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DeeDee’s Dedication

“My biggest fear is every time they walk out the door, I’m scared they’re going to get shot because of the violence. They’re always shooting out here.”

DeeDee lives in an unsafe neighborhood with her three children. Her youngest was born with a disability that requires surgical correction. It’s tough for DeeDee to balance her time between work, childcare, and medical appointments. She’s missed job orientations before because her daughter had to go to the doctor. No matter how hard she works, there are only twenty-four hours in the day, and things fall through the cracks.

There isn’t enough money to cover all of their needs, so DeeDee makes sacrifices. The kids need school clothes and supplies, or they’ll be sent home. They have to eat, so groceries are a priority. DeeDee’s kids don’t miss meals, but she has gone two weeks before without food to make that possible. It seems like something always comes up short.

“I’ve been to the point where I’ve had no food in my home, and when you get down to your last pack of food, or a pack of meat, or your last canned good, it is really hard. It’s a struggle.”

DeeDee is a vigilant mom. She keeps a close eye on her children, because their house is on a path used by drug dealers, alcoholics, and crack addicts. The kids are not allowed to talk to strangers, because DeeDee worries about bad influences. She wants the same thing every mom wants: for her family to be safe.

Elijah’s Heart is a Feed the Children community partner dedicated to helping underserved children and their families through providing hunger relief, and DeeDee and her family have received aid from them when times were tough. During the summer, DeeDee’s kids volunteer with the organization.

DeeDee believes in giving back to the community and helping those who are less fortunate, and her kids have absorbed those values as well. Ricky, DeeDee’s 10-year-old son, has a special love for helping others. He told us, “I like seeing smiles on people’s face. I like to brighten up their day. When I volunteer, I think in my head how often I help a lot of people out. Because sometimes when I volunteer, I talk to some people and I’d be like, have a good day, and if you’re going through any hard times, you can pass that.”

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