“Love you ladies just as my own family. What you do has impacted my life in such a way I could never repay. You truly have helped save my life as well as my family and my future. This is a beautiful thing you ladies are doing. Hoping one day my daughter and I can follow in your footsteps. True inspiration!!!!! Xoxo”
The above is a message we received from a very special woman that we have been working with for some time now and who has inspired this week’s blog post! In fact, truth be told, SHE has inspired and motivated us into action from day one; HERS is the face we envision when directing our efforts. Her story begins with childhood trauma which sadly, then leads to years of domestic abuse and addiction; thankfully that is NOT where it will end! Today she is sober, healthy and well on her way to living the kind of life she deserved all along, one that is safe, happy and full of love. She has a beautiful new baby, is a fantastic Mom, takes art classes, and now hopes to return to school to work in addictions services.
I feel certain that if I could clearly articulate to you the depths of despair that this brave, resilient lady has clawed her way back from then each and every one of you reading this will want to get involved; I am just not sure that is possible.
But….picture this scenario; you have once again been beaten by a man who says he loves you, abandoned by a family, that had all but given up on you, and most of your current “friends” are in the same boat as you.
You have no resources, nowhere to go and no way to get there. What do you do?
That is what she has endured AND survived!
Which I am sure, she would say is partially due to the fact someone finally cared enough to support and love her through her journey!
My heart literally sings each time she proudly tells me of a new accomplishment or relays a story of something wonderful she did with her children! Seriously folks if I could bottle that feeling I would gladly share it with you all; it so warms my soul!
“I just wanted to thank you again for helping me, by giving me that grocery card, I am so excited to go to the grocery store when my son gets back here. I cannot tell you how much that means to me, but I promised your daughter that someday when things get straightened out for me, I will pay it forward to you. I don’t forget anything folks do for me (that’s how we were raised), and this means more than you will ever know. God bless you both, thank you again for putting a smile on my face, where the tears were yesterday.”
We gave her a $50.00 grocery card. She was “excited” to be able to get food folks….FOOD.
This woman is disabled, barely surviving on what little she receives in disability payments AND WANTS TO HELP US HELP OTHERS….Oh my heart!
Then there is the family who survived a horrible car accident a few years ago that claimed the lives of two children who asked only for some “fresh fruits & veggies” to help get them through ‘til payday; Mom will begin school at UNB in the fall and begin life anew.
Or how about the single Mom of two children, one of which is autistic that just needs a few hours of respite care per week to get to the gym; she has lost 100lbs plus in the past year in order to be, as she put it “the best Mom I can be” for my children!
These are just a few examples of WHO we are helping; these are the people the grocery cards, money, furniture and other resources our community has so graciously given are going to help! They are NOT strangers, they are our neighbors, our friends and at some point or another have or will be US!
While writing this blog I received a heartwarming email from the sister of a lady we have been working with and come to find out I had also spoken to her NBCC-Human Services class last September! I did the Oprah “ugly” cry while reading it…true story!
She thanked us, of course, but more importantly said this…
“For years I wasn’t at the place to give back, but I always tried my best. With the tools I’ve learned while in school, I hope to someday be able to do a whole lot more, for not only my own loved ones, but for our entire community. It is people like you, who make people like me see why giving back is so important.
Well, sweet Erica, it is people like YOU and your sister that make us want to do more, give more and just be better human beings! Thank-you for that ❤
Lots of exciting stuff coming up and we will keep you all posted! We sincerely ask that you please continue to support Linking Lives in our efforts to make our community a healthier, stronger & more inclusive one for us all…One Link at a Time! Thanks
“When one neighbor helps another, we strengthen our communities.” -Jennifer Pahlka
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