Local teenage pregnancy home fears closure due to financial issues

A group that helps pregnant teenagers fears the center will close if they don’t receive financial help.

The Martha’s Foundation founder said recent abortion bans are likely to increase the number of pregnant girls in need of help.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do with my life,” said Victoria Scheckel. “I was so scared. I was young and didn’t know what to do.”

That’s how Victoria Scheckel felt after finding out she was pregnant at 18, but found a safe haven at the Martha Foundation.

“Someone gave me a resource in 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 the Martha’s Foundation helped her every step of the way, making her feel less hopeless and less alone. “They need care, comfort, a support system and a family environment.”

Myrtle Watson founded the Martha’s Foundation 12 years ago and opened a girls’ home in 2020.

The house offers teenage mothers a place to live, teaches them parenting skills and how to become independent.

They also encourage girls to graduate from high school and give them resources for as long as they need them.

“A lot of them won’t make it if they don’t have a home to take care of them,” said Myrtle Watson.

Myrtle worries that Oklahoma’s already high teen pregnancy rates will increase even further with abortion restrictions.

“I see the need will probably be greater within a year,” Myrtle said.

Myrtle said 12 girls have successfully made it through the house and dream of growing up, but said they had a rocky start after having to cancel fundraisers due to COVID.

She prays the center doesn’t have to close and said she hopes people will step up.

“I would be devastated because this place has helped me do the right thing, which is that I need to get my life back together,” Scheckel said.

“Funding, funding, funding is the cry, at least for this year,” Myrtle said.

LINKS TO HELP:

Click here to access the organization’s GoFundMe.

Click here for the organization’s Amazon Wishlist.

Click here to view the organization’s website.

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