Mar 052013
 

Monkees, Meet Sarah. She’s about to take us on a wild, wonderful ride.

**************************

I am Sarah Nielsen, I’m a Monkee, and I’m also the Executive Director of Project Home Indy. Project Home Indy is a small non-profit agency in Indianapolis that serves up to five homeless teen moms, age 15-19, in a safe, home-like residential facility. The girls who move to Project Home Indy are desperate to find a home, and we provide a wraparound, intensive service that allows them to move into our community with their babies and function as independent families.  We believe that teens are capable of becoming good parents, but they need coordinated and comprehensive services and support to become heads of their own households.

Working at Project Home Indy is wonderful and challenging. Every so often I get the very special job of interviewing a prospective resident.  We get many phone calls each week from young teen moms who are desperate to live at Project Home Indy.  They are frightened, homeless, and hopeful that we’ll have room. Since we only have room for five young families at a time, I am too often saying no. No room. I’m so sorry.

But sometimes there is hope that I might be able to say YES, and for a moment, I feel like I’m giving someone the golden ticket on Willy Wonka.

Last week, as I interviewed a prospective resident, a tear ran down her cheek as she said:

“You know, I just want to live somewhere where the adults work, and don’t run out of money or gas.  I don’t want to be scared of being evicted.  I want to live somewhere where I don’t have to count the diapers I have for the rest of the week, and wonder if I’ll skip dinner.  I want to have my own bed and my own room.  I want my baby to only see the best way to be, the way things should be.”

Sometimes I can choke my own tears back and maintain a professional distance. Not this time.   Because here’s the thing- the life she is dreaming of- the one where people work and have enough diapers and food- that IS the way things should be.  That’s the home she deserved to grow up in years ago. That’s the home that she deserves to raise her baby in. And that’s the home we provide.

So in response to her dream – I ran through our rules and programs with her. I explained that since so few people get to live here, we must know that she’s serious about her future and her education.  We must know that she’ll work as hard as we work to move her towards her goals.  She looked at me steadily and said,

 ”I’m not scared.  I’m ready for this.  You guys don’t sound so bad.  I need someone to help keep me on track.”

 I wish I had a magic sense that could tell us whether or not she’ll be successful here. I don’t know that. But I do know that she deserves a CHANCE. We all do.

In the work I do, there is a certain level of overwhelming, heart-aching pain for what these teens and their babies go through.  Most adults in their lives have let them down.  They don’t deserve the hardship they have endured, and the odds are stacked against them.  These girls are facing a highly documented uphill battle.  Teen pregnancy is full of daunting statistics about dropouts and poverty.  It’s heavy.

And so I wish people could really see these kids. Really see them. Not just the statistics, but the kids. They are so brave, so gritty, so scrappy and smart.  They are strong, and they have, and always will, survive. They are WARRIORS. They have endured things that most adults would find unfathomable. And they are making it.  They are getting up, putting one foot in front of the other, and carving out a new life for themselves and their babies.  They are cracking jokes, making friends, and teaching their babies the Itsy Bitsy Spider.

Down came the rain and washed the spider out… out came the sun and dried up all the rain, and the itsy bitsy spider climbed up the spout again.

It’s like that.

100% of our high school seniors have graduated.  100% of our babies have been born full-term and at a healthy birth weight and 75% of our girls have found employment while they have lived with us. And when they leave- when they move out and on and up – they call us.  They call us to tell us all about their baby’s birthday party, their college classes, their new apartment, their jobs.  They call to ask us what baby food to buy, and how to understand a light bill.  They came to us feeling like they were all alone in the world, but they leave with a family. They learn, here, that We Belong To Each Other.

Monkees- I am asking you to help me raise the funds necessary to say YES to the teenage warrior I met last week.  The one I just told you about. This Love Flash Mob is for HER. Right now she’s alone and without a home – but we don’t have to leave her that way. You – WE can offer her and her baby a CHANCE. She doesn’t know. She’s out there, wondering what she’ll do next. Why no one will help her. She doesn’t know. She doesn’t know that a WORLD FULL of women warriors are about to sweep her up in love and give her and her baby a home and a future. She doesn’t know that the world loves her yet. But she will.

It’s a tall order. We follow all state regulations and staffing rules so the money we need  to offer this girl and her baby a home for a year is a large sum- Eighty three thousand dollars.

