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Help One Child

Help One Child

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When our family experienced an emergency, my husband and I became guardian to our niece and nephew. That meant that we, suddenly and unexpectedly, had four children under roof and soon after, one on the way. It was in that state, I was introduced to a woman named Susan. She is the Executive Director of an organization called Help One Child. Help One Child supports families who have welcomed children in need of placement into their home in some way or another, whether through fostering, or guardianship, ect.

From their website: The Mission of Help One Child is to recruit, train and support those willing to provide a home or volunteer services to at-risk children. We are a non-profit, non-denominational, local outreach to at-risk children both in and out of the foster care system. Continue Reading 

She suggested that I become a part of Help One Child, they would love to see me receive support. I had a little email correspondence with Susan after that but I didn't immediately sign up for the offer of support. I wasn't looking for a handout. During that season, I learned that accepting support was a struggle for me. We have an amazing support system of family and friends and even from them, it was sometimes hard to accept help. It was a time for me to learn that I can't do everything myself, and wasn't meant to. Eventually I decided to attend an orientation at Help One Child.

I was the only one there. The woman leading the orientation continued although I was the only one attending. I think she knew I would be the only one, and still scheduled our meeting. It occured to me that they truly would go out of their way for even just one person, as their name suggests. I learned what Help One Child was about that day.

I feared that I would have to prove my need to them, somehow convince them that I was worthy of being on their support list. If that were the case, I had planned to thank them for the meeting and just move on. This wasn't the case. They were who they said they were. They were offering what they said they were offering, genuine support.

During our conversation the arms of Help One Child spread wide to me. Did I have enough clothing and furniture to accommodate the sudden growth in our family? Here is a gift card and we have a list of donated items you can look at. Food might be tighter. Here is a gift card. Is everyone bonding and adjusting well? Would you like to have some fun and take your kids for ice cream? Here is a gift card.

I was completely overwhelmed. Tears were streaming down my cheeks though I tried to persuade them not to. I kept trying to thank her. 'Thank you, you don't have to do all this.'

She stopped me. She could see I wasn't getting it. She said, "No, thank you. Thank you for opening your home." She was thanking me. She said I was the one doing all the heavy lifting.

Help One Child, I realized that day, sees the world a little differently. They are so invested in the cause of helping children find safe shelter, that my opening my home actually lifted their burden a little. They don't know my niece and nephew, yet they took ownership/responsibility for their plight, and the plight of any child in similar circumstance.  They have never met them, but they thanked me for taking care of them. And because I had helped in this way, they were coming along side to support me.

Whoa! Can we just pause right there? What a shift in thinking! It has stuck with me. I wasn't a charity case to them. They seemed to believe that they were the ones with the burden, the need. They were grateful for me! I have never forgotten the way they encouraged me that day.  They desire to see children safe in families. Since my husband and I were making that happen, we were helping them.  They, in turn, were surrounding us with support.

Help One Child gave us access to their donated items list and offered us the opportunity to attend various trainings. When they received donations of tickets to events in the area, we were given the opportunity to attend free of charge. That year, we were able to attend Disney on Ice and a minor league baseball game with hotdog and soda included. That would have been difficult for our large one income family. I am truly grateful and still humbled by the encouragement and gratitude they expressed toward us.

If anyone knows my family, you know that we are the blessed ones. Getting to share our life and home with our niece and nephew in this unique way, is a gift to us, truly. Ryan and I are so grateful for all the children in our home. It might appear to the outside world that we have given, but the blessings we have received are surplus and immeasurable.

As we approach the end of the year, if you are considering making a charitable contribution, please consider Help One Child. They are an amazing force of love and encouragement. Learn more about them. Support them.

Thanks for reading.

Always,

Amie

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