Natalie* came to Building Blocks with two energetic toddlers and was pregnant with her third child. She was very tired, her self esteem was nonexistent, and the weight of living in extreme poverty was heavy on her shoulders. Vicky, a Building Blocks volunteer, was slow and respectful in getting to know Natalie’s story, letting Natalie take the lead in the relationship. Vicky was not pushy and helped Natalie learn the practical things that she wanted to learn. Eventually, trust started to build.

Natalie began to learn tools that served her practically and helped her get out of some sticky situations. She was treated with dignity and as a result, she started lifting her head and smiling. She worked hard in the Building Blocks program to earn points to spend in our store to get the things her baby needed. She was showing up for herself and her family!

Somewhere along the way, Vicky learned that Natalie didn’t have an oven, so she took it upon herself to get one donated and delivered. Natalie was overjoyed!

About a year later Vicky came barging through the door at AXIA. “You have to see this sweet picture!” she exclaimed. The picture was of Natalie’s third child on her first birthday. Her chubby little fingers were grasping the edge of the stove and her big eyes were barely peeking over to look at the birthday cake that her mama had made…in her very own oven! The caption from Natalie reads, “I made my first birthday cake!”

Natalie continued in the Building Blocks program with her fourth child and Vicky continued to be her mentor. Natalie’s life was still hard, but something was different; she knew she was valuable and had hope for the future!

Building Blocks is about moms empowering moms! The foundation of our program has always been healthy, constant relationships with our moms, praying that Jesus would tend to her heart. The educational curriculum and practical supplies, while important, are secondary.

A woman can join our program when she is pregnant and graduates when her baby turns one. Along the way, she will meet with her mentor every two weeks and, more often than not, will form a strong bond. Together they navigate her pregnancy, birth, postpartum, infant care, and parenting. Our goal is to see her be the best mama she can be, empowering her to break any negative cycles, and creating a better future for her and her children.

Danielle Chapman

Danielle Chapman

Building Blocks Program Director

*Name has been changed.