As a small non-profit, we run on the leanest budget possible, and every dollar raised goes directly towards supporting client services.  The truth is, providing services at this level is expensive.  This funding provides a family with two highly trained, passionate and supportive staff twenty-four hours a day.  It provides this mom with a staff member to hold her hand during her first ultrasound, and someone to watch her child while she takes her final exam in Algebra.  It gives her programs on how to become a better parent, how to balance a checkbook, and hands-on help grocery shopping and cooking. It’s diapers, a backpack, a bus pass, and co-pays, and interview clothes.  It’s her first months’ rent and a crib when she leaves our house. It gives her a highly talented therapist to untangle and help her heal from the trauma and neglect she’s suffered in her life, and a staff member to sit on the couch with her at 2am to let her know that sometimes, babies just cry, and it’s not her fault.  It’s full support, and then some.

After all, we are not going wide, we are going deep.  

If, within the next two days, we raise the 83 thousand dollars needed to care for this girl and her baby for a year, I promise you that I will go to her and BRING HER HOME. In your name, Monkees- in the name of LOVE, I will bring her home.

And when Glennon comes to visit us at Project Home Indy in May, she will meet this young mama. And she will give her a hug that is sixty five thousand strong. And Glennon will tell her that she is Not Alone and that She is Loved. And because you will have turned your love into ACTION- this young mama, this warrior, will believe her.

Love,
Sarah

 ***************************** **************************

Let’s bring her home, Monkees. Let’s show her that the world DOES care about her and DOES care about her baby…the world cares enough to make HER LIFE OUR business. Let’s make this young mama our business.

Love Flash Mob Rules:

  1. The Flash Mob will run for 48 hours. After the 48 hours are over – the flash mob is closed. Whatever we have at that time is what we have. In the unbelievable event that we raise more than what is needed, the overflow will go to Monkee See – Monkee Do to help other parents in need.

       2. THE MAXIMUM DONATION IS $25 dollars. Small things with great love.

      3. If you have $5 to give- give it.  This is NOT ABOUT THE AMOUNT. It’s about the love being offered. Give what you can (UP TO $25) and rest in the fact that YOU ARE  MAKING A          DIFFERENCE. Changing the world for one mama today. That’s a decent day’s work.

Allright, Lovers of the Light. Let’s Make it Rain for this mama.
CLICK THIS BUTTON TO DONATE NOW! 

POST SCRIPT!!!!!!

There is no greater honor than participating in the lifting up of another woman. None.
Today, you raised 85 thousand dollars in five and a half hours. THAT’S MORE THAN $250 DOLLARS PER MINUTE. I just received this message from Sarah:
********************
Glennon,

We called her and told her that it’s REALLY going to happen. She’s packing faster now. She doesn’t have much, so it will be easy. I heard Jamie, our case manager say on the phone, “YES, REALLY”, “I REALLY MEAN IT” several times. We get to say yes. Because of you and the Monkees.

Love, Sarah
*********************

She’s packing. She’s crying and packing.
GOD SAID YES TO HER TODAY.
GOD SAID YES.
THROUGH YOU- GOD SAID YES. YES- this world cares for you. YES- you are worthy of becoming a mama and a good one and YES you are not only worthy of that but worthy of HELP. Because you matter. Your baby matters. What happens to the two of you MATTERS. You matter to women all over the WORLD who have NEVER even met you, sister. Because you and that baby – you belong to us. And we belong to you.
We Belong To Each Other.
She comes home tonight. It’s done. It’s done.

We will end this Flash Mob tonight. Don’t stop giving. We have more sisters to help. These are some of the women waiting for our help from Monkee See – Monkee Do. They are hoping and praying that we will have room.

- a woman whose husband has left her and her kids

- a family who needs to travel for treatment for a bi-polar child

- travel for a Monkee sister to meet her soul-Monkee-sister to hold her hand as her child goes through a bone marrow transplant

- mama who is bed-ridden and needs surgery to be able to care for her daughter with special needs

- mama who is drowning in stress and worry over how to pay for surgeries that gave her son fingers and -toes and more surgeries needed in the future

- mama and daughter who both have cancer

LET US CARRY ON, WARRIORS.

I’ll update you every hour.

I do not care what anyone says. It cannot ever, ever get better than this.

Love Wins.

With Love and Gratitude –
Glennon



Carry On, Warrior
Author of the New York Times Bestselling Memoir CARRY ON, WARRIOR
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  246 Responses to “LOVE FLASH MOB!”

