Ashlee Hackney ‘Pays it Forward’ for teen moms

Susan EspirituKarns/Hardin Valley, Our Town Neighbors

Ashlee Hackney with Momma D and Baby C

“Pay it forward” is the idea that one creates a chain reaction of kindness and generosity, where each person who receives help pays it forward to someone else. Ashlee Hackney had that feeling of purpose in 2021 when a special family friend became pregnant at the young age of 17. Having a similar experience, Ashlee understood the fear, loneliness and endless questions that come from being a young mom, but Ashlee said, “I wanted her to know she is loved and chosen by a Heavenly Father who chose her specifically to be a mom to her sweet boy.”

Despite a scary pregnancy, the young mom and 18-month-old son are doing very well and she is a wonderful mother. However, the story only begins there, because what Ashlee says, “I did not expect that during her pregnancy, God began flooding me with other young moms from different connections. I quickly realized how great the need is for girls to have someone to love on them and point them in the right direction during these critical months of pregnancy and first becoming a mom.”

So, now Ashlee leads a ministry for pregnant teens, foster moms and local moms in need of help in this season of their lives. Through a generous network, she is able to offer girls support and connect them to resources that range from diapers, clothing, nursery furniture and more. Partnering with ministries from local churches, C.O.N.N.E.C.T Ministries and CareCuts of Knoxville, they are able to structure care plans and expand the opportunities available to these women.

She says, “Every situation is unique. I’ve had the opportunity to assist women who just need encouragement, unsheltered families, women fighting substance abuse, and moms as young as 14 years old.”

Ashlee adds, “I think the greater story here is not anything I have done myself but the community God has surrounded me with to meet the needs of these women. Without a doubt, I am unable to do anything without the many donations from our community. Many times, I don’t even know where the donations come from. I’ll come home from the grocery store to find boxes of diapers and wipes or clothing at my front door.”

The “pay it forward” has not stopped with Ashlee as she says that many of the moms who have benefitted from this ministry are now giving back by regifting to other moms. She says observing the transformation in people who have received help in their most difficult time is incredible, because they want to pass along the help they have received.

Ashlee reiterates how humbling it is to serve others and offers her number and email to anyone interested in donating either their time or resources: 865-643-4663 or 

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