OHIO – Feeding a family of four on one income is a heavy burden. On no income, however, it seemed an impossible feat for Dana, a single mother of three who goes to school full-time.
After leaving an abusive marriage a few years ago, Dana relied on public assistance and food stamps so she and her children wouldn’t go without food or housing.
“There’s nothing worse in the world than hearing your child say, ‘Mom, I’m hungry,’ and you can’t do anything about it,” she said.
Dana knew she would have to take further steps if she wanted to truly create a better future for her family, so she chose to go back to school to receive a Bachelor’s degree in Family and Consumer Science. A school project requirement led Dana to volunteer at the Big Reach Center of Hope, an Operation Blessing partner that helps feed families in need.
What started as a project for school morphed into Dana becoming a regular volunteer for a cause she believed in. She loved seeing lives changed by the help given through the center. What she didn’t realize was how much it would impact her life too.
When Big Reach learned of Dana’s situation, they invited her to receive groceries.
Dana has been blown away by the love she has received from the staff, and she’s especially grateful for the groceries.
“When I go to Big Reach, it helps my budget in the long run. I can use my money for bills, clothing, or haircuts for the kids.”
The entire experience has been life changing for Dana. “I’m getting love, I’m getting paid attention to, my personal needs are being met and I’m being listened to,” she said.
When she graduates, Dana will be a life skills educator and hopes to work with people who could use some encouragement or practical help in their daily lives, just like she’s received.