Memphis, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – The 30-year-old woman you’re about to meet has gone on 19 mission trips. But upon returning to Memphis, she started connecting with Bluff City children who were living with homelessness, extreme poverty, or incarcerated parents. And now each day, she gives them a nest to call home away from home. Local 24 News Weeknight Anchor Katina Rankin has this local good news.
“Children are like arrows in the hands of a warrior. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full,” recites Arrows Nest Memphis Director Mary Katherine Hill.
That’s Psalms 127:3-5. And Mary Katherine Hill’s quiver is definitely full. She runs the nonprofit, Arrows Nest Memphis, where she has an open door policy for children to have a safe place to play when school’s out for the day.
“I met a homeless mother who was 23 that had six kids, and she had grown up in the foster system. And through getting to know their family, I saw a whole ‘nother side of Memphis that I didn’t know existed,” said Hill.
So Mary Katherine picked up and moved from her middle class suburb to this North Memphis neighborhood.
“At least two days a week, I do dinner and block parties for the neighborhood, so I have anywhere from 20 to 40 kids in the backyard hanging out,” said Hill.
Jeremiah and SkyBlue are two of the young teens that ‘hang out’.
“She makes sure everybody good around the neighborhood. Like, if we need anything, we can just go to her if we need it, and she’ll get it for us,” said neighborhood teen Jeremiah Suggs.
That’s only part of the reason the children admire her.
“Her personality and the things she just do for the kids. Like, she’ll risk her life for a kid, and that’s what I love,” said neighborhood teen SkyBlue Thomas.
Mary Katherine says the need is so great, she can’t do it alone.
“The greatest need right now is volunteers. We need a lot of volunteers and mentors for these kids,” said Hill. “The relationships are what last a long time. We can give out money and gifts but that only goes so far. All the kids that come in and out of my house when they leave – they paint an arrow. And I tell them I can send them out into the world knowing that they’ve experienced the love of God.”