The newest outreach program at Southwest Good Samaritan Ministries is off to a strong start, thanks to two "angels" who have planted Lilies of The Valley. The new program is aimed at mentoring young mothers and their babies in the Rio Grande Valley who would otherwise have no emotional support, parenting and life skills training opportunities. The mothers meet on Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. for training and education while their children are attended by volunteers.
The Lily program currently serves five mothers and seven children. Three of the women are expecting, and the program will soon expand to include 10 children. One of the young mothers is a 15-year-old girl, who had dropped out of high school. With encouragement from program director Guille Peralez, the young woman is returning to school and attends church with Guille. The Lily group meets every Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
The program was founded by two women from the White Bluff Chapel of Whitney, Texas. Sara Edwards and Vicki Thompson, active volunteers at SWGSM, acted on their calling to serve young mothers (and their babies)--nearly all of whom come from very financially poor backgrounds but who are eager to learn parenting and life skills, such as healthy meal planning and preparation. The two women raised needed seed money to start the ministry, including providing a new facility to accommodate a larger demand for the mentoring program. As these photos show, the White Bluff volunteers joined local residents to add a new educational space to what was formerly the caretaker’s cottage. The building will be renamed “The Lily House.” The new space will allow the program, which is equipping the mothers with life skills such as sewing, healthier cooking and English, to accommodate additional participants. Guille Peralez is the program director.
To learn more, visit the Lilies of the Valley Web site.