Every week Giving Children Hope’s We’ve Got Your Back program serves over 1,000 families throughout Orange and Los Angeles counties with weekly backpacks full of food. Many of our families go “home” to motel rooms, cold garages, and shared single-family apartment units. For one WGYB family, their home was a car.
For over a year, 6th grader Miguel, his older brother Mario, and their mom lived in an old, dilapidated grey jeep. Before their car became their home they stayed in motels, but eventually, that became too expensive. Mario, only 20 years old, was the protector and provider for Miguel and their severely disabled mom. Every day after school Miguel and his mom would go to the donut shop near his school to work on his homework. Once Mario got off work he would pick up his brother and mother at the donut shop ending Miguel’s studies for the evening. They would drive their jeep to a park parking lot just a mile from a large amusement park and try to be as inconspicuous as possible. Mario and Miguel slept in the front seats while their mom tried to make herself comfortable in the backseat.
Recently though things have taken a turn for the better and Miguel and his family moved into their first apartment! When asked how it felt to be moving into the apartment, Mario gleefully said, “This is a dream come true!” Miguel, Mario, and their mom were recently brought to Giving for Living, our on-site donation center, by a school liaison and picked out items to furnish their new apartment, including beds, pillows, sheets, and furniture.
(Miguel and his older brother, Mario, in Giving for Living)
A team of Giving Children Hope staff had the privilege of delivering the items to their new home and Miguel’s mother greeted us with by stating, “I feel so blessed, I can’t believe it.” As we continued to bring more items into their apartment, their once bare apartment morphed into a home. The item that brought Miguel the most joy was a giant stuffed teddy bear! When he saw the bear on top of all the other items, he shared, “Now I don’t need to sleep outside when it’s cold, I get to sleep with my bear in a bed!”
(Miguel in his new apartment with his giant stuffed teddy bear)
We are so excited for Miguel and his family, but we know that there are many other heartbreaking stories among the 1,000 families we serve every week. We ask you to join us in continuing to bring hope to these families. To find out more about our We’ve Got Your Back program and the families we serve go to www.givingchildrenhope.org/WGYB.