Mary’s Helping Hands is joining the pro-life force 

Mary's Helping HandsSometimes the most beautiful blessings are born at inconvenient times.

Mary’s Helping Hands is one of those blessings.

Lauren Burke and Carissa Wright (above), co-founders of Mary’s Helping Hands, are both mothers right in the thick of things. Crying babies. Short nights. Older kids’ activities. Laundry and more laundry. It can be exhausting. Any average person would say, “let your kids grow up a bit before starting a non-profit organization.”

Not Lauren and Carissa. They couldn’t ignore the overwhelming sense that the Holy Spirit was leading them to serve underprivileged women experiencing unplanned pregnancies.

In their research, Lauren and Carissa realized that many mothers are done with their baby items and looking for a good place to donate them. So, with their kids in tow and a handful of volunteers, they led a donation drive at Sacred Heart in West Des Moines. A few cars turned into several and before they knew it, the parish center was full of all things baby: piles of all sizes of baby clothes, bottles, nursing gear, diaper bags, maternity clothes, books, toys, and the list goes on.

Mary’s Helping Hands was born. Starting in the homes of Lauren and Carissa, they quickly realized that they needed more space. They found a storage unit. More and more donations came in. That one storage unit quickly turned into 4 storage units. 

Mary’s Helping Hands started serving mothers in our community on April 15th, 2021. Since that day, they have been able to serve over 220 mothers, 240 babies, and 50 toddlers. Over 17,000 items have been given free of charge, no strings attached.

Lauren explains what she sees first hand: “The needs are extreme. Many of the women who are coming to us for help are homeless and they have nothing. They are living in extreme poverty and are desperate for any help. We are just seeing the tip of the iceberg, there’s so many more women out there that haven’t heard about us yet. It’s the most humbling experience of my life. Mary’s Helping Hands is the answer for finding the help these women need and deserve.” 

Mary’s Helping Hands goes far beyond the physical needs of the women they serve. Each and every woman that reaches out is given the respect and dignity they deserve. Their mission statement is: “We provide hope, love and support for expecting mothers who may need a helping hand with basic needs for their child’s first years of life.” Some of the women who ask for help have no support system. Mary’s Helping Hands is there for them in difficult times, providing an ear to listen, a heart to love, and prayers to strengthen.  

It is true, the timing of Mary’s Helping Hands may not have been ideal for Lauren and Carissa, but their “yes” to Christ has led to an amazing blessing in our community. It’s a good reminder to not wait for that perfect time in our lives. Go ahead, accept those beautiful blessings at inconvenient times and see the glorious creations of God! 

For more information on Mary’s Helping Hands, visit the website at: or email