The Transylvania Times -

By Bill Harrah
Sharing House Diary 

With A Little Help, Tiffany Is On Her Way


Tiffany is one of the success stories that keep Sharing House staff and volunteers working for Transylvania's families in poverty. (Courtesy photo)

Our volunteer interviewers hear all kinds of personal stories. They demonstrate that life in poverty isn't good, but every now and then something happens to lift our spirits and provide another reason to believe in the people we serve.

Our New Directions counselor, Phyllis Chandler, tells this story:

Tiffany, age 29, was hit by her husband for the very last time. She called SAFE in Brevard from the home she shared with her husband and children in Hendersonville. When she learned there was a bed available for her at SAFE, her husband was at work and her girls were at her mother-in-law's house visiting for the day.

Her bag was packed in a matter of minutes and off she went to surreptitiously pick up the girls and find her way to safety.

Unbeknownst to Tiffany, her mother-in-law saw her heading up the road and phoned the police. When the officers arrived the mother-in-law told them that Tiffany was an unfit mother who did not deserve to have the kids in her care. Both the mother-in-law and Tiffany were steered to DSS to settle this situation.

With a level head Tiffany did the most difficult thing she had ever done. She left her children there, knowing in her soul that she was headed to a better and brighter future that included a her own apartment, a good job and, most importantly, her children.

She vowed as she drove away, "My children will be with me no matter what it takes!"

She found herself at SAFE before the night's end. There she was given a cup of cocoa, a warm bed and a gentle reminder that it would be all right for her to close her eyes and sleep because no harm would come to her there.

The next morning SAFE referred Tiffany to me. She and I worked together to establish long and short-term goals for her and her girls. Together we figured out how she could realize her goals.

First, she wanted to have her kids to live with her. With the assistance of DSS this was accomplished over the next three months.

Second, she wanted to secure independent housing. She applied for and was accepted into a Brevard Housing apartment. The Haven and Brevard Housing helped her to get all of her deposits paid through the ESG Grant funds.

With the help of The Women's Center she was given a vehicle donated by someone in the community. It allowed her to get the girls to doctor's appointments and to seek employment.

Last December she got a job in the pharmacy at Walmart. She excelled. Within three months she earned a $2 an hour raise and was offered tuition for online pharmacy technician assistant certification training.

She is well on her way to achieving all of her original goals and recently set a new one, owning her own home. With Tiffany's determination and hard work it is no doubt that she will accomplish this goal as well.

"You don't know how strong you are until you've been knocked down to the lowest you ever been and have to rebuild your life from scratch," said Tiffany. "That's when you realize how much strength God put in you!"

That's what our New Directions ministry does. With Phyllis's help some of our clients manage to dig their way out of poverty and turn their lives around.

Sharing House extends a helping hand to any Transylvania resident who meets financial requirements (essentially, qualifies for food stamps). We provide a week's worth of groceries to fill the gap left by food stamps each month, as well as other assistance to keep them from losing heat in winter, being evicted or other disasters that would burden them and the community.

Your food donations are especially welcome now. Our shelves are emptying and we need canned and dry foods of all descriptions. A great deal of our food comes from folks who deliver it to our door a bag at a time.

Sharing House is located at Oakdale and Duckworth in Brevard. Drive around the rear of our building past the entrance to the second door, where a volunteer will be happy to accept your gift and provide a receipt if you want one.

We also can use your gifts of money, which we can use in a wide variety of ways to help our community's families living in poverty. Send your donations to Sharing House at P.O. Box 958, Brevard NC 28712.

Note: We usually don't reveal the identities of the clients we tell you about, but Tiffany was OK with it and even posed for the photo. In most other cases, we create fictional clients out of the whole cloth of the real life events they tell us about.

Thanks for reading and God bless!

(Bill Harrah volunteers as PR Coordinator for Sharing House.)


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