Sacrifices Pay Off as Donnia Finds Hope
The physical and emotional cost of raising a family isn’t seasonal – so Donnia knew her seasonal job wasn’t going to keep up with the needs of herself and her children, who were 9 and 11 years old.
It was the only job she was able to find but it just wasn’t putting food on the table – or keeping a roof over their heads. She was beyond exhausted from trying to raise two young children and finding the means that it took to raise them.
“I remember spending days driving around town with my kids in the car, looking for anything that would provide something for my family!” Donnia remembered. On one of those days, in December 2010, they found the Orlando Union Rescue Mission.
“I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw this place. I knew that this was the place that God was going to use to give us a new start,” said Donnia.
The stress and pressure of balancing the job hunt and raising her children was relieved as soon as the family moved in. Energy that was directed toward simply surviving the day could now be directed towards finding stable work. It was evident that was exactly what Donnia needed, because within two weeks of moving in she found a job at Orlando International Airport.
While her children were able to get help with their homework and participate in after-school programs, Donnia worked to save as much money as she could to build the foundation her family had been lacking. But with Christmas just days away, she knew the wisest decision meant skipping gifts for the children. Though she knew it would pay off in the long run, it didn’t stop her heart from breaking over the fact she couldn’t provide the simple joy of opening gifts on Christmas morning.
The Central Florida community, however, wasn’t going to let Donnia’s hardship prevent them from having a Christmas to remember. After receiving a wish list written by her children, volunteers and donors brought in gifts for the whole family. “I knew that it was God who used those people to do that. It’s like He provided the Christmas that I couldn’t,” she remembers.
By August 2011, the family was back on their feet and ready to move into an apartment by the airport. Donnia has transitioned to working security for Securitas and has been there for over a year. The lessons they learned since leaving the Mission have emerged to give Donnia a sense of hope that goes beyond her circumstances.
“When I look at where we were at and see where we are now, I am certain that God saw us through the discouragement and hopelessness. God was with us in the midst of our struggle – and He saw us through!” she said.
Staying at the Mission gave Donnia a chance to find a stable job and save the money to build a stable foundation for her family. Other families are finding that stability here as well. Your gift of $26.82 will provide a day of life-changing care for a homeless man, woman or child in Central Florida!