During our recent MIX 106 radio-a-thon for our Backpack program, we received a donation from a woman who had first-hand knowledge of the program. She agreed to share her very personal experience. Here, in her own words, a mother’s story.
I was in a bad relationship with my kids’ dad – drug addict, abusive, controlling – and even though Idaho was our home, we had to sneak out on the bus to Texas one day because I knew if I didn’t leave, he would probably kill me. We left. Tried to settle in Texas. No one wanted to hire a single mother who had been out of the workforce for 7 years and after trying really hard to make it go, my ex found us in Texas after a year and a half of hiding. Next move was to come home where our family was, and we were housed in a battered women’s shelter. I tried my best to stay positive and on top of things and while we were getting assistance from the state, it wasn’t enough to cover everything we needed. The shelter signed my kids up – two, one girl, one boy – for the backpack program. It was very difficult to be in that situation. I felt ashamed. I felt like I failed. I was pretty sure things were never going to get better for my little family.
The backpack program was a god send. I knew it was for the sake of the kids and was grateful for your program, but it was still very difficult to accept without the negative feelings. Kids come first though. We were in the shelter for 15 mos. That was 2011-2012. Now here we are 3-4 years later. I have a good job managing an office, the kids are thriving and we are not on ANY assistance from the state. I am singlehandedly raising two amazing teenagers and running a business. Your program made a difference in my kids’ lives. It made a difference for all the kids in the shelter. I’ve been there. I know what it is to not have enough for food, clothes, etc. Kids shouldn’t go hungry. Life happens. So my goal was, once we were in a better place, we would make sure to give back to our community and this is definitely one of those. I even got my boss to contribute, because what is important to me, is important to him.