A group that helps pregnant teenagers is worried the center might close if they don’t get financial help.
The founder of Martha’s Foundation said recent abortion bans will likely increase the number of pregnant girls needing help.
“I don’t know what I’m going to do with my life,” said Victoria Scheckel. “I was so scared. I was at a young age where I didn’t know what to do.”
That’s how Victoria Scheckel felt after finding out she was pregnant at 18 years old, but she found a safe haven in Martha’s Foundation.
“Somebody gave me a resource to this place, and I’m glad they did. This place helped me more than anything,” Scheckel said.
Victoria had her son about six months ago.
She said Martha’s Foundation helped her every step of the way, making her feel less hopeless and alone. “They need care, comfort, a support system, and a family environment.”
Myrtle Watson founded Martha’s Foundation 12 years ago and opened a home for girls in 2020.
The home provides teenage mothers with a place to live, teaches them parenting skills and how to become independent.
They also encourage the girls to graduate from high school and give them resources for as long as they need.
“Many of them will not succeed unless they have a home providing care for them,” said Myrtle Watson.
Myrtle is concerned that already high teen pregnancy rates in Oklahoma will go up even more with abortion restrictions.
“I see the need will be bigger probably within a year,” said Myrtle.
Myrtle said 12 girls have successfully been through the home and she has dreams to expand, but said they’ve had a rocky start after having to cancel fundraisers because of COVID.
She’s praying the center won’t have to close and said she hopes people will step up.
“I would be devastated, because this place has helped me to do the right thing, to know I need to get my life together,” Scheckel said.
“Funding, funding, funding is the cry, at least for this year,” said Myrtle.
LINKS TO HELP:
Click here for the organization’s GoFundMe.
Click here for the organization’s Amazon Wishlist.
Click here to view the organization’s website.