MORGAN COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – One teacher is putting the “Heart” in Hartselle. Emily Reeves went above and beyond to help her former student who is a new teen mom.
“She has so much on her plate more than any child should ever have to bear,” said Reeves.
Emily Reeves teaches at Hartselle High. She says when a former student did not show back up for school in the fall, she knew something was up.
“When she told me she was pregnant, I just knew that I wanted to help her and to get involved because I was a teen mom myself. I was fortunate enough to have a village that just poured into me and completely made all the difference for my daughter Anna. And so I knew it was my time to give back,” said Reeves.
Harlie, the new mom, had a lot of obstacles and needs. So Reeves asked for her permission to post on Facebook asking for donated baby items or money.
“I want to give her so much more than just I could give her alone and so I just put it out there… and so people just responded and I was completely blown away,” said Reeves.
The donations for the teen and her baby started pouring in.
“It was just it was so beautiful to see the village. People who don’t know her, some people who don’t know me or you know people who don’t know either of us… but just to see so many people just giving and wanting to help,” said Reeves.
Soon after that, Harlie’s mom passed away, and the financial burden fell on the teen.
“She called me and she said Mrs. Reeves can we use some of the money that was raised for Grayson, to pay for my mom’s cremation?” said Reeves.
Reeves says she told the teen no to that idea, but vowed to help her with the expenses.
“I posted just on my personal Facebook and Instagram that she had a $2,000 need if anyone wanted to contribute, and I just prayed to God that He would bless this would make people receptive to this… I mean I was blown away. I can’t remember exactly but I think it was 41 minutes after I posted, that all $2,000 had been raised so I mean, I cried,” recalled Reeves.
News 19 caught up with Harlie on the phone in between school and work. She says the money was donated by an anonymous giver directly to the funeral home. It was a huge relief.
“It was $2,200 that nobody was ready for. A lady went there and paid it in full and we didn’t have to use the donations. I was very thankful for that,” said Harlie.
And the last bucket list item Reeves was able to get the teen, a car.
“A car was really number one that’s being able to take him to daycare. That so you know he can go there while she can do her schoolwork. That’s just a whole higher quality of life,” said Reeves.
Reeves credits all of this to God and her community.
“All I have been in this whole process, I’ve been facilitator. It does not take much to say hey, here’s a need, I see it. I want to help, can you help contribute?” said Reeves.
Now, Harlie is doing virtual school and working to provide for her baby with big plans for the future. She hopes to have a career in the medical field.
“I know what I want to be when I get out of high school and I kind of have a plan about that,” said Harlie.
Both Emily and Harlie hope this story inspires people to try to make a difference.
“I have had countless people give money and go above and beyond for her and for this situation. I just want to encourage other people to be that light and to do their part and we really can make a difference and we can change lives,” said Reeves.
“Thank you, really from the bottom of my heart, thank you. It helped a lot,” said Harlie.
Reeves oversees a savings account for Harlie and baby Grayson. She says it’s all the acts of kindness that have created a safety net for the teen’s future.
If you would like to contribute, there is a GoFundMe set up online.