They couldn’t stand the thought of her living in a tent.
Three brothers—ages 10, 11, and 12—found themselves at Oasis Youth Shelter after their mother fell on hard times. They never got used to being separated from her, but they tried their best to adjust to their new situation.
When the holidays arrived, the separation was too much to bear, and the boys asked the shelter staff if they’d be able to spend Christmas with their mother.
“Some of the staff worked together to figure out a way to arrange for the kids to be with their mom,” says Jacquie Williams-Matthews, Outreach Coordinator for Lutheran Services Florida. “We come up with ideas to help the kids, and then got creative to find ways to make it a reality.”
The team connected with a local La Quinta Inn and Suites and arranged for the family to stay together in one of their rooms for the holiday season. Moved by their mission, the hotel staff went above and beyond to make sure the family had everything they needed for a comfortable stay.
A welcome surprise made things even better.
Jacquie logged onto Facebook and made a post sharing the family’s story. She asked her network for any help they were willing to give, and, a few days later, she’d raised over $1,500 for them.
The family used the money for food, shoes, and other necessities. The donation helped to ease the burden of homelessness that they’d been grappling with for some time.
When their hotel stay was set to expire, the hotel manager offered an extension. She wanted the family to be able to ring in a new year together, and so she welcomed them for a few extra days.
The community came together to make sure this family could be united during one of the most important seasons of the year. The show of unity and support will surely help to create a lifelong memory for this young mother and her children.
While the family enjoyed spending the holidays together, they are still looking for a more permanent situation. If you or someone you know would like to partner with us to help this family find a more sustainable solution to their housing situation, please contact Jacquie Williams-Matthews at Jacqueline.firstname.lastname@example.org.