Rattling the Stars: Mom’s House and The Pregnancy Center Partner to Transform Toledo’s Future

Christina Rodriguez

By Asia Nail
The Truth Reporter

Imagine a world where the sight of two lines on a pregnancy test doesn’t spark fear but hope. Where every mother, no matter her circumstances, feels the strength of a community rallying behind her. Where she and the father of her child can dream as big as they want, knowing they have the support to turn those dreams into reality. This is not a distant utopia but a tangible vision, one that Mom’s House and The Pregnancy Center are tirelessly working to make a reality in Toledo.

For decades, these two organizations have been beacons of hope, illuminating the paths for countless women and families navigating the daunting journey of parenthood. And now, in a monumental move that promises to amplify their impact, Mom’s House and The Pregnancy Center are joining forces to open a new location—Laurie’s Place—an initiative that could very well rattle the stars.

Christina Rodriguez and the children celebrate the gift of shoes

A Legacy of Compassion and Empowerment

Mom’s House, nestled in the heart of Toledo on Franklin Street, has been a sanctuary for single mothers striving for a better future through education. With its 5-star childcare center, it supports low-income, single moms to graduate from high school, technical school and college. Christina Rodriguez, the steadfast executive director of Mom’s House for the past 17 years, describes it as a “two-generation program” where both mothers and their children embark on a journey of learning and growth.

“We’ve had about 50 families on our waiting list at Mom’s House for the past several years,” Rodriguez shared. “Our capacity is 28 children for our early childhood programs, so myself and our board of directors have been working to build new avenues of growth.”

On the other side of this powerful partnership is The Pregnancy Center, which has been a cornerstone of support for expectant mothers in Toledo for over 30 years. Executive Director Savannah Marten emphasized the comprehensive care they provide: “The demographic of individuals we serve have the highest barriers in terms of healthy pregnancies and after birth wellbeing. We work with moms and dads, making sure they have every resource they need to be great parents.”

A Vision for a Brighter Future

The alliance between Mom’s House and The Pregnancy Center is more than just a strategic partnership; it is a lifeline for young families in Toledo. This collaboration aims to eliminate the barriers that single mothers face, particularly in accessing education and quality childcare. The new location on Westwood will be a symbol of hope and resilience, a place where dreams can flourish against all odds.

Rodriguez has long dreamed of this expansion. “It’s been my dream for years that Mom’s House has a second location—a space where we can bring in other partners and help more families walk through the process of being a parent,” she said. “We believe when you build strong parents that raise capable children, it builds healthy communities.”

Marten echoes this sentiment, underscoring the importance of removing barriers for young mothers. “One of the barriers we saw really early on is for mothers who were struggling to finish their education or desperately needing childcare,” she explained. “We have been working with Mom’s House for quite some time and we noticed how beneficial it is for our clients when we make any transitions or partnerships that benefit them as easy as possible.”

Rattle the Stars: A Campaign for Change

The partnership’s ambition is encapsulated in their joint capital campaign, aptly named “Rattle the Stars.” Laurie’s Place will be fully equipped with a collaborative space bringing together various community agencies. The goal is to provide a comprehensive support system under one roof, streamlining access to essential services for Toledo’s families.

“Our goal is to raise $12.1 million for this project, and we are 92 percent of the way there,” Rodriguez announced with palpable excitement. “Many nonprofits are unwilling to share a vision without merging; this is revolutionary. We want to be a model in helping communities stabilize as we help families persevere.”

The campaign has already seen significant milestones. In September 2022, Bob Moore presented a $1 million anchor gift in honor of his late wife, Laurie, who shared a passion for giving children a better life. This generous donation set the tone for what is to come, as explained by Marten: “Like Mom’s House and The Pregnancy Center, Laurie had a burning passion for raising, caring for, and giving children a better life. And because of that, we couldn’t think of a better name for this special initiative than Laurie’s Place.”

Building Towards the Future

The partnership is not just about creating a new facility; it’s about ensuring that the community supports its youngest and most vulnerable members. Rodriguez set a bold timeline for this vision: “We feel confident in our goal of opening Laurie’s Place by Mother’s Day 2025.” This commitment underscores their determination and the urgent need to provide resources to those who need them most.

Marten also stressed the importance of community involvement, stating, “As a community, we must all come together and realize we cannot be satisfied until the children are well.” This call to action highlights the broader mission of both organizations: to rally the Toledo community around its children and families, fostering positive and lasting change.

The Power of Community

The groundbreaking ceremony for the new location was more than just a formal announcement; it was a powerful gathering of community spirit. Government officials, local leaders, donors, and supporters came together, symbolizing the collective effort required to bring about meaningful change.

“This partnership represents a new chapter in our commitment to serving Toledo’s families,” Marten declared. “By combining our resources and expertise, we can better address the needs of expectant mothers and families, ensuring that they have the support and resources necessary to thrive.”

Rodriguez added, “We are thrilled to collaborate with The Pregnancy Center to expand our reach and impact in the Toledo community. Together, we will be able to provide even more comprehensive support to single parents and families, empowering them with more opportunities for themselves and their children.”

A Brighter Tomorrow

The vision laid out by Mom’s House and The Pregnancy Center is not just about expanding facilities; it’s about expanding possibilities. It’s about creating a Toledo where every child has the chance to grow up in a nurturing environment, where every parent has the support to succeed, and where dreams are not just imagined but realized.

In the words of Rodriguez, “We believe when you build strong parents that raise capable children, it builds healthy communities.” Laurie’s PlaceMom’s House and The Pregnancy Center are poised to do just that—build a brighter, more resilient Toledo, one family at a time.

For more information about Laurie’s Place please visit rattlethestarstoledo.org