  1. Amazing!!! This is so amazing! :)
    I’ve never seen anything like this, so many coming together to make a difference in a life…
    what a beautiful thing to be a part of. Glennon, thanks you for bringing us all together. Much love for the journey (always) to you all! <3

  2. [...] way she’s changing the world through love, kindness, determination, keep-at-it-ness, and, oh, Love Flash Mobs. Glennon is my [...]

  3. Do you have any opportunities for volunteers? A group of us who work for Lilly are looking for an opportunity to do some work in August. Thanks!

  4. [...] Internet can do many things — help mobilize massive social uprisings in the Arab Spring, raise thousands of dollars for needy girls in an online “flash mob” and drive 500 million people to watch “Charlie Bit [...]

  5. [...] here to see the story the founder wrote to Momastery about their organization. It's powerful [...]

  6. [...] Read full article [...]

  7. [...] for help: It’s LOVE FLASH MOB time!!!! Let’s make some Miracles today, Monkees! http://momastery.com/blog/2013/03/05/love-flash-mob/ Ok. TEN THOUSAND IN THIRTY MINUTES. Sweet Little Sister and Your Precious Precious Baby – [...]

  8. Congrats on a job very well done!

  9. [...] love flash mob that Jason and I joyfully participated in last week.  How good it felt to participate with an [...]

  10. Glennon– I just watched the video on the Monkee See Monkey Do home page. Did you realize the coincidence of two love flash mobs with an $83,000 goal? What are the chances?!
    Carry on, sweet warrior :)

  11. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to give.

  12. [...] evolved into this lovely Force of Nature for Good in the Universe. Most recently, she held a Love Flash Mob in which she introduced her followers (called Monkees) to a woman who works at a shelter for [...]

  13. I know I’m late (our house flooded Monday so it’s been chaotic), but I had to help. <3

  14. I just read this post and I am in complete awe. It is so amazing to see women supporting other women like this. This is the way the world should be. We need to support each other. As you say, “We Belong to Each Other.” I know I am a little late, but I will be making a contribution to this wonderful cause.

  15. Just…. Tears….. And hugs across the miles to all of you beautiful souls for giving with every ounce of your being.

  16. For the sister who needs help with travel to support her sister I can get the airfare.

  17. G, I’m so proud to have been but a small part of the Love Flash Mob. It’s knowing that my little bit put together with everyone else’s little bit makes a BIG difference and LOVE WINS!

  18. I just came across this Robert Kennedy quote (in Jeffrey Sachs’s book “The End of Poverty”) and it reminded me of all you are trying to accomplish with this blog that I had to share, in case you have not seen it before…
    “Let no one be discouraged by the belief there is nothing one man or one woman can do against the enormous array of the world’s ills – against misery and ignorance, injustice and violence…Few will have the greatness to bend history itself; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation…”

  19. I know from reading this blog that flash mobs happen quickly!! So I was thrilled to be able to donate before it ended. This cause is near and dear to me as I was a single mom for 9 years until I met my lovely husband. I was not a teen and had a lot of support from family and was able to finish college and get a teaching career. What is so beautiful is that this organization sounds like they have all the right supports in place. I was never homeless but felt very like society stigmatized me anyway. This world is built for couples and for two parents raising children. I love that the message is being spread in such a positive way. It is such a hard feeling sometimes to have made the choice to raise my son, and drive around seeing all the anti-abortion bumper stickers, and feeling like all of those people had a strong view but did not support women who did not have abortions. I’m an educated person so I know that was my projection, and not all pro-life sentiments go unsupported… This love flashmob makes my heart swell with joy. Support, don’t judge. and love, love, love!

  20. I’m a stay at home mom and do not have a lot to give to charity so I love being able to give a $5 donation and still feeling like I am helping accomplish a whole lot. Thank you for putting these flash mobs together.

  21. This is real and spoke to my heart, so happy to make a donation.

  22. All I can say is amazing!!!!! Tears of joy today. How wonderful to be a part of this and all you put out there G!
    Love it!

  23. Way to go, Glennon!

    Gives a whole new meaning to having a Monkee (or several thousand) on your back, huh.

    We got you!!

  24. hi g,

    tears. that’s all. thank you for letting us be part of something that’s bigger than us. what if in the end all that matters is love. i really think it is.

