In her first year of teaching at Fort Osage High School, Senior English teacher Anne Farmer had six female students that became pregnant, and only two of them returned to school after their babies were born. In November 2006, 27 girls at Fort Osage High were either pregnant or already had children, and this number did not count the girls that had dropped out of school to care for their babies. Faced with this staggering need in their community, Baby Grace was founded at the Buckner United Methodist Church on November 16, 2006, by Anne Farmer and Juli Yocum. Designed as an outreach for teen mothers in the Fort Osage School District, the ministry quickly grew to support any young parents with children ages newborn to five in the greater Kansas City area.
In just over eight years, the Baby Grace Ministry has served over 1000 families around the Kansas City area with care packages, church camp scholarships, diapers, and a distribution center of new and gently used mother/baby items that are disbursed to Baby Grace families for free. The Buckner United Methodist Church hosts Baby Grace events on the Second Saturday of each month, handing out diapers, providing classes and programs, meals, and fellowship. Each summer, Baby Grace mothers and their children are sponsored to Baby Grace Camp.
Baby Grace is now also hosted at eleven other churches in Missouri, including Odessa, Turney/Lathrop, Higginsville, Boonville, Blue Springs, Lawson, Independence, Kansas City, Liberty, Raymore and Marshall. While each Baby Grace program may operate a little bit differently, each program shares the philosophy that every child, regardless of the circumstances that brought them into the world, deserves unconditional love and grace.