MISHAWAKA, Ind. - With the holiday season in full swing, one local non-profit organization is asking for the community’s support to help mothers-to-be who have been given the gift of life.
Hannah’s House, which provides a safe place to stay to seven pregnant mothers at a time, is gearing up for its 23rd Annual Holiday Happenings Event Fundraiser.
Sister Agnes Marie Regan has been involved in Hannah’s House since it was created in 1983, and has helped over 500 pregnant women who had no place to go for help.
“Often times come back to us and tell us that if it weren’t for Hannah’s House, only God knows where they might have ended up,” said Regan. “It might not have been anything good, it would have been a tragic ending. But their lives have been totally transformed.”
To help the women transform their lives, the 23rd Annual Holiday Happenings Fundraiser Event will kick off Saturday at 6 p.m. The event accounts for one-third of its yearly budget.
Regan and residents who are living at Hannah’s House said they hope the community attends the dinner and auction, since the home has made such a difference in their lives.
Lauryn Snodgrass, a current resident, said she was raped by a stranger three months ago. She said when she found out she was pregnant, her family and close friends were discouraging about her situation.
“Really upset that I was pregnant and they were crying a lot, and just really depressed. I just felt that I had a negative wave over me and I felt like I couldn’t get rid of it,” said Snodgress. “ I felt like the only way to get away from the negativity was to not be pregnant. I didn’t know how else to fix it.”
Snodgress said that changed when she turned to Hannah’s House.
“There are house-moms you can talk to, that are older and know a lot more. And then there are girls my age that are going through the same thing and have some of the same questions,” said Snodgrass. “Trying to put something into words, it’s easier to talk to someone who’s going through the same thing.”
Hannah’s House does not just provide a warm bed, but also teaches its residents job, life, and parenting skills.
Regan said the programs help prepare the mothers-to-be for reality.
“The important things that transform a woman from just a girl into a very lovely lady as well as a very good, loving, affectionate mother,” said Regan.
Through a points-system, the women can also earn clothing, shoes, diapers, cribs, and other baby and personal items.
While Snodgrass said she was not sure if she was going to give her baby up for adoption, she said recently she has become very attached. She plans to finish her college education and become a teacher.
“By coming here I feel like I hasve a positive attitude about everything and I am just really excited about the future now.”
The 23rd Annual Holiday Happenings Event Fundraiser will feature cocktails, a silent auction, dinner, and oral auction at the Hilton Garden Inn’s Gillespie Center, located on State Road 933 in South Bend.
Tickets must be purchased ahead of time by calling Tamara Griffin at 574-254-5309 with the cost being $75 per ticket.