Thanks to your last gift, we helped turn a boy who could barely communicate
into one who wouldn’t stop talking! (And one with pockets full of M&M’S.)
When Ryan* first came to our shelter with his mom and baby brother, he wouldn’t
make eye contact or say a word. On the autism spectrum, Ryan had plenty of challenges.
Besides his failing grades, he had been suspended from his last school in a nearby
rural area for aggressive behavior and problems with authority. At home, he had little
stability or structure and lots of emotional abuse from his dad. His mom, who had
cognitive delays, had her hands full with a baby and abusive husband, and sometimes Ryan
would find whatever way he could to get attention. He was spiraling downward.
But you just never know the difference one person can make.
Shannon took Ryan under her wing
Shannon, our shelter supervisor, took Ryan under her wing, drew him out, and took
interest in his life. She worked closely with his mom and the school social worker to address
his special needs. She arranged for our child advocate to come to the shelter, teaching
Ryan healthy ways to show his mom what he needed and helping his mom understand the
kind of support that kids need when they’ve been traumatized. Our staff also helped Ryan’s
mom to realize she was capable of making good decisions for herself and her kids. “She
finally realized that she had an opinion, and her opinion counted,” Shannon said.
Over the next two months at shelter, Ryan was transformed.
“He would tell me everything that happened in his day, from the time he stepped out
of shelter to go to school until he came back!” Shannon said. “I think we were the first
adults other than his mom who were interested in him and who liked him the way he was.”
Ryan’s two big surprises
It wasn’t long before Ryan had two big surprises for Shannon and her staff. With
a self-conscious smile on his face, Ryan handed Shannon his report card. As or Bs in every
class! His mom was so proud. Ryan’s second surprise was a note from the bus driver with
a package of M&M’S for good behavior on the bus. “He got a lot of M&M’S in the time he
was with us!” she said.
Ryan could also describe the good choices he was making. “He would tell us about
the things he was praised for at school. How in a certain situation he might have tried to
fight a kid in the past, he now was raising his hand so he could take a break and go to the
restroom to cool down,” Shannon said.
Would you help another child just like Ryan?
I hope you fully comprehend the difference that your support made in this little boy’s life.
It completely changed the path he was on, from one of anger and aggression to one of hope
and promise. And now he and his family are thriving in their own apartment.
Ryan and his family are just one of many who are waiting for someone like you
to support the services that can transform their lives. You may already know about the
escalating need at our shelter in recent years. This year, the need is even greater. Already
we have served 156 adults and kids in the first nine months. Our shelter has been full so
often that we have had a 165% increase in the use of overflow housing, making it much
more difficult to ensure safety and provide the support that is so needed.
We just can’t do it alone. With the holidays approaching, we truly need your
support to give families like Ryan’s a warm place to stay. Because where else would they
go? It takes just one person who cares enough to help another in need. Would you be that
person and consider a gift to bring hope and a better future for kids and families?
$35 will provide counseling supplies for 5 children
$ 95 will provide a night of shelter to keep a child safe
$107 will provide for a session of therapy to help a child through trauma
YES I want to help change the life of a child!
GIVE TODAY THROUGH OUR SECURE ONLINE SITE
*Name and photo changed to protect confidentiality