A Fresh Start: Johana has found purpose in her life despite challenges.
They have helped me with my self esteem, courage to accept myself as I am, and to take risks to try new things. I’ve learned to improve myself and I’m getting better everyday. I have also learned to be a better parent to my children. Thanks to their free services, I now am able to see my mistakes as an opportunity for growth. I now know I deserve respect and love.
I believe in miracles and I believe God has given Family Outreach a divine purpose in people’s lives and my life. I have peace in knowing that even when my life is a mess, Family Outreach helps me see the incredible productive life and choices I can make for my children and I. -Johana & the Kids
A Fresh Start: Mother of five releases her pain & finds peace at the Freedom Rains Retreat
Family Outreach has been a part of my family for many years. I don’t know where we would be without it. It is also a second home to my children who receive counseling here. I am grateful my children have an outlet to express their feelings in a safe place. They are getting tools they need at an early age to become what they want to be.
I also receive one-on-one counseling and I know I am growing as a mother, friend, wife, and an overall person. Family Outreach is giving me the tools I need to learn how to overcome my obstacles and set an example for my children. I want them to know how to seek out help like I did if they have a situation. I hope Family Outreach is around for them and generations to come.
It has been a slow process for me as I make baby steps into learning how to live and not just survive. Now, I have hope. Now matter how long it takes me I will make it.
Recently, I had a profound moment at the Freedom Rains Retreat. We did an activity where we were told to lay our fears, regrets, pain, suffering, or anything before the Lord. Each of us walked up to the chalkboard and wrote whatever we wanted so desperately to release. It took me a few moments to think about what I wanted to really let go of.
Then, three Family Outreach staff members walked up to the chalkboards and washed away everything I and the women wrote with water. Then they wrote the word LOVE. It was such a powerful statement.
The actual washing away of the words slowly washed away some pain. I found that the three people that walked up to do the washing, especially Cody Parker, Education Coordinator at FOCC, were the Spirit in flesh showing me someone cared and was there with me in the pain to help me through this trauma. With tears streaming down my face, I truly felt the love and fellowship.
I am forever grateful for this experience because it allowed me to be free from the pain. I can see the light now thanks to Family Outreach. They are making the biggest difference in the world one person at a time. -Eva B.
A Fresh Start: Victim to Survivor – A mothers journey to self-discovery. . .
When the things that have happened to you become the things you are doing, there is a problem. I used to say I would roll over dead before I became “her”, but I caught myself in the middle of a whirlwind of anger hollering at my children about laundry. I used to stare at myself in the mirror and ask “who am I?” I would try to strip away all the fake, the pain and the hell—and ask myself who am I really? Why am I so lost? At the end will I find my way; my families way, through the treachery, sorrow, and guilt? Am I alone on this puzzling and painful journey we call life?
Thankfully, I found the answer—I’m not alone. FOCC has given me so much. They have not taught me how to love, because I already learned that. They have not taught me how to be a mother, because I am figuring that out as I go. FOCC has taught me nothing—yet has given me so much more. They have given me the ability to understand who I am. Being a part of this outstanding organization has made me realize that I have the power to choose my path in life.
Therefore, I have chosen to be a survivor and not a victim. Over time their services have helped me develop more patience and understanding with my children and fiancé.
Now I am at a point in my life where I want to change and be a better person because I want to. I am now able to put a face to my demons which is helping my family through the healing process. And knowing there are others standing behind us has made my experience even better.
The support I have received from FOCC has been astounding. Around Christmas 2011, my family was struggling financially. My counselor asked if my children’s names could be put on a Secret Santa wish list. I agreed and made a list of some things the kids had been asking for all year.
When I went to pick up the gifts, I was shocked to see everything they asked for including food and a gift for me in the box. As I drove off I began to cry. I wasn’t sad. I was in shock. I’ve felt so alone for a long time, and to feel actual heart; unselfish and unscarred thoughtfulness from people who care about my children made me so happy . . .
But the greatest moment was to see the looks on their faces and their reactions on Christmas morning! My four year old ran back and forth through the house super speed with the Nerf laser tag wrapped in his arms and yelling “YES, YES, YES, YES!” My 5 year old opened up his scooter and his eyebrows just jumped straight up and he popped up into a straight stance and exclaimed “IT’S JUST WHAT I WANTED MOM YOU’RE THE BEST EVER!!!” And my eldest was as astonished as I was and really didn’t know what to say except “WHOA I GOT A D.S.!” One thing that I received in common from all my children that day was a super-grip hug. They were so happy and so was I. All I could think was how blessed we really were.
