Arms of Hope Update

by Marilyn Flores, Leslie Salinas, and Patrick Lemmons

The partnership between Impact and Arms of Hope continues to affect lives in many ways, especially during the current pandemic. Here are a few short but powerful stories to illustrate that.

Mr. and Mrs. Moreno have 3 beautiful children. Prior to COVID Ms. Moreno worked part-time to help with the bills. After  their  children  were  forced  to  attend  school  virtually  due  to  the  pandemic,  she  and  her  husband  decided  that  it was best for her to stay home with the children. Her husband continues to work but is making less, and they have not applied  for  food  stamps  because  they  are  afraid  it  will  later  affect  their  immigration  status.  The  family  had  been  able to  manage  a  few  months  through  budgeting,  but  contacted  Arms  of  Hope  when  they ultimately  were  unable  to  pay their electric bill. Worried for the children’s online schoolwork and also for the food that was in the fridge, Ms. Moreno had called the electricity company and various non-profits, but to no avail. Ms. Moreno had lost hope and was so happy and relieved to hear that AOH would be covering the full amount of her electricity bill.

Mrs.  Rivera  is  a  single  mother  of  three.  She  has  had  a  difficult  time  looking  for employment  since  her  children  have been forced to attend school virtually and she has to be home with them during the day.  She receives unemployment benefits  and  budgets  well,  but  was  still  unable  to  make  ends  meet.  Ms.  Rivera  has  such  a  kind  heart,  and  is  always looking to uplift those around her. Arms of Hope has been able to help her in various ways, and is now working with her to achieve her goals.

Basilio  is  a  single  father  of  two  children,  having  lost  both  his  wife  and  mother  to  cancer.  He  works  in  construction and  due  to  weather  and  economic  conditions  his  hours  (and  pay)  had  been  reduced.  Heartbroken  and  with  the  stress and  pain  in  his  voice  evident  over  the  phone,  Basilio  reached  out  to  AOH  when  he  received  notice  that  if  he  did  not pay  his  rent  there  would  be  a  lock  put  on  his  door.  He  had  promised  his  wife  to  care  for  their  children,  and  was  now two  days  away  from  being  homeless.  The  counselor  at  his  children’s  school  referred  him  to  AOH,  and  we  met  with him near his apartment due to the fact that he doesn’t own a vehicle, did not have money for bus fare, and lives too far away  to  walk.  We  were  able  to  help  Basilio,  and  his  eyes  filled  with  tears.  He  said  that  if  he  were  alone  he  would  not be as afraid because he could just sleep in the street, but with two young girls he did not want to put them in danger.  As we said our goodbyes Basilio thanked us profusely, and wanted us to know that we were heaven-sent.

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