Tom isn’t yet into his teenage years but, being homeless without strong parental authority, he was already on the fringes of gang activity. But thanks to Americans Helping Americans® partner L.A.M.P. Ministries in Gainesville, Georgia, Tom is on the right path today.
Before he was able to get into any serious trouble, he entered L.A.M.P.’s youth delinquency prevention/intervention program and, according to Executive Director Mary Mauricio, he has already made major changes.
“He is not hanging out with gang members,” says Mary. “He has had no new offenses since starting the program.” On top of that, his school attendance and grades are better
And we couldn’t be more pleased to hear this from Mary:
“Tom’s Juvenile Justice probation officer says this program is the best thing that’s ever happened to Tom and the other young people in his caseload who participate.”
And we couldn’t help but share this wonderful news with you, supporters of Americans Helping Americans®, who played such an important role in showing him that it is not gang members who truly care about him, but people like you.
Nearly one in five of the 300 elementary aged children in area schools served by Americans Helping Americans® partner Big Creek People in Action (BCPIA) in War, West Virginia, benefits from its “Extra Cool Afterschool” program.
During any given week there will be around 20 children who will be picked up at the school by BCPIA staff and brought to the state-licensed afterschool program where they receive one-on-one tutoring to ensure they understand the concepts (such as multiplying and dividing fractions) that they were taught in class that day, as well as getting to enjoy some fun learning activities.
But before they are driven home in the BCPIA van in the early evening, they are also given a filling, nutritious meal to ensure they will not be going to be hungry.
For many, such as young “Denny” who only needed a small incentive such as a piece of candy, it was all that was necessary to ensure he did his homework and who now excels in quizzes and tests at school, we were told by a BCPIA afterschool teacher recently.
And for us at Americans Helping Americans® we are proud to be able to assist in providing that little boost that makes a huge difference in the lives of young boys and girls – even if they are too young to realize it themselves right now.
Imagine going to school and not being able to read what the teacher is writing on the blackboard – even while sitting on the front row – because you know you need glasses, but your parents can’t afford to buy a pair.
Or perhaps being a senior or veteran who could otherwise drive themselves to run errands, but for the lack of a pair of glasses.
In Rogersville, Tennessee, thanks to a grant from Americans Helping Americans® to our partner there, Of One Accord, soon 80 children and senior citizens won’t have to strain their eyes to try to see clearly.
Through its eye care program, Of One Accord partners with a local optometrist for discounted prices for exams and regular glasses for children and even bifocals for senior citizens who need them.
It’s a sight we here at Americans Helping Americans® just love to see.
While spring is just around the corner, this past harsh winter in northeastern Georgia with its record-setting frigid temperatures and snow and ice storms won’t long be forgotten.
In February, we heard from our partner there, Caring Hands Ministries, that they were experiencing “the worst snow storm in many years” and Executive Director Ann Fleming reported how that during this particularly rough winter how the Americans Helping Americans® utility assistance program made all the difference for hundreds of their clients who otherwise would’ve gone without heat and electricity.
And more than just providing warmth and comfort, we learned that our utility assistance grant funding, made possible through your generous contributions, literally saved lives.
“Today,” Ann told us recently, “you are helping get gas for an elderly couple who have taken in their son and his family, including two young boys” and another who was struggling to pay their utility bills after a medical emergency.
Both families would typically have enough money to pay their utility bill for what would’ve been normal usage for a winter in Georgia.
“But this winter is not normal,” Ann informed us. “Americans Helping Americans® and your donors are making such a huge difference here. Please tell the folks that help you ‘thank you for the help and for the hope.’”
We are proud to be able to oblige.
“Sam” lives alone in his home in Bean Station, Tennessee on a fixed income and the deck and steps to his front and side door were unstable and unsafe and he doesn’t have the resources to hire someone to do the repairs.
In addition, Sam has health issues and while he may at one time been able to make the necessary repairs to his home himself, that time has passed.
For Sam, trying to get in and out of his house alone was an accident just waiting to happen.
But thanks to you, supporters of Americans Helping Americans®, and our partner in Jefferson City, Tennessee, Appalachian Outreach, it’s a potential accident that has now been prevented.
Appalachian Outreach executive director Jean-Ann Washam told us that last fall, through their home repair program funded in part with a grant from Americans Helping Americans®, the necessary repairs to the steps and front porch have been done, so that come spring he will be able to enjoy the beautiful Tennessee evenings just rockin’ away on that porch.
“The goal of our program is to make homes safer for the homeowners so they can continue to live in their homes,” Jean-Ann told us. “We would not have been able to do this repair this year without the support from Americans Helping Americans®.”
And we would not have been able to provide that support without you.
Four young children and their baby brother were living in an unheated basement with no electricity or running water with their mother, struggling with an illness, and their father who is disabled.
When Americans Helping Americans® partner Caring Hands Ministries in Cleveland, Georgia and its executive director Ann Fleming heard of their plight, they took action.
“These are the sweetest children, and very polite,” Ann told us, this despite the fact that their shoes and clothes had been ruined in bad weather.
Funding from Americans Helping Americans® which supports Caring Hands’ Neighbors Helping Neighbors program, helped pay for a safe place for them to stay – a motel as no shelter space was available – and provided them with food pantry assistance so they would have something to eat for the first time in two days. The children were also provided with new shoes and winter coats.
Thanks to your support of Americans Helping Americans® and our partnership with Caring Hands, our efforts together has resulted in work which the mother described with one word – “lifesaving.”
“I just prayed and prayed and called everyone, even if I couldn’t see them helping – and then all this happened,” the mother told Ann. “We will be okay.”
Ann cited the family’s story as just one example of “so much of what Americans Helping Americans® has helped us to do” and explained how this sad tale with a happy ending has resulted in much more good work in her community.
“Because we were able to help, thanks to Americans Helping Americans®, we were able to share their story with caring people who have helped further with more motel time and clothes and more food,” she said.
The mother was grateful for all the assistance for the family and that her prayers had been answered – but she had one more request of Ann.
“You find those people who fixed it so you could help and you tell them ‘thank you’ and you keep on telling them.”
Ann, who was more than happy to oblige, passed along her thanks to Americans Helping Americans® and today we pass that thanks on to you – our supporters who are the ones who are actually most deserving of her gratitude.
Without you, who knows what this family would’ve done with no other place to turn. And, thanks to you, we don’t have to wonder.