The Giving Spirit

Christina’s parents taught her to be grateful for everything she has in life. It’s a value that is immediately apparent when you speak with her — she takes nothing for granted and is quick to offer a helping hand. Accustomed to being the one giving, Christina never imagined needing help herself.

“In December of 2019, my family and I found ourselves in a place where no family ever wants to be … which is homeless and hopeless,” said Christina. Her family, which includes her husband, son, daughter, and two-year-old granddaughter, were displaced from their home after the landlord failed an inspection for the Section 8 affordable housing program. “We had one week to find another place. I had no idea where we would go … you can’t live in a van with a baby.”

After confiding in a friend, Christina was put in touch with EFAA’s housing program and scheduled an appointment with a case manager. Due to the urgency of her situation, Christina’s family received priority placement to get into EFAA’s housing. “I had no idea we were going to be accepted the same day,” Christina said.

Christina knew, however, that this wasn’t the end of her story — EFAA’s short-term housing was an important step to regaining her stability, but she was determined to get back on her feet. In just a few months, she was able to reinstate her Section 8 voucher and get approved for her own housing. “Even though I had a lot of doors slamming in my face … I kept going,” she said proudly.

Today, Christina’s family lives comfortably in a townhome rental in Boulder. Everyone has their own bed, an immense relief for her son who was sleeping on the couch, and her granddaughter has a place to play with her toys on the patio. “We are happy … peaceful,” said Christina.

On April 1st, Christina dropped off donations for the families staying at her old housing site, along with handmade face masks and a note of gratitude to her former case managers. “There were always things we didn’t have enough of when we were living there,” said Christina. “Shampoo, Q-tips, Band-Aids, cotton balls, Brillo pads for dishes. It may not have been a lot, but it was something that I could afford to do, and allowed me to let EFAA know that I appreciated everything they gave me. It was my way of saying thank you.”

With the season of gratitude and giving upon us, Christina’s story reminds us that generosity has the power to carry us through crisis. In this time of historic hardship, we are all finding our own ways to give back in a way that is meaningful to us. Thank you for being part of our collective response.