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I am so grateful to Pearl for helping me get on the road to self-sufficiency. I was spending three to four hours a day on the bus with two young children. Between school drop-off and pick-up times, and the time spent in a bus line, I was looking for a couple part-time jobs with the hope of one of them allowing me to work at home during the evenings.
Being on a single-mom schedule, my options were very limited, and I was losing hope that I would ever be able to work and support my family. Then the flood hit and I felt even more discouraged – doing the math, there was no way I could earn enough through my employment to pay for rent, childcare, healthcare and food costs while being dependent on the bus.
At one point, I considered not working as hard, and instead just claiming disability and learning to be content with food stamps, rental, medical and childcare assistance. But then PEARL gave me hope that it is possible to be successful like other single moms in their programs. Now with new motivation, encouragement and a car received through the PEARL Transportation program, a whole new world of possibilities opened up for me: I now have a full-time job that pays my expenses, I started graduate school, and both of my children are in the same school with an after-school program.
Thank you to PEARL for the opportunity to reach my goal of being self-sufficient.
My parents quietly provided food, shelter, rent money, and love to hundreds of people with various needs in my hometown community throughout their lives. I promised God I would give back to others when my family was grown as a means of serving Him & honoring my parents. In addition, the only legacies I want to leave my own daughters are serving God and caring for others. It is because of these reasons that I volunteer at Kid’s Hope. The child I mentor, and her family are the added blessings I receive. Weekly she brings to me a fresh perspective of a young life in a very complicated blended family. My appreciation for her mom’s struggles and decisions opens my narrowly focused life to the ‘real’ world folks around us are experiencing. Their struggles provide topics of prayer and ideas for campaigning for needs for her family. I am realistic and understand my influence will not change or alter her life. But God can. It is my job to supply the opportunity for Him to speak to her heart.”
I became a single parent when my husband of 7 years abruptly left for his longtime affair. My son, Rob was just 18 months old and my daughter, Samantha, had just turned 3. I was left without family close to support me, and shortly after, I began attending LifeBridge Christian Church’s Single Moms Group.
There are many struggles a single mom faces and debt was my challenge. Though I was blessed to hold a decent job, the refinance of our home, left me in a tight predicament. Though I was struggling to provide what my children needed, my income put me right above the cut off to receive any type of government assistance and even reduced school lunches for my children. I didn’t qualify for loans because my debt was too high and my income too low and the fact that I had good credit or a good job didn’t matter. I was unable to purchase a car and home repairs were out of the question. I felt I was pretty much stuck and just barely staying afloat.
When I was accepted into PEARL's Focus Pearl Program I was given an opportunity to re-evaluate my life by looking at where I was and how I wanted our future to look. As a single mom, focusing on the future was never something I was able to do because I was always focused on just surviving, staying afloat and keeping my children safe and happy. With support and encouragement from my Mentor Family and PEARL's Leadership Team, I was able to step back and look at my life, asking what it was that I wanted to do and where I wanted to be. I didn’t have that kind of support, in my life, before PEARL.
As I started the Focus Pearl Program, I began keeping a journal. I looked at my finances, career, household needs, my children’s needs/wants and finally my personal life. I set goals and took little steps like consolidating credit card bills.
I have been blessed to have been matched up with a great Mentor Family. I really thank Elaine and Pete for being my mentors. Elaine has been fantastic and really encouraged me to look at myself and set goals and dreams, for my children AND for myself, as well! Not only have I accomplished so many things thanks to Pearl’s Focus Pearl program, but I now have lifetime friendship established with Elaine!