I just have to say that Family Outreach has compiled a never ending compassion in my heart and has so deeply impacted my family that I cannot say thank you enough. – Tamara H.
A Fresh Start: A Grandmother struggles to raise 4 grandchildren after the loss of her daughter.
My name is Mary Alice and on October 9, 2008 my daughter Valerie was killed by a drunk driver. For my husband and I, our lives changed forever. Her loss was devastating. We were left without our daughter and her four children were left without a mother in their lives. We were filled with so much pain and anger. My husband and I took the kids in and have been raising them ever since.
We were struggling to pick up the pieces, not only for us but for our grandchildren. I had to work extra hard to make sure we would all be okay. The loss of their mother was unbearable for the children and I didn’t know how to help them on my own. It was tough not having all the answers. That’s when I found Family Outreach and I realized I didn’t have to pick up the pieces on my own.
I thank God everyday for their free array of services. I was feeling hopeless until I learned what Family Outreach could do for me and my grieving family. My husband and I could take parenting classes, marriage counseling, individual counseling, and the kids could receive play therapy at no cost. Without these services and the supportive counselors we would be lost. It would be hard to deal with everyday life with out their help. The counselors are so understanding and supportive to each and every one of us. The counseling was very much needed in order for my family to cope with our loss – and it is a process we are still going through to this day.
The help didn’t stop there. Family Outreach has also provided the children with food, clothes, school supplies, and has aided us during the holidays. I am forever grateful. The children say Family Outreach is “our second home” – and I agree. I don’t know where we would be if it wasn’t for their unwavering support.
We are so grateful for Family Outreach and the caring staff to be in our lives. Each of us looks forward in being here as long as we need to be. It hasn’t been easy but thanks to the help we’ve received, my husband, myself, and our grandchildren have hope for a brighter tomorrow.
The Leal Family &
A Fresh Start: How a single mother overcame depression and followed her dream.
My name is Sadia Nuhu and I come from Ghana, West Africa. When I moved to Corpus Christi I was a single mother of one daughter, age 8, and attended college as a full time student. I had a part time job working for the Trio Student Support Services as a peer mentor. However, my main source of income came from financial add loans, grants and work study programs. I was a low income parent struggling to make it in a new country.
I began to realize that I was quite overwhelmed by my efforts to improve my life: attending college, raising a child and working. I had no transportation and getting around was taking a toll on me. Without a support system of family and friends I was alone and life was weighing me down. With no one to talk to without feeling judged, I started to feel that there was something wrong with me and my self esteem and confidence plummeted. I was losing hope fast.
That’s when I found FOCC and began attending the M.O.M.S. support group where I made new friends. Sharing my experiences with the other mothers who could relate to my circumstance made me realize I had many issues bottled up inside.
FOCC provided me with free counseling services every week and I began to understand that there are indeed struggles in life but there are also ways to cope and rise above any obstacles. The counselors were supportive, understanding, and dedicated to helping me rebuild my self esteem and confidence.
I was also provided a mentor to speak to who has successfully raised three children of her own. She is my pillar of strength. Since meeting her, my daughter and I have spent Christmas and most holidays at her house. She is like a mother to me and gives me the family support that I had been lacking. With the guidance of my counselor and mentor I have been able to defeat depression and I am once again full of joy and hope.
The generosity I received from FOCC did not end there. Clothing, furniture, school supplies for me and my daughter have all been provided by FOCC. When my computer broke down I did not know how I would complete my school assignments, FOCC immediately came to my aid, relieving me of all the stress and worry. To my surprise they donated a minivan to me and my daughter. I was truly blessed. It was the best thing that happened to me that year. I never imagined that such a special act of kindness could touch my life so deeply and help me accomplish my dream: to get a college education.
The staff at FOCC believed in me. They gave me the hope, tools, and resources to fulfill my dreams. FOCC has done more than words or time will permit me to express.
I sincerely assure anyone considering donating money or resources to help this organization support the programs they offer, can rest assure that their donations and support will surely change the life of someone like me for the better.