SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - For many women, an unexpected pregnancy can be anything but a blessing.
They find themselves in a crisis situation.
The Living Vine Christian maternity home in Savannah is one of the few places for girls and women in the region.
Since 1996, it has been a safe haven for more than 350 girls and women when they've had nowhere else to turn.
"A lot of times they have gone from pillar to post and burned their bridges and the families have said enough is enough. The family say I'm done. We should never be done. People always deserve a second chance and that's what we keep giving them. They come in with, in many instances, with no hope. They are distraught. They are depressed as if they don't feel like they belong. So we come alongside them very gently and just let them know there is a hope. We let them know we can do this together. It is a step-by-step process," said Brenda Render, resident director, Living Vine.
Once girls arrive at the Living Vine, they'll be taken care of with everything they need from their meals, shelter, education, medical care and a chance to learn about child care, financial management, how to find a job and a whole lot more.
"We are so honored we have an opportunity to put some hope in their lives and to give them that hope for their future, " added Paula Kinard, Living Vine public relations director.
One of their residents, a 15-year-old unwed mother who wants to remain anonymous, spent many months at the Living Vine. Even though she didn't want to be identified, she says the program saved her life.
"I think I'm going to be able to go back to school when I leave here and get my high school diploma. I no longer believe I am just going down the drain. If I would've stayed home, I feel like I would've gone in the wrong direction with other people and still would be around that environment instead of coming here and being in a different environment. I have hope for the future for me and my baby now thanks to the people here at the Living Vine," she said.
That's the message the staff hopes all residents learn and take with them for a lifetime.
"We want them to leave with a different perspective. We want them to know no matter what has happened in the past no matter how many mistakes they've made how much abuse they have suffered, remember how much room thinking has been we want them to know that God loves them and adores them. They are valuable as a human being, they are valuable as a woman, and they are something to be treasured not to be used not to be in the trash. We want them to have a whole different perspective on their trued value in the hope of their calling and living check to check," explained Paula Kinard, public relations director, The Living Vine.
Words we can all live by.
The Living Vine has been doing great work for nearly 20 years. It is funded solely through donations and its new thrift store called Blessingdale's, a 9,400 square foot store.
It offers everything from baby clothing, ladies and men's clothes, linens, furniture and china, but more new items than old.
It's located at 6 Television Circle in Savannah.
To learn more about the Living Vine, Blessingdale's and how you can contribute, click here.