A Christmas Story

On December 11, 2018

Dear Friend,

Not long ago, a young woman and her two small daughters stood outside our door in the crisp November coolness. We recognized her immediately as a client who, some months ago, had escaped a domestic violence situation. She smiled bravely when we greeted her, but the quaver in her voice betrayed her stress.

“We can’t stay where we are any longer,” she said. “I thought we would be safe living with my friend until I could afford my own apartment, but her husband isn’t safe for my girls. We took our things and left this morning.”

Staci went on to tell us that her part-time job had recently turned into a full-time job with benefits. She had been setting aside money from her last three pay checks for her own place. “I have been looking at an apartment close to the girls’ school and I have enough for the first month’s rent, but I can’t come up with the deposit or move-in costs just yet. We could live in our van for a few weeks, but it is getting cold at night.” Further conversation revealed that her savings fell short by $500. St. Francis House arranged for the small family to stay in a local motel for two nights until things could be sorted out.

Shortly after Staci and her girls had left our office, the doorbell rang again. This time it was a donor who had come to gift us with a promotion bonus he had just received. “I have been blessed in so many ways and I would like to bless a family that has not been so fortunate. Can you find someone for whom $500 would make a significant difference?” Of course, we could!

As I write this letter, Staci and her children are comfortably settled into their new apartment. Her joy over being able to prepare Thanksgiving dinner in their own home was palpable when she came to the clothing bank last week. The promise of a Christmas spent in warmth and safety brought tears to her eyes. “My heart is so full,” she said. “I wish I could find words to tell that kind donor what his early Christmas miracle has meant to us!”

There are other stories like this one. In fact, there are 164 more stories of families that were assisted with rent, utilities, transportation and other emergency support services in the first ten months of this year. Each story is unique but is just as full of relief and gratitude as Staci’s is.

We invite you to become a “Christmas Angel” for a family in distress by giving a gift towards our Emergency Assistance Program. You, too, can help to bless a family experiencing hardship due to loss of income, safety, work or medical challenges. A gift given from your own kind and generous heart can make so much difference to a struggling mom or dad. Join us today in this wonderful endeavor!

Sincerely,

Sister Pat Michalek
Executive Director

Your gift will make a significant impact on people’s lives this season!

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