At Americans Helping Americans® our mission is to provide our fellow Americans with a “hand up” when they are down. This month, we recount how our supporters helped a woman with a learning disability in Georgia find the job she needed to become self-sufficient; a pregnant homeless young woman in Tennessee who had nowhere to turn to get her life back on track; and a troubled teen in Georgia who avoided going down a path that could lead to a life of woes.
Tanya: No Longer ‘Useless’, but a Valuable Georgia Farmer
Tanya, who has learning disabilities, grew up being regarded as “stupid and useless.” However, that did not deter this determined young woman from becoming self-sufficient.
Today, thanks to the supporters of Americans Helping Americans®, our partner in Cleveland, Georgia, Caring Hands Ministries, was able to start its Farm and Home Program. The program matches farmers with affordable helpers. In return, the farmers not only pay their wages; they provide them with a place to live on the farm.
“Tanya is now part of our Farm and Home Program and for the first time sees herself as valuable,” says Caring Hands executive director Ann Fleming.
“The farm owner is pleased with her work and says she will have a job and a home as long as the farm continues.
“She has a lot to learn, but she is learning – and also learning to let her family know that she is not ‘useless.’”
Caring Hands’ Farm and Home Program is a win-win, not only for people like Tanya, but also for struggling farmers.
“One farm owner says the program is helping save her family farm,” Ann told us
Donna: From Bad Decisions to Fresh Start
Donna came to the Samaritan House pregnant after going from place to place after she and her boyfriend were evicted from their apartment for financial difficulties. At the same time, her ex-husband was trying to get sole custody of their 4-year-old child.
“Clearly, Donna had made several very poor decisions,” reported Jean-Ann Washam, executive director of Appalachian Outreach, Americans Helping Americans® partner in Jefferson City, Tennessee, which operates the Samaritan House for homeless women and children.
But thanks to the supporters of Americans Helping Americans® and the dedicated staff at Samaritan House, Donna was able to put together a set of goals to help her get on a better path.
In addition to making and keeping appointments with her doctor , she had to look for work, which, with her doctor’s approval, she was able to do. She found a job at a nearby gas station that had had a “help wanted” sign in the window.
With funding from Americans Helping Americans® for Appalachian Outreach’s job readiness program, Donna was able to purchase a few shirts with collars and a pair of skid-proof shoes which were conditions of her employment.
A short time later, an even better job offer came through at a local factory which paid much more. Donna and her boyfriend, who had been living with his parents, found a mobile home they would be able to rent shortly before the birth of their baby girl.
“Our hope is that Donna will resolve the many issues she has had and will make changes as needed,” said Jean-Ann. “Thank you Americans Helping Americans® for allowing us to have the funding to help women like Donna get back on their feet and have a fresh start.”
Gary: Grateful Mom Thankful to Americans Helping Americans for Turning Son’s Life Around
After being kicked out of high school because of his behavior and anger issues, Gary is now back in school and his grades are even improving.
And his mom says he is helping around the house with the chores without even having to be asked – something difficult, if not practically impossible, to get a teenager to do.
Thanks to the supporters of Americans Helping Americans® we are able to provide grant funding to our partner in Gainesville, Georgia, L.A.M.P. Ministries. Now, Gary’s life trajectory has taken a major turn for the better.
L.A.M.P. works with troubled youth before they find themselves in serious trouble at school or with the law.
To help him take out some of his anger issues in a positive way, L.A.M.P. enrolled him in a gym where he has taken up boxing.
“He loves to box,” said L.A.M.P. executive director Mary Mauricio. “He says it has really helped him to stay out of trouble.
“His mom is so grateful to L.A.M.P. for our interest in her son,” she added. “All thanks to Americans Helping Americans® for making it possible.”