When Anne Keene first bought her home in Woodbury 15 years ago, she never imagined it would one day become a marketplace for mothers in her community. This marketplace looks a bit different than what you may expect. There is no cash registers or exchange of money. Everything is free.
Each week, Keene delivers diapers, strollers and more to mothers in need. She has delivered to anywhere from the next neighborhood to St. Louis Park. (Deliveries are currently limited to St. Paul/east Metro areas.) Her home is a one stop-shop for drop-offs and pick-ups—and has been since fall 2020.
“I have long had a heart for moms in a hard situation [and] moms experiencing unplanned pregnancy,” she says. “I can only imagine how scary it may be when you don’t know where your next resource will be.”
The name of the organization, Delivering Hope: An Empowering Motherhood Ministry, is a play on words of “maternal delivery.” Keene says its mission is, “To walk alongside someone who is struggling, and empower the community to come together.”
Keene and her husband, Luke, alongside her friend, Lauryl, make five to 10 trips each month, several of these being recurring deliveries. There are approximately 15 pick-ups per month, too. On average, she receives six donations per week. She does all the coordinating through her curated Facebook group page, Delivering Hope: An Empowering Motherhood Ministry.
“If someone posts they’re in need of infant clothing and I have some in our inventory, I ask them to send me a message, and we go from there,” Keene says. “Our front doorstep is [filled with] bags, so I’m thankful for our neighbors being patient, as well.”
Woodbury resident Rachel Schuehle was looking for a place to donate outgrown children’s items and found Keene on Facebook in 2021. Schuehle has watched the growth of Delivering Hope and is a contributor, often frequenting Keene’s front porch.
“Her door is a welcome place and a physical representation of paying it forward,” Schuehle says.
Keene started Delivering Hope after being inspired by a similar organization called Kaitlyn’s Kloset, which is based in Eagan. She initially partnered with that organization before branching out on her own.
“I felt this tug of God being like, ‘You can do something,’” she says. “I can’t imagine how hard it is when you have kids and you don’t know where your next meal is going to come from.”
In just three years, she has touched hundreds of moms in need and inspired many to donate unused items to struggling mothers. “If [you] are willing to clean out your kids’ closet or get rid of some items that you don’t need anymore, it can really make a difference,” Keene says.
Schuehle testifies, acknowledging Keene’s “unmatched ability” to serve struggling moms by mentally absorbing the needs of others and responding.
“If a mom mentions their baby needs a certain formula, she will retain that info and offer it to them when she gets some,” she says. “If a baby needs spring clothes in the next size up, she meticulously combs her supply or asks for donations to ensure that baby is clothed.”
Keene’s impact is deeper than the layers of items sitting in her garage. Delivering Hope has been the turning page for those fleeing domestic abuse in recent months, as well.
“There was one mom who was fleeing a domestic situation,” she says. “We just felt this nudge on our heart to help her more, so we [helped] her with rent, so she could focus on going back to school.”
Today, Keene receives photos from women she has crossed paths with and watched as their little ones have grown.
Facebook: Delivering Hope: An Empowering Motherhood Ministry