The Treehouse seeks to transform the lives of mothers and children with God’s love and genuine personal care. The vision of the Treehouse is to foster the well-being of women and their newborn babies by supplying basic necessities and offering programs supporting their growth and development.
The Treehouse is the Orthodox Christian community of Wichita responding to the needs of an underserved population: women who have given birth following a crisis pregnancy. Fr. Paul O’Callaghan, Dean of St. George Cathedral, describes the imperative for the ministry this way: “Critics say that Christians condemn abortion but do nothing for women who keep their babies. The Treehouse refutes that claim. It is the Church practicing what it preaches, that every human life is sacred. When it was time for us to take our Faith beyond the walls of our Cathedral, God brought forth a vision for going forward. The Treehouse is the result.” Bishop Basil of the Diocese of Wichita sums up the importance of The Treehouse as follows: “ Scripture tells us to be ‘doers of the word, and not hearers only’ The Treehouse is Holy Orthodoxy doing that here in the Heartland and inspiring others wherever its wonderful story is told. It deserves our support – both by our prayers and by our financial contributions – and it is worthy of replication in others areas where Orthodox Christian congregations are found.”
Women are referred to The Treehouse from several agencies that deal with crisis pregnancy and family problems. The Treehouse follows up on the work of crisis pregnancy centers by serving the mother and child after the baby is born. Typically, a woman comes to Treehouse after recently having her baby. A Treehouse staff member conducts an initial interview, introduces the new mom to The Treehouse facilities and services and gives her a layette gift. The mom then is eligible to return and shop in the thrift store. Moms are also invited to participate in one of the weekly fellowship groups.
The moms and their babies are the life-blood of The Treehouse. An important aspect of the ministry is upholding them in the midst of their daily struggles. Drug and alcohol abuse, sexual abuse, abusive relationships, legal problems and incarceration, financial hardships, unemployment, and spiritual poverty are all too common. Besides agency referrals and the material assistance we offer, they are supported with prayer, heartfelt listening, and godly counsel.
The Treehouse commenced its ministry in January 2002 and to date has changed over 300,000 diapers! The sustainability of our mission is dependent on our donors, we receive no federal funding. If you are interested in learning more about us, or would like to make a contribution, please visit www.wichitatreehouse.com or our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/supportthetreehouse.
Lee Ann Vandervort is the Executive Director of The Treehouse. To contact The Treehouse, email: [email protected]