OUR STORIES / Participants

I never knew “someone in need” could be me

One Thousand Design_Lloyd_Square_72DPI

“After working as an architect for ten years, the economic downturn of 2008 hit. I lost my job, and no one was hiring. I had to provide for my 3-year-old son and myself, so I took a minimum wage job and lived sparsely. But, come to find out, you can’t live on minimum wage. After rent and gas to get to work are paid, there’s almost nothing left.

I was able to maintain for my son that everything was okay, but I didn’t know where our food would come from or if the heat would stay on. I desperately needed help, and EFAA was there for me. They helped me with groceries and paying a utility bill. And, even more importantly, they gave me hope that I would get through this. Hope is huge. It took me a long way.

The fact that there are people out there willing to help seemed impossible to me at the time. Not to mention that swallowing my pride was very hard for me. I was raised a certain way; you work hard, provide for your family and don’t ask for help. You do it on your own. I was doing it on my own, but the numbers didn’t work out. I had never been in this position before.

One day, working as a courier, I had to deliver a package to my old architecture firm – the one that laid me off. When I went into the office, they were so glad to see me and one of the partners told me they had a lot of work and needed me back. I got my old job back at even better pay than before. Now my son and I are doing great. He’s six years old and has no idea that any of this happened. I worked hard to keep his life as normal as possible, and EFAA helped me do that.

I’ve learned that you never know who you’re helping. It could be someone who looks like you; just a regular person – someone you pass in the street. Before I experienced the fear of not having enough money to pay for rent and food, I had no idea that ‘someone in need’ could be me.”