TYLER, Texas — When it comes to reproductive rights, Texas has one of the strictest abortion laws in the nation.
Texas also tops the nation when it comes to teen moms giving multiple births during their teenage years.
An organization in East Texas called Young Life is looking for more volunteers to help teen moms around the area.
Former teen mom Miricale Ray shares her story on how the organization changed her life.
"Someone in Young Life told me, we're all a beautiful hot mess, and I just live by that," Ray said. "Just speaking for myself, at some point, I was just lost. I looked to men for that comfort. That's how I kind of fell off into having two children."
Beautiful, and just beginning to find their way in a complicated world.
Young Life is a faith-based organization that helps teen moms find their footing.
And, beyond the spiritual, the organization provides young mothers furniture, diapers and other necessities without judgement.
"Young Life was started in the 90s at the height of teen pregnancy in the United States," Tyler Young Life Coordinator Kyrie Price said. "We are here in your backyard, in Tyler's backyard. We need people who want to serve desperately. We need people who are passionate about young moms and teen moms and wants to come alongside them as mentors and get to know them on a peer to peer level."
That mentorship is making for meaningful relationships at a critical time in life.
"It's like something to look forward to," Ray said. "These people, they're there contact you to check up on you, they're giving you diapers, and all of this different stuff. They care and I'm grateful for them."
Grateful that someone was there in her time of need.
A promise that Young Life extends to all teen moms.
"No matter what kind of instance you're coming from, you're not going to receive judgment from us," Price said. "Just love and care."
Young Life is located at 120 S. Broadway Ave. in Tyler. You can contact them at (903) 526-0550.