Small steps, big impact

 

I recently served a Bay County family through our Family Team Meeting (FTM) program. The referral came in as considered removal. The single mother had three young children and experienced needs of mental health and housing concerns. I went into this meeting with the thoughts that this would turn into a removal recommendation based on the allegations, and after two hours we came up with a plan that would allow the children to remain in the home.

During the meeting, it was discovered that the mother was in dire need of a washer and dryer. The children all presented with toileting needs and the mother had piles of laundry in the home that were covered in urine and feces. At the end of the meeting, I contacted a friend of mine, who I knew had an extra washer and dryer sitting in his garage and the dryer needed a heating element. I asked him to donate these units to a family I was working with and he agreed.

About a week later, I was able to deliver the units as well as order the heating element for the dryer and install that a few days later. The mother was so excited the day of delivery as she had never had her own washer and dryer. While I was in the home, I helped the mother clean up the living room and provided her with a plan of action to clean the remaining areas. She expressed that her couch was broke and she had very few dishes and kitchen items. When she left her abusive relationship, she left with nothing.

ย I reached out to my friends and others that I knew in the area. We were able to gain her a donated couch, and several items for her kitchen. When the mother and children sat on the couch, tears came to her eyes. She stated she had never had someone come in to help her like that and she seemed truly appreciative.

When I followed up with the mother and DHHS a couple of weeks later, I found out that her ongoing case was closing and the home had remained clean and in good repair. The washer and dryer had made a huge difference in her ability to keep the home cleaner and the odor had completely dissipated. I feel like I made a big difference in the life of this mother and her children by simply reaching out to gather donations through my friends and family.

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