Thrive! graduated its seventh class of participants — known as Leaders — in September, bringing the number of families currently served through the relationship-based, life skills development program up to twelve. To some unfamiliar with the challenges of living in poverty, twelve families might not sound like many, but those families result in:
As a Thrive! volunteer, I have seen first-hand that positive relationships over time can achieve TRUE COMMUNITY! In these seemingly difficult political times when factions hunker down and few really try to listen, Thrive! does things differently. No matter your political preference, skin color, spiritual beliefs, or amount of money saved, Thrive! is a real community that embraces difference and that works together for family empowerment.
The eighth class of Leaders who are graduating in December from the nine-week “Getting Ahead” preparation class will need Allies. I wonder if you might want to join the Thrive! community and become an Ally? The six-hour Ally (volunteer) training will take place Saturday, December 15 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and Sunday, December 16 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., with a make-up/booster Monday, December 17 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Contact me if you’d like to know more about the Thrive! Ally trainings or to sign up for the December sessions.
Elaine Johannes, Thrive! Ally Coordinator
email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Christina first met Jayme, Thrive! Executive Director, when she was a youth in foster care.
Years later, their connection once-again shaped Christina’s life. A simple invitation to a Thrive! dinner opened the door to a better life for her and her two children.
When Christina joined Thrive!, her two children were in foster care, a situation she wanted to change. Fast forward 3-1/2 years: Christina is working full-time and has sole custody of her children. “I’m living near Lawrence and work in store operations at Fastenal,” explains Christina. “I am living paycheck to paycheck, but I am not depending on someone else. No IOUs!”
She’s finding that independence has its hurdles. “I’m not saving yet. I no longer qualify for assistance, and day care and health care expenses are more. I feel like I am spending much more; but, I am moving up and have a budget.”
Despite the challenges, Christina is proud of her accomplishments. “I never thought I’d make this much money and live outside Manhattan. I have freedom, independence and I am a better parent.” She attributes this to learning how to apply for jobs. “Once you know how to interview, you can achieve more.”
Learning is a common theme in her Thrive! memories. “I learned how to file taxes and apply for car insurance. I didn’t know how to do these things.” Perhaps most importantly, she learned how to parent. “I am much more level-headed, organized and spend real time with the kids. My Thrive! Allies taught me that kids really just need love and attention. There comes an age we mimic our parents. I learned that I can do things differently.”
Speaking with Christina, one can sense that she’s grounded, focused and has plans for an even brighter future. “I plan on finishing school to become a mechanic and save for a down payment on a house.”
Christina’s Advice for Leaders and Allies
Leaders – individuals seeking to improve
Evening dinner is a time when many families tell stories, solve problems, build manners and enjoy nourishment. At Thrive!, dinner is a time to build trust, receive unconditional support, and be part of a community.
Every Tuesday, between 50 to 70 Thrive! family members and mentors gather for dinner and programming. Thrive! is extremely grateful to local business who offer meal discounts and to local churches, organizations, and individuals who provide meals throughout the year! Your kindness is reflected in the joyful faces of those you bring together.
Many thanks to our meal sponsors and providers for investing in Thrive!
College Avenue Methodist Church
Faith Evangelical Free Church
Farm Bureau Financial Services and Women’s Inclusive Network
First United Methodist Church
Goodcents Deli Fresh Subs
Little Apple Pilot Club
New Hope Church
St. Thomas More Catholic Church
If your business, organization, or friends are interested in nourishing Thrive! families, please contact Susan Wendland at email@example.com. You may choose to purchase, sponsor, or cook a meal.
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