Monica is one busy mom. She works full-time while raising two sons, Brody and Nathan. And she knows first-hand what a difference help can make to families who need it. She recently attended a food drive at her local church, sponsored by Feed the Children.
Monica was hoping for food to help her make it through the month. But she wasn’t expecting the extra help that Feed the Children would provide. She said that the gift of personal hygiene items, in the Avon dignity box she received, brought her to tears. “They provided toothpaste and deodorant and shampoo when I really needed it. And I didn't tell anybody that I needed it. But they not only provided food, they provided toiletries. That was unheard of for me.”
Monica talked to us about how, as a woman, she feels better when she’s able to take care of herself. Simple things, like being able to do her nails and wear a bit of makeup, contribute to her confidence levels. “My grandmother would say, ‘You don't have to look like what you've gone through’. So for makeup and things like that to be in a box, it’s just awesome. It’s just really awesome.”
Even though she earns a full-time income, sometimes Monica has to make difficult decisions. She’s had to choose between paying the power bill and buying groceries before. In her words, “Being a single mom, working a full-time job, there are times where there’s more month than money. There’s more times where things come up unexpectedly and I have to make sacrifices.” At times, she’s been afraid that she wouldn’t be able to feed her children. But even in the face of that fear, Monica never wanted her kids to worry. She’d answer their questions confidently, in the faith that something good would happen.
Monica budgets carefully, and cooks with staples to make the food last. She wants to make sure that her two boys grow up healthy and strong. The WIC program helps her buy fresh fruits and vegetables. She knows that when kids are hungry, they can’t concentrate in school, so she focuses on providing a nutritious and balanced diet for her sons.
In her spare time, Monica volunteers at her church’s food pantry. She wants to get her older son, Brody, involved as well. It’s important to her that her sons develop empathy for others, and that they help out whenever they can. She tells them that “no matter what situation you find yourself in, there’s always somebody that’s doing a little worse than you. So, if you're right here and somebody’s down here, there’s no reason why you can’t lend a hand to that person and to help them out, to help them up.”
Monica wanted to send a special message to the volunteers and donors at Feed the Children. She told us, “I am extremely grateful for organizations like Feed the Children and the other organizations who support them. I was thinking this morning about how great it is that God uses people to bless other people. So, it just touches my heart that God will use somebody else to bless me and my children. And when I think about it in the grand scheme of things, it makes me want to do something that will, in turn, bless somebody else. So, I just – I appreciate it. I really do.”