop-like environment. Our residents earn points by working, going to school, and abiding by the Mary's Shelter by-laws. They may use these points to receive baby necessities and personal items free of cost. Rita maintained the boutique along with her two great friends, Beth and Hazel, until she retired just a few weeks ago. But we know Rita will be back often and help anywhere she is needed because she is a dedicated and valued part of this ministry. We love you, Rita, and are so thankful for your years of service!
You saw a need and took the initiative. What made you decide this was your area of expertise?  
It was something that was desperately needed and a real challenge. 

You've stayed ten long years - what have you gotten out of that time?  
Service work for a very worthy cause, which gave me a great sense of accomplishment.

What would you tell someone who may be considering volunteering at Mary's Shelter?  
It is heartwarming to see how it turns many lives around.

Can you share one of your fondest moments at Mary's Shelter?  
When I hadn’t been there very long, a lovely lady gave birth to a darling baby girl. I watched this dedicated mother learn English, and work three jobs so that she could sponsor her husband to come here from overseas. They are now American citizens and are a successful family who own their own home. She is my favorite success story and definitely a role model for all the residents to emulate. This could not have happened without the love and guidance of Kathleen, and the staff of Mary’s Shelter.

What are your plans now?  
 I am going to try to slow down a bit as I am now a proud 82 yrs old. I will always be in touch with what’s going on at Mary’s Shelter as it has been an important part of my life.

Always a good day when friends drop by the office with a donation! Thank you to Ancient Order of Hibernians for the generous gift!
  • Thank you to all who have done service projects.
  • Thank you to all donors. 
  • Thank you to everyone who has already supported our Summer Soirée.
  • Thanks to all who answered our calls for much needed items such diapers, baby gear, clothing, etc.
  • Thank you to all who gave Easter and Mother's Day baskets; our kids and moms loved them!
  • Thank you to Fairfax County Public Schools for the donation of laptops.
  • Thank you to those who have organized baby bottle campaigns.
  • Thank you to all our volunteers!
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