This is my favourite times of the year. The successes and stories from our funded partners are rolling in. For the 3rd straight year the results are not only impressive they are frankly awe inspiring!
Sometimes I feel as though I spend more time saying no than saying yes. Here are three quick reasons why it is worth the effort and discomfort to say no so we can say yes.
When I was 15 years old, my mom started using drugs, she quickly became addicted, and my home life became really chaotic. We ended up losing our home. I started missing a lot of school and was staying with my extended family, but there wasn’t much stability. With the support from the United Way the TRC staff helped me with the basics, hygiene supplies and transportation so I could start to get my life back on track. They worked with my school to help me catch up on the work I’d missed. The staff also helped me realize that therapy could really benefit me. They knew I was anxious about going so they connected with me before and after each session to make sure I was ok. I do still struggle but I have gained self-control and am learning to be less discouraged by things I cannot change. I now live with my dad full time. Even though I had to move, I feel self- sufficient and able to deal with these changes. I am now back in school full time, participating in school activities and doing sports.
My 3 year-old daughter and I came to Second Stage in February 2018. I had been battling addiction for over 10 years. I was clean on and off again. Right before coming to Second Stage, I had relapsed. During this time I was a victim of sexual assault and became pregnant. I was provided resources and daily support. I learned how to avoid negative friends and family members, instead seeking support from my other brave women. I built strong relationships and found a healthy support system. Throughout my pregnancy I participated in self-growth programs and started to make healthier life choices as a result of the support groups. I will be starting a program at the community college soon, and my baby was born non-addicted and healthy. I hope I can help young women like me in the future. I believe that without SSSH, I wouldn’t be alive.
One last little story. My sons brought home their reports cards yesterday and we did the usual review. Happy about some marks, less so with others; but on the whole my kids feel good about themselves. Not all kids are so fortunate. But that changed yesterday for two elementary students in Charlotte County. For the FIRST TIME EVER two youngsters brought home passing grades in reading. Between the two of them they increased 11 reading levels (that is not a typo) in 6 months. Imagine just for a moment their puffed-up chests as they brought home their report cards yesterday to their parents. I’m sure glad we said yes!
This is why we say no to say yes. If you said no more…what could you say yes to?