Friday, July 1, 2016
Karly is a 14-year-old Bellevue student who gets good grades and works as a peer mentor at her school. She lives with her mother, Tina, and her stepfather, John. Their family is hardworking, positive in spirit and supportive of one another.
Behind the Scenes
Behind the scenes, Karly and her family are facing tremendous hardships. Tina is unable to work as she battles multiple forms of cancer, including throat cancer which has left her voice a whisper. John works the graveyard shift at a convenience store so he can be available to support Tina during the day. Karly is working through the effects of a severe childhood trauma that has left her with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Tina first contacted Bellevue LifeSpring for assistance purchasing new clothing for her daughter. Kids at school bullied Karly for her worn-out jeans and shoes that had holes in them. Like many children living in poverty, new clothing simply wasn’t an option.
During the initial phone call, Bellevue LifeSpring staff verified that Karly’s family qualified for assistance and then arranged for a home visit. They met in the basement apartment the family shares.
Your Support Makes the Difference
Bellevue LifeSpring is one of the few organizations that still conducts home visits as part of the initial intake process. Home visits allow our team to evaluate the family’s needs and provide services that will help meet their immediate needs as they develop strategies to achieve long-term self-sufficiency.
Bellevue LifeSpring home visits are the first step in a new relationship with a family – the opening of a door to resources within the community. At the home visit with Karly’s family, Bellevue LifeSpring was able to provide items to address their immediate needs as well as some extras:
- Gift cards for all members of the family to purchase new clothing for work and school at Thrift Culture
- Bags of non-perishable food and basic needs items (toiletries, laundry detergent, toilet paper, etc.) from the Bellevue LifeSpring food pantry
- A new backpack for Karly
- A hand-sewn quilt
- Zoo passes for a stress-free family outing
- A grocery store gift card to purchase fresh food
Karly was most excited to see the quilt. The family had lost a storage unit which housed many of their belongings because they were unable to keep up with the payments. Among their stored items, Tina’s family had lost a quilt handed down from Tina’s grandmother.The new quilt reminded Karly of their old one and her reaction was mature beyond her years: “Even when all things seem to be lost, good always comes our way.”
An Open Door
The problems that Karly and her family are facing are not solved – but they are eased – and they know there is a community that cares. The door to help and hope has been opened for this family and Bellevue LifeSpring has become a new resource for them.