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Children of the Lovelady Center
You can help make Christmas merry and bright for the Lovelady Center this year especially for the children of the women who participate in the Center’s recovery programs!
Every year, the Lovelady Center relies on donations of toys to their Santa Shop so mothers can pick out gifts and toys for Christmas. For some of the children at Lovelady, this is the only Christmas they have or the first time they have ever had Christmas. About 1000 children from newborn to 18 years old are served through the Lovelady’s Santa Shop.
“The mothers in the program can be stressed out this time of year because they are worried about how they are going to give their children Santa Claus, so we set up the Santa shop several years ago,” said Stephanie Smith, director of development, donor relations and procurement.
“The mothers get to “shop” in the Santa Shop with volunteers who help them make the choice for their child. This is a very emotional time because for some this is the first time that the mothers have ever given their child Christmas presents.”
A number of the children live with the mothers who are in recovery, but some do not. The shop also provides gifts for children who may be living with family members of the women in the program.
The Santa Shop is open Dec. 18 through Christmas Day and toys are accepted up until that time.
“New women come into the center every day with their children, so we will accept donations of gifts and toys up to Christmas Day.” Smith added.
Other ways to help the Center during the holidays are by giving small Christmas parties for the children, reading Christmas stories to them dressed up like Dr. Suess or carolling through the halls of the Lovelady Center.
What is the Lovelady Center?
The Lovelady Center is home to over 500 women and children who are broken, homeless, abused or struggling with addiction.
The Lovelady Center meets these women and their children’s physical, emotional, and educational needs so that the most important transformation can happen: learning and grasping their identity in Christ.
“Lovelady empowers women through faith-base initiatives, so they can return to society as well equipped women of God. The program is about empowerment, hope and a belief in the value of each and every human life,” said Smith.
The mission is to help women rebuild their lives and walk forward with faith-driven hope for a future as a contributing member of our community.
The Lovelady Center ensures each woman is taught how to overcome barriers to success by providing access to needed services. Lovelady also provides the women with shelter, food and clothing. They help the women get a high school diploma or GED, which is a requirement of the Center.
If they have their high school diploma or GED the women can enroll in on-site college classes taught by Judson or through an upcoming certificate program taught by Jefferson State and Lawson State. Every woman has to achieve 35 credits to graduate through hour-long classes for six weeks.
“This is an amazing organization that provides for women and their children in their greatest hour of need,” said Mary B. Wyatt, auxiliary member of the Lovelady Center and CEO, Wyatt General Contractor, LLC. “It is a life-changing place for anyone who walks through Lovelady’s doors.”