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Lake Wales
Monday, July 22, 2024

Support Local Teen Moms Through 2-Week Donation Drive Starting Thurs. July 11


<br >Some members of Girls Leave A Mark Inc from left to right Oris Bennett Kira McFarlane Leah Folb Simone McFarlane Tucker Darlene Smarra Latecie Gilghrest Brandy Davis and Tracy Hill

by James Coulter

Simone McFarlane-Tucker knows how hard it is to be a single teenage mother. She also knows the importance of hard work toward achieving her responsibilities and her own success.

For that reason, she started her non-profit organization, Girls Leave A Mark. Her non-profit will be hosting a two-week donation drive starting with a kick-off party on Thur. July 11.

The Glam Pantry Donation Drive Kick-Off Party will be hosted on Thur. July 11 at 5:30 PM at 225 Lincoln Ave. in Lake Wales. The donation drive will continue until Thur. July 25. Drop-off hours will be from Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 5:30 PM.

All donations will help supply the Glam Pantry, which will provide infant care supplies to local teenage mothers. Donations being sought include diapers, wipes, baby clothing, toiletries, formula, and baby food. Cash donations, gift cards, and checks (payable to Girls Leave A Mark) will also be accepted.

Simone started Girls Leave a Mark to provide local teenage mothers with the support and assistance to raise their children. As someone who had her first child at age 16 and her second child at age 18, she knows the hard work required to raise a child at such a young age.

“I didn’t get the resources from the people and places I expected to get it [these resources] from outside of my immediate family.” Simone explained. ” However, Women’s Resource Center and Career Source were essential to my growth…I want girls to understand hard work and to understand why things are not given to you.”

Through Girls Leave a Mark, Simone hosts monthly workshops to teach young mothers the skills they require to help raise their new children. With each workshop, they earn Glam Bucks, with which they can then acquire items from the Glam Pantry.

She invites the community to donate items to her donation drive to help support these young mothers. After all, these young women are essentially raising the future of the community, so it is in the community’s best interest to support them however they can.

“These girls are our future,” she said. “These are teen moms who are raising babies who will be the leaders of our community in the next 20 to 30 years. So, we need the community to empower these girls and let them know that hard work will pay off and they can do it regardless of their circumstances.”

The Glam Pantry Donation Drive will be hosted from Thurs. July 11 to Thurs. July 25 at 225 Lincoln Ave. in Lake Wales. Drop-off hours will be from 9 AM to 5:30 PM. Learn more at: https://www.girlsleaveamark.org/

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Maria Iannucci

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