Single motherhood is difficult enough.
Add to that a limited income and a debilitating disease that comes and goes without warning.
That’s the situation Mary found herself in when she approached GraceWorks for help.
Mary (not her real name) has six children ranging from a toddler to a teenager. Despite having a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, her ability to financially support them is crippled by Crohn’s Disease, an inflammatory bowel disease marked by frequent attacks that inhibit her capacity to work.
Her first contact with GraceWorks was The Manger, an annual Christmas gift-giving program. While there, she discovered GraceWorks has multiple resources to help her and her children.
After discussing her situation with a volunteer GraceWorker, Mary received badly needed furniture for her home, a large shopping cart filled with food and help with her utility bills.
“What GraceWorks has done for my family has eased my mind about how am I going to feed my kids, how can I buy gas for medical appointments and school things for my kids,” Mary said.
A GraceWorker suggested Mary find a job she could do at home while managing her disease. Recently, she was given a laptop donated to GraceWorks that enables her to work on her master’s degree while working for a call center to earn money. Her dream is to work for the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.
She appreciates not only the tangible assistance, but also the intangible emotional support she found. A GraceWorker calls her occasionally to see how she’s doing and if she needs any help.
“Every individual I have met here has been generous and genuinely caring. They ask about my kids’ schooling and their grades,” she said. “When you walk in here, you feel that God has really shed a light on this building.”