About My Sister’s Keeper
My Sister’s Keeper, a brand new 20-bed facility, opened in 2022 on the west side of Owensboro.
For the last couple of years, Executive Director, Angel Welsh, has been working behind the scenes to make this dream a reality. My Sister’s Keeper will fill an incredibly important void here in Owensboro-Daviess County.
The mission of the shelter is specific and impactful:
My Sister’s Keeper Emergency Shelter mission is to improve the lives of women and children of all ages experiencing homelessness by providing emergency shelter, basic temporary needs, safety, support, education, tools and resources that empower them to improve the quality of their lives, help to equip them with the skills to achieve self-sufficiency, and build safe, secure lives.
Angel serves as Executive Director for My Sister’s Keeper and she has assembled an excellent Board of Directors to help oversee operations and game plan for future of the facility. By the way, just for the record, Angel isn’t leaving the radio station. The Board of Directors is comprised of Allyson Sanders (President), Blake Templeton (Treasurer), Cheri Searcy, Adam Johnston, Angie Ditch and Hannah Witherspoon.
– Our Board –
Angel was born in Christian County, Kentucky but calls Owensboro home. She moved around 13 times before landing here in Daviess County. She grew up a dance and pageant girl and discovered a love for sports (soccer mainly) somewhere in the middle of it all. She is a graduate of Kentucky Wesleyan College where she played soccer, cheered, and received her Bachelor’s Degree in Education.
Angel has worked in both the Daviess County and Owensboro Public School Systems. She also worked for many years for the City of Owensboro in the Parks Department as a supervisor over Youth Programming and Leadership.
She has a passion for serving Owensboro-Daviess County and the tri-state area in a variety of ways from volunteering with numerous non-profit organizations and events, to being an active member of local advisory councils and committees. She currently serves on the board of directors for the Owensboro Family YMCA, on her church leadership board in the Marriage Ministry, she sits on event committees for St. Vincent De Paul, and is part of the Homeless Coalition of the Ohio Valley.
Angel is the founder and Executive Director for My Sister’s Keeper and says the shelter was not her dream it was a calling. She knows it is her purpose to serve women and children and help them to get to a better place in life. When she was younger she was raised by a single mother who worked multiple jobs to make ends meet. She remembers struggling and wants to meet others right where they are at and help them thrive.
Allyson Sanders came to Owensboro to attend Kentucky Wesleyan College, from Paducah, KY. It was a KWC she met and married her college sweetheart Marshall Sanders. After graduating in 2005 with a B.S. in Communication Arts, they settled in Owensboro to raise their youngest daughters, Amari and Analea.
Service is Allyson’s passion. As a Director of Sales, Marketing & Experiential Learning at Owensboro Community and Technical College’s Workforce Solutions division, Ally serves by helping enhance lives through educational attainment and employment. She also serves through her membership on the YMCA Board, KWC Alumni board, the Neblett Center’s Initiative Western Academy steering committee, as well as volunteering at Dugan Best, Habitat for Humanity board, My Sisters Keeper board chair, former Cumberland Presbyterian Church’s Youth Director, 2020 Leadership graduate and Leadership Class Member of the year2020, 2021-22 Civic Leadership participant and in 2019 opened a local business The Party Space Place, LLC a micro venue dedicated to providing the community with a unique event space.
From the moment Angel first introduced the idea of bringing an emergency women’s shelter to Owensboro Allyson was all in. With a heart for service and a passion for seeing people reach their potential, taking part in this project was a no brainer. MSK, although branded as a women’s shelter is so much more, going beyond just being a “hot & cot” space, MSK is providing women and children with the resources to go beyond just a single night of safety but the goal is to provide them with enough to sustain a lifetime of self-sufficiency and support.
Blake Templeton was born and raised in Lexington, KY. She attended Western Kentucky University where she met her college sweetheart, Chris Templeton. Blake graduated with a degree in Public Relations from Western Kentucky University and started her career in Louisville, KY where she lived with her husband and children until they relocated to Owensboro in 2012. Blake and Chris are proud parents to their three children Palmer (15), Annie (13) and Chandler (10).
Blake has been in the financial services industry for the last 18 years. Blake currently works at German American Bank as a mortgage loan originator where she prides herself on helping people achieve their dreams of home ownership. She loves getting to help people day in and day out with their financial goals. Blake also serves on the board of The Hub Kentucky a one-stop recovery community organization for all addiction and recovery resources serving Daviess and surrounding counties. When Blake is not working or serving on a board you can find her at the ball field watching her children play soccer and performing dance routines!
When Angel first told Blake the idea of the women’s shelter she immediately knew she wanted to be a part of the impact this shelter would have on the community, women and children the shelter would serve. Blake knows that My Sisters Keeper will go beyond just providing a safe bed to woman and children at night. My Sisters Keeper will provide, love, encouragement and resources while collaborating with others in the community to help these families move beyond the shelter to live their best lives and re-integrate back into the community.
Adam Johnston was born and raised right here in the great OBKY. Adam graduated from Owensboro Catholic High School and then went on to earn his Associates, Bachelors, and Masters Degrees. Adam has since retired from the Owensboro Police Department after 20 years of service. Adam has now joined the team at Precision Products as a Forensic Specialist.
Adam is the proud father is three kids, Ella, Aiden, and Reese. He is an active member of Immaculate Parish, a graduate of Leadership Owensboro 2018, and also owner operator of Blue Line Entertainment. Adam also volunteers on the Vision Committee for Puzzle Pieces.
I decided to be a part of MSK because I am always looking for ways to make a difference. In my 20 years of law enforcement experience I saw first-hand the presence of homelessness in our community and the lack of resources available. I feel like I bring something different to the table as well. Another reason I decided to join MSK is because honestly with a face like Angel’s, who could say no?
The sky is the limit when it comes to what MSK can do for this community. I am excited to see what difference we can make and how the community can come together. Together we all can make a difference.
Lori Thurman is the Development Officer for Girls Incorporated. She taught social studies at Owensboro High School for 28 years where she was department chair, gifted specialist, and National Honor Society sponsor. Lori has attended the Owensboro Salvation Army for 30 years where she is the Corps Sergeant Major, Sunday school teacher, and brass band member. Lori has been married to Todd Thurman for 21 years , and they have two children, Max (19) and Gracie (15).
Lori currently assists My Sister’s Keeper with grant writing and fundraising. For the past three years, Lori has led the Salvation Army Can-TEEN homeless feeding ministry and seen firsthand the numbers of women and children who are living on the streets of Owensboro. “I am so excited for the shelter to open and meet the needs of women in our community. MSK’s mission aligns with my calling to love my neighbor.”
Hi! My name is Mary Higginbotham and I am a proud board member of My Sister’s Keeper (MSK). I currently work full time for the University of Kentucky and have been employed with UK for 9 years. Previously I worked at the Daviess County Cooperative Extension Service and have been involved in various aspects of community leadership and volunteering. I am very passionate about working with local individuals and families in need especially in the areas of substance use recovery, homelessness and family/parenting development and stability.
I have been married to my husband, Dayne Higginbotham, for 15 years and we have two sons – Parker (14) and Tate (10). We spend a lot of time doing ALL the travel sports with our kiddos.
I am extremely excited to be a part of MSK and the mission to help women and children in our local community. The passion of our board members is something I love and I cannot wait to see the success and impact this shelter will have in our community.
Angie has been the Community Services Manager for Audubon Area Community Services since 2001.