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A Grandmother’s Hope: Meet Laina

Laina thought she was starting a new chapter in her life back in 2002 when she retired from a local hospital. Things were good for a while. But the last several years have been nothing like she imagined.  

It started with the pandemic. Laina’s husband James works at a restaurant, and he’d been there for 14 years. While the restaurant was able to stay open, the owner had to cut his hours. James went from working full time to working two days a week.  

“We couldn’t pay our rent,” Laina said. “I always have paid my rent. Never been late with my rent.” 

Without James’ full-time job, the couple was evicted from their house. They struggled to find something else affordable. And that’s how they ended up in a motel room. 

For the last 10 months, Laina and James, along with their two granddaughters, have been living in the motel. The space is tight, but they do their best to make it work. Once they got a roof over their heads, the family had to focus on how they’d get food. 

Two children hugging outdoors

“I wasn’t getting food stamps,” Laina said. “We were one penny over the requirement of getting food stamps.” 

Laina and her family turned to a local Feed the Children community partner for help.  

“I got food. I mean, it was just awesome.” 

She got more than food. The family also received cleaning supplies like laundry soap and hygiene items like shampoo and deodorant. They also got books for the kids, which was a big deal for Laina’s 7-year-old granddaughter, Leanna. 

“I like reading so I can do my best work, so I can go to college,” Leanna shared. 

The thought of her granddaughter going to college makes Laina proud. 

“She just said she’s going to college. She’s never said what she’s going to do. I said, ‘Hold that thought. Keep that.’” 

It’s hope – like Laina has for Leanna going to college – that keeps families going, even during the tough times. Because of donors like you, food and books allow a little girl to dream of college. And her grandmother can have hope that things will be different for her granddaughter. 

“I pray every morning and every night before I go to bed. Because God’s got something for me,” Laina said. 

We’re grateful that you also see potential in every family, and that you believe there’s something greater out there for everyone. And sometimes it starts with the gift of food. Thank you.

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