WHAT YOU DID!
These stories come to us from our partner programs.
They are stories of what happens when we work together to move families out of poverty.
They are stories of possibility. They are stories of impact.
What is raised here, stays right here in our own backyard.
We don't always get pictures and full stories, but we wanted you to see the difference
you are making in so many lives across our community. YOU DID THIS!
16 year old Emily referred herself to Haven House in October of 2020.
She had been living with her mother whose chronic mental health challenges were beginning to significantly impact Emily's own mental health.
Her parents had gone through a difficult divorce some years earlier and Emily's relationship with her father
was strained to the point she felt reconciliation was not possible.
After exploring many options, Emily decided the Job Corps would be the best option for her and began the admissions process.
During that process, while at Haven House, Emily continued to attend her senior year of high school, resumed therapy,
reconnected with her siblings and began on site visits with her father.
Eventually, Emily's relationship with her father healed and she returned to his care.
Because of your generosity, Emily was able to seek guidance, help and therapy through Haven House and now has a plan
to secure income for her future, is able to identify long term placement options and has reconnected with family.
"Julia" came to Grays Harbor from Guatemala 8 months pregnant after being raped at 15 years old. She had been living with her grandparents when she became pregnant and came to the US to be with her mom. She enrolled in school at Harbor High & at the time spoke no English. Now, three years later, her daughter is enrolling in preschool and Julia will be a student at Grays Harbor College taking classes to become an interpreter. She has received a full tuition scholarship and will begin her journey this summer. Julia volunteered in Snug Harbor Childcare and is an amazing worker.
She is the first high school graduate in her family,. Without COPE and the supports for that program, Julia may still be working on her high school requirements or may have dropped out of school.
"I have three children that attended Harbor After School. The program has been an amazing opportunity for them. The program provided support for my kiddos in a safe environment and helped them discover who they are. I have 3 sons. One of them enjoys the cooking activities, one enjoys science and the other enjoys animals and nature. The after school program helped them to stay engaged even during remote learning.
Thank you for providing an opportunity
for each one of my boys.
Our family is a more well rounded family
thanks to this program."
SHARING HER STORY LED TO A JOB
Coastal Harvest was in need of a dedicated experienced employee. They struggled to find a qualified candidate, until a simple conversation at a local feeding program turned up the perfect person.
Sherri was unemployed and relied heavily on the feeding program. She was brave and shared her story & life experiences with those at Coastal Harvest. The conversation turned into an interview and she is now a full time employee with Coastal Harvest.
A young couple began going to a local feeding program when the woman became pregnant and was struggling with addiction. The family was faced with homelessness and had nothing prepared for the baby's arrival. With the help of volunteers encouraging them and referring them to other services, the family that once had little hope now has an apartment of their own. The baby arrived and is a happy & healthy boy. When asked, the mother said she just knew that with the help of all the "ladies" at Feed the Hungry, things would work out, and they did. She is very grateful and brings her baby in each day to visit at lunch!
Sex trafficking in Grays Harbor is happening
and is destructive to the mental stability of individuals and their families.
A young child was having sex with a known trusted adult. They received many amazing gifts and thought they were loved. They thought they were going to have a future with this person. After hearing presentations on this subject, the child realized they were being bought for sex, and even helped other youth in the same scenario come to the same realization. They are free from this type of abuse today and have completely changed their lives.
A single dad struggling to navigate requirements set forth by Child Protective Services was matched with a parent mentor. He began parenting classes and was able to overcome barriers, one being transportation. With the help of his mentor he was able to renew his license and become a participant in the Family Therapeutic Court.
Today he is graduating from the program,
has overnight visits with his little girl and is
scheduled for a trial return home with his daughter.
He is now working full time and has
completed all his requirements.
The smile on his daughters face each time
they see each other is priceless!
I was in Safeway a while back and a young woman recognized my United Way jacket and began
telling me her story.
I WAS SHOCKED!
Standing before me, was a vibrant, healthy young woman.
You would have no idea, that less than a year ago
she had hit rock bottom.
Brenda grew up here and married her high school sweetheart. Life was wonderful and then
her husband lost his job.
To cope with the depression he began drinking, and as a result became abusive. While Brenda dodged fists she endured horrible verbal abuse. I'm not going to repeat it word for word, but imagine being told "you're so stupid",
"I hate you", "no one likes you,
you have to stay with me".
What would you do?
Brenda turned to drugs & alcohol and a cycle began.
Thankfully, United Way's huge network of programs helped Brenda rebuild her life!