  25. There is a home like this outside of Portland, Oregon. It’s called Saint Child. Check it out!
    http://www.saintchild.org/

  26. I live in Indy and am applying to volunteer. I work at a local children’s hospital and often serve young parents and their medically fragile children. I always wish I was able to help more and beyond my professional capacity and PHI would be a great way for me to do so. Thank you so much for introducing me to this charity!

  27. I’m sitting in a children’s hospital with my 2-year-old who was diagnosed last week with AML leukemia. While a devastating diagnosis, God has provided and sustained us each and every day. I’m thankful for this flash mob to pay it forward, even if it’s just a little bit. Many blessings for this mama and her baby.

    • Stephanie, you and your little one will be in my prayers. I have sat where you are with my son during his cancer battle. I pray you will have the same outcome as my boy did, complete remission. Much love and understanding hugs to you.

      • Stephanie, you’ll be in my prayers as well. Someone very close to us recently lost this battle and the heartbreak of watching such a small child battle this disease can be overwhelming. Much love, support, strength, virtual hugs and hope your way. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for a positive outcome. <3

      • Thoughts and prayers and smiles and love to you! Sending strength!

    • Prayers to you Stephanie… And love to you and your little one. May love carry you through this journey…

    • Hugs to you and your baby Stephanie! We are praying for you and your child!!! xoxoxoxo

  28. Oh, I am so excited to read this post today! I have had a very bad day today. Since I was a little girl, my mom has always told me that the guaranteed cure for almost any bad day lies in either going outside and getting your hands in the dirt by pulling weeds or planting flowers or by doing something good for someone else.

    My mom is 95 now and she still gives me this same advice. I didn’t feel well enough to go outside today, but THIS is something I can do to help someone else. This makes my bad day feel so insignificant. Thank you, Glennon and Sarah, for giving us this opportunity to help prove that love does indeed win.

    I hope this young mom will feel that she and her baby are loved and cared about by women across the Momastery network.

  29. I too was a teen mom and I’m honored to be a part of this. Kudos!

  30. Fantastic work! I too was a teen mom. So happy to be able to be a part of this <3

  31. This is absolutely inspiring. So good for my heart. Yes, she does matter. We all matter to each other.

  32. How incredible! I was a teen mom with my first. The experience was completely different from my third at twenty five… I was actually treated with respect and dignity although no other factor had changed except age ( I was married for both.) there is still a huge stigma on top if all obstacles for teen mothers…so glad to hear the thousands of voices raised here that prove that maybe those nurses and others who treated me harshly were perhaps a minority. Here is a place of hope and healing and I am honoured to be a part of it!

  33. Just donated. Not much-but anything helps. I am the daughter of a teen mom (19 when she got pregnant with me). We had a shot, because of the support from the rest of our family. It breaks my heart that someone is so alone in this situation. I hope she no longer feels that way. Bring her on home Sarah! :) Love wins. It SOOOO wins. What a happy day Monkees.

  34. So happy to have been able to participate, and challeneged some of my friends to come take a visit as well. LOVE WINS!!!

  35. This wasan amazing story Its awsome that she has so many people that want to help I became pregnant with my oldest when i was 18 i had no help until after my son was born it was a challenge going to hs I eventually got my GED and wanted to go to school to open a home for pregnant teens similar to this one unfortunantly around my area there is not much help needed for this situation im pleased to read someone else is helping pregnant teens and teen moms, people stereotype pregnant teens and its sad. it is tough being a pregnant teen i know i have been there, im sorry i cant donate right now does she know what she is ahving i do have some baby clothes i may be able to send somewhere if needed, by newest baby is a girl she is 5 weeks right now., good luck and kudos to you for helping this mom.

  36. My birth mother was 16, about a year younger than I am now, when she had me. I would love to be a part of an organization like this as a future career path, but for now the least I can do is donate. By making a donation I feel like I’m giving a baby who is in the same place that I was the chance to have a future they deserve.

  37. Honesty: I was a little hesitant to donate even though I absolutely wanted to. Money is a little tight right now. But I’m a Hoosier Monkee, and I couldn’t NOT. So I did. Not much, but something.
    Within a few hours the money had been unexpectedly returned to me. Within a few hours we proved: LOVE WINS.
    Lesson Learned :)
    (now on to the Amazon wish list!)

  38. So happy to be part of this flashmob and the community behind it. Small things with great love — stand back and watch the world change for the better!

