Stories of Families We’ve Helped

The following stories are real-life examples of times Care in Action partners provided resources to families in need.  Names are fictional to protect the privacy of the families involved.


After enduring abuse from her parents, and then in foster care, it seemed like Amina’s life was finally coming together. She had aged out of foster care and moved into an apartment with her cultural husband (an arranged marriage within her culture, but not recognized by the state). She was in a four-year nursing program and finished her first semester with a 4.0 grade point average. But then her husband started beating her and their child. Her grades started falling. He kicked her out of their apartment and sold her computer, which she needed for her classes. A county social worker helped her secure a new apartment, however, the police said her computer was likely gone for good. With only about a month before classes were set to start, the need was urgent, but Care in Action e-mail partners responded with donations large and small to help pay for a new computer for Amina.



An impoverished mother broke up with her boyfriend who had beaten her and her 15-year-old son often. Unfortunately that didn’t stop the abuse. After she left him, he tracked her down and kidnapped the teen. The police found them. The boy was OK, but he and his mom were still in danger from the man’s family. Care in Action email partners helped provide the $300 they needed to get out of the state, and out of danger. They were under police protection until they could flee to another part of the country where they would have the support of family. Because of the high level of danger posed by the man’s family, police escorted the family to the bus station and waited with them until the bus left.



It only took $100 to reunite a father and his 3-year-old child. Joe had been living with friends when the mother of his child was arrested. The county wouldn’t release his son to him until he had his own housing. He had a job, and was able to pay rent, but was struggling to get the last $100 he needed for the damage deposit. A local church donated the money that kept the family together, and kept the boy out of foster care.



Having a child in the hospital is difficult for any family. The difficulty was compounded for Michael’s family because they lived 30 minutes away from the hospital and had no phone. Driving costs quickly drained their resources, and they worried when they were away since the hospital had no way to contact them. Care in Action partners helped reduce the hardship of this lengthy hospitalization by buying minutes for a pay-as-you-go phone provided by the county and donating gas cards.



At 16, Ann had expected some stability and hoped for an exciting year at school. Instead, she found herself receiving abuse significant enough to be removed from her mother’s home and placed with her father. When she arrived at his house, she had nothing. She faced the prospect of going to a new school with nothing but a few donated pieces of used clothing—a cause for fear and sadness as she prepared to start her new school. Care in Action provided her with a Kohl’s gift card to allow her to start at the school with new clothes.



She knew she had made one of the biggest mistakes in her life. She had used drugs, and she had been caught. She almost lost everything, including her children. This wake-up call changed her life. She entered treatment and made so much progress that the child protection case manager said she could not remember anyone who had worked harder. She rebuilt the broken relationship with her young children, and things were finally looking better. The only problem was that she still barely had enough money to provide for routine living expenses such as food and electricity. It had been a year since her sentencing, and her fines for drug use were now immediately due. If she didn’t pay the fines, she would be placed in jail, and the children would then be separated from their mother and placed in foster care, costing the county thousands of dollars and wasting all the work everyone had done to keep this family together. The county helped her arrange a payment plan. Even with this arrangement, she still did not have enough for the first $100 payment.  Care in Action provided the first payment, and only the first payment, to allow the mother to remain at home with her children. She has now paid all of the fines in full and is no longer in the child protection system. One-hundred dollars kept this family together. It kept the mother out of jail and helped the children stay out of foster care, saving taxpayers thousands of dollars.

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