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Be a blessing, get a blessing in return – ministry blesses moms, mentors

by | Aug 25, 2023

Over 1,100 moms have been served through this outreach since it began 25 years ago. 

By Tabitha Goodling

Once a woman chooses life, she may doubt her ability to mother her child properly or just feel alone on this journey. Pregnancy centers can refer new moms to an agency where the ladies can learn more about being a parent in a one-on-one atmosphere.

The faith-based organization known as One by One Ministries is celebrating 25 years of ministry with locations in parts of Texas, Tennessee, and other locations in the Southern U.S.

Heather McCaskill is the executive director of the organization. She said the desire for the program and to encourage new moms came about from a desire of local churches in the San Antonion area. Some church ladies, she said, saw an increase in the number of teen girls dropping out of school due to pregnancy. 

“It’s not up to the government to help these girls. It’s up to the church,” McCaskill said. 

Mentors from churches were recruited trained to teach young women during a time when they may feel like they are not ready to be a parent.

Clients can be referred by churches, schools, or pregnancy centers.

In the early years, the clients met only in person with their mentors in locations such as churches or restaurants and went over material about newborns and basic parenting skills.

Today the opportunity is both in-person in the South as well as online across the country.

“Any mom can go online. And this can be any mom of any age or socio-economic background. She can be married, single, or divorced. She can have one child or two children or 10 kids,” McCaskill said. “We will match her with a mentor.”

McCaskill has mentored women over the years. 

She recalled a 19-year-old who chose motherhood for her unplanned pregnancy. The client had plans to attend college and had to halt those plans temporarily. The same client now has her master’s degree, and her child is in third grade, McCaskill said. 

She shared a story about a very different scenario in which one young woman was living in poverty while the father of her baby went to prison. The client was very appreciative of her time with McCaskill. However, McCaskill said, “I go into it to be a blessing and I got a blessing in return.”

McCaskill now works out of the corporate office, which is located in Memphis, Tenn. One by One services are currently offered in San Antonio, Dallas, Fort Worth, western Tennessee and northern Mississippi rural regions and Garden City, Kan. 

While some pregnancy centers offer classes and an ability to earn items in exchange for “baby bucks” or points for items, One by One is meant to assist those centers who do not have that option in-house. Participants are given diapers with each visit courtesy of diaper banks. During the Christmas season moms are treated to presents and gift cards.

Virtual clients have “blessing boxes” mailed to them as well.

The mission uses its own curriculum for an 18-month program, which begins prenatally. Each client is given a binder where she can store her worksheets as well as photo pages for a “baby book.” The mentors and moms meet once a month to catch up and interact with the material.

Over 1,100 moms have been served through this outreach since it began 25 years ago. 

“Parents need love and encouragement to do a good job as their babies’ first and best teachers,” A quote from the website states. “Babies need love and nurturing during this critical period of development—prenatal through three years of age. Meeting these needs is the purpose of One by One Ministries.”

McCaskill said the overall intent is to build relationships with women by fostering them through their parenting experience and ultimately demonstrating the heart of Christ. The vision statement for the organization states this clearly: All moms will accept God’s love and parent well so that children flourish.

All mentors must be at least 21 years old and active in their local churches. There is no cost to the mentor for the training process. Applications are available on the website: onebyoneusa.org.

Pregnancy centers or churches who would like to see One by One in their community can contact the organization HERE for more information.

Editor’s note. This appears at Pregnancy Help News and is reposted with permission.