  39. Yes. Just yes.

  40. You may want to consider adopting the foster model used in animal rescue (NOT that I’m saying pregnant teens are animals). Homeless teen moms could live with trained volunteers and come to the center during the day for classes, etc.

    Also, contact the local chapter of the March of Dimes. They give local grants to programs working to improve maternal and newborn health. Your application would have to be tailored specifically to the maternal health programs, doctor visits, supplies for parenting classes, prenatal vitamins, etc.

  41. Thrilled to donate, thrilled to know someone’s life is changing as I type. Love wins xxoo

  42. Thanks for doing this. Just donated and shared on facebook. How much have you raised already?

  43. So humbled by what is happening. All our love! Even when I feel like I am alone this reminds me that I AM NOT. This momma, she is going to be alright. Because we pull together and hold her and that little one up. We are stretching our hands out, out. For her. Love you fellow Monkees!

  44. I live in southern Indiana and I am the child of a teenage mom. I can’t wait to meet Glennon and other monkees in May in Indy! The little things really do matter and change people. Thank you!

  45. Sarah is the best!! Nobody deserves the love and gift more than PHI!

    • Amen, Tang Tang!! Sarah and PHI are creating many Kairos moments for these impressionable young mommies and their babies… What a wonderful energy to put out into the universe! GO WARRIORS!!

  46. My first Momastery donation. Know it is going to a good cause. Can’t wait to see the results. Love your posts. Keep up the good work. xo

  47. Sent my paypal money. Excited to see what we can do in love for others. Then went to Amazon and the wish list. Had fun picking out a few things that are high priority to be sent as well. Knowing that what you are giving has a positive impact on others is priceless. I am so blessed to be a Monkee and have the opportunity to participate in this Love Mob. Can’t wait for the next one!!!!

  48. I donated today as I sat in my car on the side of the road waiting for the tow truck, crying crying and crying some more, a bit for me but more so for the girl that will soon be a mother. It is a challenge to raise kids at any age but teen moms need to prove so much more. I too was a teen mom but luckily had supporting parents and a great place to raise my kids. This is an amazing cause!

    • See, Meredith, that’s the best. You’re the best. Waiting for help, giving someone else help. How does it get better than that? A lot of very good people contributed here today but you may be the poster baby for this effort. Consider me honorarily pouring you a glass of wine or whatever you would chose this evening. I would if I could.

      Bubba

    • I’m with you sister. As a former teen mama, I feel for this girl and the challenges she will face, but I know that it takes a village, and we are part of this village. Thanks for sharing!

  49. Please tell this sweet girl that we’ve got her back. In addition to a donation, I’ll sing The Itsy Bitsy Spider to my own littles tonight in her honor.

  50. You are an inspiration! As once a scared and confused teen Mom myself, this program sounds amazing! I am a relatively new follower of yours, but wish I had the means to create a program like this in my area! Onward and upward!

  51. Thanks for letting us help with this wonderful cause!

  52. Hello! I am so impressed with this company and the goals they set and meet. I live in the Atlanta metro area and I am wondering if any monkees know of a similar place/company in Atlanta? I joined the love mob and plan to get things from the Amazon wish list when I can, but I also have some time that I am looking to donate and volunteer for something like this. Thanks!

    • Sort of. Our church, Creekside UMC in Cumming, hosts a Teen MOPS group which is the only one of its kind in the state (or at least, was the only one for a good long while). We provide support (emotional, spiritual, educational, and financial) but not housing. Moms and moms-to-be can earn points by attendance, etc., which they can trade for equipment, diapers, etc. Would love to have your help and support! There are links on the church website or you can contact me for more information. http://www.creekside.net and then ministries, then women.

  53. Donating today was a way of honoring a loved one who passed away recently, a small-town doctor who delivered thousands of babies over his career. I knew this project would be close to his heart, so giving today helped heal mine. THANK YOU, PROJECT HOME INDY!

  54. THIS! THIS is what orginally brought me to Momastery and why I LOVE Momastery and this community! LOVE FLASH MOBS and all the amazing Monkee See-Monkee Do activity.
    You Monkees inspire me. Thank you Glennon for sparking this love revolution and all the powerful Monkees making it happen every day!

  55. Hi Sarah and Glennon,
    Thank you for the hard work that you both do. I have been following Momastery for a few months now but this is my first post and first donation. I now feel like I am an official Monkee!
    Much love fellow warriors!

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