She is a sweet young mom with a beautiful heart. It’s brave for her to share her story publicly but Mackenzie hopes to inspire other girls who make a poor decision, have their life go out of control, and are looking for a light to lead them out of the darkness.
As a teen, Mackenzie got involved with substance abuse.
“Drugs were all around me where I grew up,” she says. Determined to change, Mackenzie went through rehab and learned she was going to have a baby. With no place to go after rehab, she was blessed to find Bethel.
“Rehab got me clean,” she remembers. “But Bethel helped me more because they taught me how to stay away from the people I was hanging out with who were all into drugs. They taught me how to manage money, life skills, and how to be a good mom. That is different from anything else in life.”
Healing and Hope
“I was crying every day for almost a month when I first got there,” Mackenzie recalls. Whenever I needed to talk, there was someone to listen and support me, no matter what the time of day
“People can wonder, if they donate money, where does it really go?” Mackenzie notes. “The people who donate to Bethel made sure my baby and I had a warm house, that we had body wash and a place to bathe every day. We had food and everything we needed to live. They connected me to Choices, so I had free diapers for my baby. They helped me get my GED so I could get a job. At Bethel, kids don’t have to go without.”
A Family and a New Beginning
Three years later, Mackenzie is thriving. She is married to a loving husband and their precious little boy is a happy toddler. “He feeds the floor and his highchair as much as he feeds himself,” she says with the proud laugh of a mom who cherishes every moment of motherhood.
For now, she works for a book company, but in 2020, she hopes to go to school to become a phlebotomist. And once her son is in grade school, she wants to get a four-year degree in healthcare.
Trisha Tatum, LMSW, was Mackenzie’s social worker at Bethel. She has confidence Mackenzie will fulfill her dreams. “At Bethel we didn’t have to do a lot of hand-holding for her. Mackenzie was self-motivated. She would ask how to do something, we’d give her direction, and she would go after it.”
“Everybody makes mistakes, Mackenzie notes. “Some learn from it and some don’t learn. I am thankful that I learned from my mistakes. I was given a second chance. If you get that chance, take it!”
Mackenzie is thankful to Bethel and its supporters for that life-changing opportunity.
“If didn’t come to Bethel I feel like I would have wanted to be off drugs, but it is hard when all the people around you use drugs,” Mackenzie says. “I would probably have wound up on drugs again.”
“Without your donations where would Bethel be?” Mackenzie asks. We know for certain, without your donations, there would not be this thriving family of three.
Today, Bethel’s Transitional Housing cottage offers affordable living for girls 18-21, including those who have a baby. READ MORE
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