Paying It Forward – Mission Accomplished: Vaida Aleska – Orlando Union Rescue Mission

Paying It Forward – Mission Accomplished: Vaida Aleska

 In Mission Accomplished, Newsletter Story, Story

An immigrant from Lithuania, Vaida came to the mission with a nine-month old son, a baby girl on the way, a shaky marriage, and no permanent resident card. Today, eight years later, she is a naturalized citizen with two preteens and a successful career in the mortgage industry. But there were many bumps along the way. She and her husband eventually divorced when he repeatedly attacked and threatened to kill her. The good counsel of her case managers and healthy friendships she found at the mission helped her focus on her priorities one step at a time: stay strong and focus, focus, focus. “I always knew that whatever I needed, the mission had my back,” she said. “I could count on everything to be there –a place to live, food, child care, and prayer.” She was so happy when the call came that a room had become available for her and her family. “I still remember the first day I walked into my room. Everything was so clean and pretty, a welcome basket on the bed.” Vaida completed Bible classes, served in the Child Learning Center as part of her discipleship, became certified through Valencia, and got a job at a child care center. Eventually she got an entry level job with a mortgage company, and within six months she was promoted to processor.

Her life at the mission helped her accomplish many goals, and to show her gratitude, Vaida is now a mission volunteer. “That’s how blessings work. You don’t pay them back, you pay them forward,” she says. She wants to teach finance classes to residents so they can not only pay off debts and save money, but also learn how to increase their credit scores and eventually become homeowners. She appreciates the volunteers and donors so much. “What they do definitely matters. They have the ability to literally change someone’s life in the blink of an eye, to provide that pick me up that people need when they reach the bottom.”

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