Tirzah Gibboney | Bridge of Hope
Last week we celebrated the graduation of not one, but TWO families from our Bridge of Hope program! I wanted to take some time today to share their successes with you.
Family #1 is made up of a single mom and her 4-year-old daughter. They joined our program in Spring 2018, when being faced with an eviction notice. At that time, this young mom was not working, because she was eagerly pursuing a degree at South Hills Business School. She did not know where to turn, and had a hard time asking anyone for help. Throughout her 18 months in our program, she was able to maintain her housing, she completed her Associate’s Degree, she found full time employment in her area of study, and she was connected to a group of caring individuals from a local Catholic church. This Neighboring Volunteer group helped the family with so many things, ranging from child care, auto mechanic recommendations (and use of a spare car while hers was in the garage), connection to employment, reviewing resume and job applications, and throughout it all they surrounded her with love and encouragement. These Volunteers have assured the mom that their involvement in her family’s lives will not end at graduation – she’s stuck with them!
Family #2 is comprised of a single mom and her 1-year-old son. When she applied to Bridge of Hope, she was staying on a friend’s couch and she had no space for her baby boy (who was just learning to crawl and pull himself up and had hit that must-explore-and-touch-everything stage) to play. Since joining Bridge of Hope, she was able to secure housing, upgrade her car to a better used one, move from part-time to full-time employment, secure full-time childcare, and ultimately move into a beautiful rental that is conveniently situated and meets all of her needs. Probably the most impactful aspect of the program for this family was getting matched with a group of Neighboring Volunteers. This mother had come from a pretty rural community and was really lacking relationships with reliable, healthy people. Her group of 6 Neighboring Volunteers instantly jumped in to meet short-term needs like childcare, being a supportive presence during difficult doctor appointments, locating job opportunities, and providing insight and experience in mothering. These volunteers became like family. They filled so many roles that were lacking in her and her son’s life. It was truly amazing to watch them come together!
Are you interested in becoming a Neighboring Volunteer to a family in need? We are looking for another group of 6-10 people from a local Christian faith community to match with a new family in 2020! Contact Tirzah.firstname.lastname@example.org for information.