Our Mother’s Home of Southwest Florida, Inc.’s Executive Director Alicia Miller and Board of Directors’ Co-Presidents, Mary Podolak and Beth Juliano announced last week that the organization received a $25,000 challenge grant from the Richard Schulze Family Foundation. The grant will match dollar-for-dollar all donations from donors who support them in their efforts to create an Early Childhood Learning Center in their new building, which is currently being renovated, located close to downtown Fort Myers. The agency aims to move into the new building by the spring of 2023.
The exciting news for the agency, who was still reeling from the grant challenge, is that within 48 hours of announcing the challenge, they found a donor who matched the entire amount. Greg and Lorraine Gutheim, founders of the Jordan Ashley Gutheim Foundation, toured Our Mother’s Home and felt that its mission would align with their late daughter’s love of family and helping people. The Foundation was founded by the Gutheim Family in 2016, after a tragic car accident took Jordan’s life. Their mission is to keep Jordan’s memory alive by continuing to support causes and efforts she devoted her time, love, and prayers to. They believe that matching the Schulze Foundation grant for the OMH Early Childhood Learning Center is something that Jordan would have loved to do. The Center will be named after both the Schulze Foundation and Jordan Gutheim and will proudly display a picture of Jordan for others to remember her by.
“This donation and challenge grant is going to make a significant difference to our agency, as we plan to grow to help more young mothers,” said Miller. “Everything that Our Mother’s Home does is made possible by our loyal community supporters. The generosity the Gutheim family has shown during a dark time is remarkable and the continued support from the Schulze Family Foundation helps us to grow our mission to empower young mothers in the foster care and human trafficking systems to break that generational cycle of poverty. We are very grateful for their investment in our future in a way that encourages others to deepen their support.”
Based in San Carlos Park, OMH is a 22-year old 501(c)3 nonprofit that has predominantly focused on teen mothers in the foster care and human trafficking systems, ages 11-18. However, they have now made it their goal to continue supporting and providing services to those young women who age out of the foster care system. In March 2022, they purchased a building at 2666 Swamp Cabbage Court that will enable them to expand their mission to young mothers, ages 18-21, both in and out of the foster care system. Their goal is to have a grand opening Mother’s Day weekend, 2023, because they originally broke ground on their current building on Mother’s Day weekend, 2000.
Founded in 2000, Our Mother’s Home is SWFL’s only licensed maternity group home. Since its inception, over 400+ mothers and children have benefited from the Our Mother’s Home Mentored Living Program, successfully preserving families, transitioning foster mothers to self-sufficiency, and saving the lives of children by avoiding their re-entry into foster care. As a privatized 501(c)3 organization, Our Mother’s Home raises 50 – 60% of its own funding, to provide teen moms a supporting environment to stay with their children, learn life skills, and finish their education. For more information, call 239-267-4663 or visit ourmothershome.org.