The Salvation Army launches ‘Bundle of Hope Room’ to help expecting mothers in Northeast Florida

By: Brad Rowland

In response to a nuanced need in the community and with the help of two local donors, The Salvation Army of Northeast Florida recently created the “Bundle of Hope Room” to provide a safe haven for expecting mothers. The room, housed within the Towers Center of Hope in downtown Jacksonville, is designed and furnished to cater to the specific needs of pregnant women, both from a comfort and logistical standpoint.

Beyond the accommodations, The Salvation Army is investing in case management for expecting mothers, including the goal to find and obtain permanent housing that is both safe and secure. Other case management services, including but not limited to counseling, fellowship and care for substance abuse, are offered to those in need, and the room can comfortably house up to two women at a time.

Two donors, David A. Baker and William Reid, helped to spearhead the project, and Reid was born in a Salvation Army home for mothers in Kansas City. With that background, Reid sought to aid young mothers in Jacksonville. Unfortunately, Reid passed away in late November, prior to the opening of the facility, though the dedication and opening was attended by his wife, Gayle, and daughter, Jenni Reid Smith.

“Bill always had a soft spot in his heart for the Salvation Army,” said Gayle Reed. “We were pleasantly surprised and are deeply grateful for the Baker family’s matching donation and for the incredible job that The Salvation Army’s team did in putting this generosity to such beautiful use.”

Baker and his family are passionate about helping young mothers as well, and his contributions were key in the construction of the room.

“We want to thank God for this blessing, as well as David A. Baker and William D. Reid for their inspiring generosity,” said Major Keath Biggers, area commander. “The Bundle of Hope Room will be a source of love and encouragement for years to come and we cannot wait to serve new mothers in need.”

Gayle Reid (right) and Jenni Reid Smith (left)

David and Mary Anne Baker