It doesn't matter where you are right now, because a lot of people struggle. As long as you keep focused on where you're trying to go, you'll be OK.
This is the message single mother Nachelle Brown, 26, of Oklahoma City hopes to teach her four daughters, all under 7, and eventually, the baby she's expecting in December.
Brown and her family are among the hundreds of people who have been touched by the generosity of Lisa Miller-Baldwin and the Wonderfully Made Foundation since she founded the organization in 2007.
Just a few months ago, Brown and her four girls were evicted from her apartment and found themselves couch-hopping, staying with friends and family.
She didn't have a car, so transportation for her large family was tough — city buses were her ride. She hadn't graduated from high school and, without a job, paying for bus fare for herself and children was a stretch.
“I was in a place where I was ready to give up,” Brown said. She felt hopeless and afraid that she'd end up on the street. “It's hard with four kids, small kids at that.”
So when she heard that there was an opening at the Wonderfully Made Homeless Home, Brown didn't waste a second. She was on the other side of town from the home so she jumped on a bus, then walked the last couple of miles to claim her family's spot.
“It was that serious to me because she finally had an opening and it was kind of like that was where I needed to be,” Brown said. “I didn't want to go to the rescue mission or anything like that with my children.”
So Miller-Baldwin moved Brown and her girls into the little four-bedroom, two-bath home that was Miller-Baldwin's home during adolescence. There, about four women plus a passel of their children live, elbow to elbow, but relieved that they are safe from the circumstances that brought them there.
“One of the things I have noticed in serving what some would call at-risk families, or families living below poverty guidelines, is that they need support systems,” Miller-Baldwin said. That's one thing she works to provide the women she serves. With her extensive connections to other nonprofit agencies, faith-based programs and the services she provides for the people in her fold, Miller-Baldwin offers a wealth of support.
“She takes us one-on-one and finds out what our needs are and what we want to do. She tries to see where we want to go,” Brown said. “She's a straight shooter, too.”
She offers the women educational opportunities such as life skills counseling, job readiness, credit repair and budgeting classes through the Pathways to Success program. At the Wonderfully Made Foundation's new headquarters at 2001 Martin Luther King, Miller-Baldwin runs a Wonderfully Yours Clothing Closet to provide for not just the people she serves through her programs, but for anyone in need.
For information about the foundation, go to www.