TULSA, Okla. — A Tulsa-area nonprofit that helps pregnant teenage mothers in the community is in danger of suspending their program as soon as two weeks. This is if they don’t receive financial help to stay open.
Myrtle Watson is the founder of Martha’s Foundation. She told FOX23 this is a “sanctuary for teen moms,” that helps them focus on independence, healing and education.
“I can tell you many stories of girls at ages 15 and 16, who had nowhere to go,” Watson explained. “But just by having someone in their life influencing them and encouraging them, it made such a difference.”
The space can house about four mothers at a time, but Watson said they really need about $30,000 in financial help, or they’re in danger of suspending their program in the next few weeks. They need money for rent, food and paying their employees.
Advisor Richard Desirey said, “With the overturning of Roe v. Wade, we have to be prepared for an exponential growth in the number of girls that are pregnant.”
He explained that Martha’s Foundation, and other similar organizations, need to be supported, not just now, but in the future.
“We’re celebrating the fact that a child at conception has a life, but we’re not putting resources into protecting those girls,” Desirey said. “We’re not putting resources into protecting their babies. Because three or four now is going to be 400 a year from now, and those girls are going to be unserved.”
Ava Gaytan, 17, is living at Martha’s Foundation with her almost 4-month-old baby boy.
Ava says this place has really helped her focus on independence. She says, “It’s really helped me prepare to be a young mom and get ready for the future. I got just down the street that I can walk too, and I’m about to get my driver’s license, and I can work towards a car.”
Ava says if the program is suspended, she may have to move back home, but this nonprofit is a better environment for her right now.
The founder of Martha’s Foundation, Myrtle Watson, says, “If we have to suspend this program, we will have to find a place for these two girls, and we’re not sure where that will be.”
She says, “without a safe place to live, many of our girls would be in unhealthy environments, and we provide transportation to school, transportation to the doctor’s office, and we have mentoring programs… This will prepare them for the future when they leave us. While they live here, there’s an emphasis on graduating high school. Right now, we’re in a critical time of needing funding, and we’re hoping the community will get on board in helping these teen moms. "
She adds, “Because of Covid, we have not had big fundraisers. We just need the community to help this foundation; that would be a big help.”
To donate, you can check out their GoFundMe page.
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