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Organization for teen mothers seek volunteers and donations

What started out as a way to offer teen moms in the community a place to get resources and help, eventually blossomed into a facility offering childcare and foster home placement.

In its 19th year, All God’s Children Inc. has been providing pregnant and parenting teens in Jessamine County and surrounding areas a place where they can find care, treatment, education and foster care.

Founder Pam Smith said, after having support groups for teen moms in 1999, the organization was formed in order to give teenage mothers a place they could live while also offering childcare, making it easier for them to stay in school.

“Kentucky has over 8,000 children in foster care,” Smith said. “That is a terribly overwhelming number. We have over 50 to 60 kids any given day between girls and their babies and children in daycare. We started opening foster care in our community.”

“Not just in Jessamine County, but in surrounding counties as well. Our first placement was for brothers who were severely traumatized and abused. It is hard to find a foster home to take a teenager with a  baby. They are harder to place than an older child is.”

A small organization, consisting of only 35 employees including those needed to help run the daycare, Smith said the foster care system in the state pays for 70 percent of the funds needed to operate the program. The other 30 percent, she said, is received through donations.

“Everything that you need at your house is our ongoing need,” Smith said. “Toilet paper, towels, twin sheet sets. You can imagine how much we run through here. We have maybe 150 girls throughout the year. We need everything that you need at your house times 10. Right now, we have 12 teen moms, four brand-new newborns and several under one.”

Smith said the organization uses every recourse they know of in order to raise funds. From fundraisers to speaking events, they organize a golf tournament every year as well as a “Mom Prom” in April.

“We would never have operated this long if it wasn’t for the volunteers,” Smith said. “We really would love more volunteers. Even in the evening to take care of the kids and play with them so that our teen moms can attend group sessions.”

Throughout the years, Smith said the community has been wonderful. The organization has had people in the community  step up to drive members of All God’s Children Inc. to church. A mother in the neighborhood held a book drive without being asked and donated a box of books to the children at the facility. One man, Smith said, donates blood and uses the gift cards he receives to buy supplies for the facility. Churches even send monthly donations. Even with those volunteering and standing up in the community to help, the need for volunteers and donations is ongoing Smith said.

“This is our first year since opening that we did not have a group come and help us decorate for Christmas,” Smith said. “It took me a while but I did it myself.”

Besides volunteers and donations, Smith said a great need is for foster homes in the community.

“Even if they don’t know for sure and would like to come to one of our meetings to see what it is like we train our foster parents and give a lot of support through everything,” Smith said. “If anyone is interested in doing that and opening up their home they choose the age of the child.”

For more information, contact Smith at 859-881-5010 or email ky@kyagc.org.