A new ministry in Red River Parish will begin on Friday, October 20, 2023; a support
group for mothers or other women who are primary caregivers to children who have special
needs. The group will meet at Fairview Baptist Church at 6:00 pm to get to know each other and
discuss future plans.
Raylie Hardy, one of the founding members of the ministry, explains that the group will
be focused on educating, equipping, and supporting women as they navigate special needs
Raylie Hardy is mother to 11 year old McKenna, who was diagnosed with a
chromosomal deletion disorder shortly after birth. Hardy explains that “parenting a child with
special needs can often be a terrifying and altogether lonely journey.” According to Hardy,
“Therapy appointments, hospital stays, and the complexities of navigating medical and
education systems often leave mothers feeling inadequate and exhausted. Mothers of children
with special needs face many obstacles that other mothers may not understand.”
Hardy hopes this group will help mothers of children with special needs find empathy
and community support.
From Raylie’s perspective, mothers of children with special needs can often find it
challenging to attend church regularly, and are also in need of spiritual discipleship. She hopes
the group can help women draw closer to Christ as well. Moving forward, Hardy hopes to
collaborate with different area churches who could support the group by hosting the meeting
and providing a meal for the mothers.
Raylie hopes mothers or other women who are primary caretakers to a child with special
needs can attend the meeting and meet other women who are also navigating the special needs
journey: “We can find strength, hope, wisdom, and encouragement from each other.”
If you would like to attend the meeting, this is the link to RSVP:
Written by founding member and fellow “special needs” mom: Traci Schmidley