Feathers & Wings brings new hope for babies
The Feathers & Wings Foundation thrift shop in downtown Staunton offers diapers, clothes and many other household items for women and children at reasonable prices of under $5. Photo contributed by Margot Mantle.
By JACKSON WILSON
Enquirer Democrat Reporter
Diapers have and are still becoming a growing need for babies. One in three families struggle with purchases, or children are forced to wear them for too long which can lead to health problems like rashes, urinary tract infections and hepatitis.
This dilemma has caused mental health problems among new mothers. To make matters worse, the two major programs (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children) that aid low-income mothers do not cover diapers or even baby wipes.
Infants use more than 240 diapers per month on average, according to statistical research.
Margot Mantle knew something had to be done about this after one of her friends notified her of this concern during a lunch date.
At the start, the Worden native was involved in a small construction business while being a stay-at-home mother. Eventually, she wanted to reach out to communities through pro-life charity.
Mantle browsed between several options including adoption agencies and medical clinics but decided to go with a different gameplan to best fit her time management without going overboard from an emotional standpoint.
In addition to providing supplies of diapers to babies, Mantle decided to expand her spectrum toward women as well. She did so by opening a new thrift shop on Staunton’s Main Street called Feathers & Wings – a business name inspired by the Bible verse of Psalm 91:4.
“He will cover you with his feathers and under his wings you will find refuge.”
“I had a hard time coming up with names,” said Mantle. “Everything I tried was taken. So, I went online to see if I could find a domain name that was available. I tried hundreds and could not find anything. I pretty much quit for a couple of days and then that verse popped up on my Facebook newsfeed. Right then, I thought to myself that that name could definitely work.”
Mantle opened her new business May 21 and held a grand opening June 8.
Mantle has a variety of donation items available at prices of $5 or less including clothes, board games, dolls, movies, backpacks, books, breast pumps, pads, bottles and more.
Mantle will eventually be moving her business into the neighboring 211 building in order to free up more space for all of her merchandise.
“Once we get into the bigger space, I hope that everything will be easier to see and organize,” said Mantle. “I will have just finished re-organizing the original space and then kids will come in and start re-shuffling everything again. Of course, we will have room for more storage as well.”
Other future plans for Mantle include the installation of a diaper bank, transforming her organization into a 501(c) non-profit charity, providing parenting classes and duplicating her short-term goals in neighboring communities.
The ultimate objective for Feathers & Wings is the possible development of a group home in order to provide housing and educational support for mothers and their children further down the road.
“I don’t know exactly where we’re going to go yet, but we’re off to a pretty good start,” said Mantle.
Donations can be made during operation hours or at The Chirping Frog Antique Mall at 7479 State Route 4 in Worden on Interstate 55. The Chirping Frog is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For more information, visit www.feathersandwingsfoundation.com or the Feather & Wings Facebook page.