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Helping Make Parent Priorities

Ensuring their children are educated well is the paramount concern for Maria and Hector, but their dedication has cost them.

The Franklin couple have three children as well as Maria’s mother living in their household. Life was difficult but manageable, but now their oldest child is graduating high school.

The daughter wants to be an oncologist. She is brilliant — a straight A student who speaks French, Spanish and English in addition to learning Chinese. Her parents, anxious for her to have the best college education possible, submitted 35 college applications.

Their daughter decided on Trevecca Nazarene University and will start classes this fall. But her parents need help now to keep their household of five people running. The expenses of preparing their daughter for college have left them strapped temporarily.

They turned to GraceWorks. Despite having been there once several months earlier and knowing from that experience they would be treated kindly and nonjudgmentally, they were embarrassed and reluctant to ask for help. But dedication to their children’s education spurred them on.

“They expressed multiple times that they felt bad about coming to ask for help, and that they wouldn’t come next month,” the volunteer GraceWorker who interviewed them said. “They just needed some help getting by right now. They only wanted food, and maybe some clothes if we could spare them. Other people are worse off and need it more, they said.”

The GraceWorker asked them if they needed anything for their home, and they admitted their living room furniture consisted of a few chairs they moved back and forth from the dining area, where they ate from a plastic folding table. He gave them a voucher for the furniture store, where they selected a sofa and a table with six chairs.

“They were so excited to take them home and show their kids. Now they can all sit together for meals.”

They also received some clothes, as well as a large shopping cart filled with food to put on that table.

“They were so thankful and surprised,” the GraceWorker said. “I encouraged them to come back if they needed help again.”

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