Teresa LaForte-Scott wears many hats. I was fortunate to spend some time talking to her one afternoon, about life.
Teresa is a mother and wife, living in Southeast Kansas, where she was born and raised with ten siblings. She and her husband have three daughters and four grandchildren, along with two special needs sons, who were foster children and have since been adopted.
Teresa and her husband have a thrift store and furniture-type business called The Treasure Hunt in downtown Neodesha, Kansas. Opening the store was a way to be available to their special needs children.
Their sons are both in high school and their needs are great.
Teresa and her husband also have rental properties as a form of income and are working on opening a transitional facility for special needs individuals they will call Stepping Stones, in a vacant hospital building they already own. Their home is also still a foster home, where they may be called on at any time.
I can’t express how Teresa and her husband are always tapped in to the needs of their family and community.
One of their events is The Christmas Giveaway…
This is the fourth year, when children have been welcomed to come shop for free at their store, for gifts for their friends and family. The first year, they let parents shop, but some took advantage. The second year, children shop with parents for family, but there were still some issues. The third year, kids shop alone with a Treasure Hunt volunteer, parents drop them off with a list and it works great.
This fun time is usually attended by about a hundred kids. No one is turned away. Their gifts are also wrapped or they are helped in wrapping them and filling out Christmas cards for the recipients. They always need volunteers to walk around with the kids. It is held every year, the last weekend before Christmas, this year, Sat & Sunday… 17th/18th. Wrappers are always needed as well.
When I asked Teresa what advice she had for mothers compelled to find a way to stay home, she said, “We have to be creative. We have to juggle our lifestyles, much more than conventional parents. Being very flexible, with ‘other’ family, etc. Sometimes they have to come second.”
My daughter and I will be volunteering this year and anyone in Southeast Kansas is welcome to contact me to see about doing the same.