Blessed Beginnings is a non-profit organization that helps women and their families get a jumpstart on their new life after abuse.
When these ladies are ready to leave a women's shelter, we donate a large laundry basket full of household goods (usually 50-60 items per basket) to help offset the starting costs of moving into a new place. We also include a Bible to help encourage and uplift them spiritually with handwritten notes and highlighted verses.
Our first donation was completed in April 2021 and we became an official non-profit (through HSI) in June 2021. So far, we have donated to 3 shelters in Schuylkill, Berks, and Colombia Counties (Berwick, Pottsville, and Reading).
So how did this ministry start? I work in Early Intervention (kids ages 0-3 years) and I had received a referral for a child that was living in a women’s shelter. The mother is not originally from the US, so she did not have any help or support from family or friends. She was quiet and timid when we first met, but as we got to know one another, she began to open up about her life and what ultimately brought her to the women’s shelter.
She explained the horrendous ways her ex-husband had treated her in their marriage, and there was one story that really affected me. She shared how her husband had held a weapon to her throat and said, “Where’s your God now?” I drove home in silence and couldn’t imagine how she must have felt. She had been abused physically, mentally, and even spiritually. I knew I had to help her somehow. I knew she was leaving the shelter soon and moving into her own apartment, and I also knew she owned practically nothing.
I reached out to friends and family and asked for clothing for her one-year-old son; instead, I received WAY more than just clothing. We were able to completely fill her apartment with needed items (cleaning products, kitchen essentials, toys, clothing, toiletries, bedroom pieces, gift cards for groceries). God put it on everyone’s hearts to help a stranger they had never met. When she was ready to leave the shelter, I delivered an entire SUV full of items for her, and when I opened the trunk, I said to her, “Here’s your God. It was God that made all of this happen. I had asked for only one thing and now you have everything you need to get started in your new life.” This mom’s entire demeanor changed. She was happy, confident, and even started talking with me about God. Not long after, she found a church near her new home and started attending regularly. Months later, she shared with me that receiving that help when she did completely changed her life.
Knowing that there were people in her corner and that she wasn’t alone in her situation was her true encouragement to keep going. It was because of this situation that Blessed Beginnings exists. I gathered those same friends together and asked them to help make this dream a reality. We want to be able to help more women leaving a shelter and give them a head start in their new beginning, We want them to have a true Blessed Beginning.
- Jordan Rentschler, founder of Blessed Beginnings