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I'm so thankful to have many friends and members of the community reach out to me and/or my Jammin' for Hammitt Benefit Concert page wanting to help our classrooms, our students and their families. Kelly Ideran and her colleagues at Woodward & Associates reached out to me to adopt a family or families that could use help. We have many but prioritized based on immediate needs.

This is a list from one of the families they are adopting. Mom cannot work due to a high-risk pregnancy so she moved her and the kids to grandmas, who also struggles financially. No job, no means of transportation (car kept breaking down and now it's been towed - cannot afford to get it out), no bed, no decent bedding, pots, pans, cups, bowls, towels, coffee table, shoes... So, I put the lists together and sent it on to Kelly and her co-workers to see what they could do. Kelly let me know that they will take care of all of it, including purchasing and delivering (30 mins away) a full-sized bed with bedding for Mom so she doesn't have to sleep on the couch!

Normally, I just facilitate between the teachers/home interventionists, families and donors so don't meet the families the donations are going to but today, thanks to Suzanne Fuller Kelley (her student), I got to meet Mom. She wanted to thank me even though she was super nervous to meet me (I'm approachable, I swear!). Suzy let her know she'd be getting some stuff on the list but didn't know what. After explaining to her that the list would be filled, including a full-sized bed with bedding, she started sobbing and hugged me. Then I started crying and Suzy started crying and then none of us could stop crying... I also let her know that all the gifts would be wrapped so she didn't have to worry about that either. She started sobbing again because she said she couldn't afford to wrap them. Then a repeat of Lady Cryfest 2017. She was so thankful and my and Suzy's hearts burst.

This interaction with the Mom seriously made my year. There are so many people in our community, across our nation and world who need a leg up. Most, if not all of us have been there whether it's financial or personal issues. Desperation is a terrible and lonely way to feel. I've been there more times than I can count and certainly have seen my fair share working in my field. If I could take it away from all of these children and families, I would. But I can't. What I can do though is be the facilitator/middle man, come up with charity events to help and bring awareness to these common issues through social media. I implore you to volunteer at a nursing home, shelter, boys & girls club, animal shelter, wherever your interest(s) lie. I promise you, it does a soul good (becomes addicting actually - I can't stop) and puts things into perspective. Thank you community for always stepping up! Ucenter Dress cocktail party wears in navy