Here at Palmetto Place all of our house parents are important to our mission, but in honor of Mother’s Day, we want to take a moment to recognize our house moms. Each and every day our house moms work to make sure the kids who call Palmetto Place home are safe, loved and cared for. For some of our kids, the staff at Palmetto Place are the only mothering figures they’ve ever known, others may have moms who love them very much but can’t take care of them. Our house moms fulfill this vital role in a child or teens life, and they deserve a big shout out.
There is no such thing as a typical day at Palmetto Place because each new kid changes the dynamic of the house, but in some ways we do have routine. Every morning our house parents arrive at 6:00 AM to make sure all the kids are ready for school. They put together a nutritious breakfast so the kids can concentrate in school and make sure they have everything they need for the day. Some of our kids get dropped off while others ride the bus. Once the kids are at school, our house moms make sure the house is clean and help with any chores that were missed that morning. They run errands to make sure we are stocked with food and supplies, or take kids to doctor appointments and counseling.
The next shift comes in at 2:00 PM and prepares for after school activities. They pick the kids up from school, provide snacks, and get them started on homework. After homework, the kids can play outside or watch TV until dinner. Some nights volunteers bring dinner, which is nice because then our house parents get a break from cooking, which any busy parent can appreciate. Other nights, our house moms do the cooking for as many as 30 kids. After dinner, they make sure the kids have done their chores and get them ready for bed. Our overnight house moms arrive at 10:00 PM. Every 20 minutes they check on the kids to make sure are safe and sleeping sound. These house moms also do a lot of laundry; with so many kids there are also multiple loads of laundry to do each day!
There are days where Palmetto Place accepts new kids or says goodbye to a resident who is going home. On those days, the routine is shifted a bit. On weekends, we do a variety of activities with volunteers and almost no weekend is the same as the last. Each kid who lives here brings their own special spark to the house and make it their own. That’s why it’s so easy to get attached and can be sad when they leave.
Many of our house moms have worked here for many years and have so many stories to share. Some of their favorites are below:
"Five years ago a very special child came to live at Palmetto Place and stole my heart, as so many do. Today she’s a college student and is living the life she always dreams of. She still calls to keep in touch with her Palmetto Place family and share her adventures. Her favorite part of college so far has been taking a trip to Africa with Habitat for Humanity to build homes for families living in poverty. This project meant so much for her because she was able to help families overcome some of the struggles her own family faced before she entered Palmetto Place. Her past will always be a part of story and even though it can be hard to move forward and heal she is trying. Recently, I mailed her a scripture about putting the past behind you:
Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. - Philippians 3:12-14
Her response brought tears to my eyes, she said Palmetto Place has always been her pillow of comfort even though she no longer lives with us. Her life if now so full of joy and excitement, and I’m proud of her accomplishments and achievements. It’s so wonderful to see such a bright light shine through someone who has been through something so terrible.
She will be graduating in 2 years. I know she’ll do well because of the values Palmetto Place instilled in her of never giving up, and not letting the past hinder your future."
– Ms. Jenny, Lead Houseparent
“My favorite part of working at Palmetto Place is getting to know the kids we serve. Some of them have been through so much trauma and pain, but while they’re here, they’re just kids and teens. We become their family, I’ve comforted broken hearts and laughed until I couldn’t breathe! I’ve worried about them and be prouder than I ever thought was possible. Without a doubt, the kids and teens who call Palmetto Place home are my reason for coming in each day.”
Would you like to show our house moms how much your community appreciates their hard work? Click here to find out how you can do just that!
Happy Mother’s Day!