Below is a little story of how giving to our Dollar-A-Day (DAD) program is directly impacting the lives of kids in the communities in which Living Hope works. We thank all our DAD supporters for their faithful and generous giving!
Vanessa (name changed) comes from the community of Mountain View and is one of six (6) kids in her family. Like many, she comes from a female headed household as her father left the family when she was young. As she and her twin sister began their involvement in the Mountain View kids clubs our Life Skill Educators began to build a relationship with them and understand some of the challenges they faced. With many things lacking in their lives, food was constantly one of them. At the age of 13, Vanessa took on many family responsibilities including working small weekend jobs to help put food on the table for the family. But in the midst of all these challenges her prioritization of her school work didn’t waiver as she continued to pursue her education.
As her mother grew sick and her responsibilities increased she reached out to our Life Skill Educators to talk. At the time she didn’t even have a uniform for school, but our Life Skills staff was able to help and secured uniforms, stationary and other items for her and several siblings. As food was a constant struggle she also asked for left over sandwiches for their family’s supper which staff was able to provide.
As our staff continued to work with Vanessa and encourage her, she began to volunteer at our holiday clubs. Unfortunately, life was still difficult as her mother remained ill and she had responsibilities of weekend work and care of her siblings. As she contemplated dropping out of school to ease some of the burden her mother called our Life Skill Educators for support. As our staff rallied around her they were able to continue to encourage her, to love her, to pray with her and to let her know that a network of support was behind her.
In 2013, we all celebrated as she became our first teen from the Mountain View community to matriculate (graduate) high school with a bachelor’s degree giving her the marks needed to continue her studies at the next level! In understanding the walk God has had with her through these tough times Vanessa is first volunteering at a Christian camp in order to give back before looking at her next step of studying to become a social worker.
We are so proud of Vanessa and blessed to have been a part of the successful journey she is on.