To whom it may concern,
You are cordially invited to life. You are required to be at the intersection of Survival Lane and Thriving Road, immediately.
Unfortunately, Survival Lane is unpaved and full of instability and accented by pot holes of uncertainty. But, at least it's a road!
Thriving Road is a paved four-lane highway equipped with everything that you'll need for life.
It's unfortunate that your car has broken down and you have no money for repairs. You will have to find a ride or walk because you need to survive or thrive!
A car pulls up to the stop sign at the end of Survival Lane, the door opens and Mary, a young women, steps out of the vehicle with her two small children.
Jessica, 5, has beautiful long curly hair and a face like an angel. John, 3, is as cute as can be with a twinkle of mischief in his eye. Mary was hoping that they could get a ride to Thriving Road, but it just didn't work out. Now it is raining, the kids are cold, tired, hungry and cranky. At this point Survival Lane doesn't seem so bad; it has everything she and her children will need.
Mary settles for Survival and finds a job at a local restaurant working hard to keep food on the table and pay the rent. Survival Lane has many road blocks which keep Mary and her children from going any further.
Unfortunately, Mary is unable to make ends meet and is forced to apply for food stamps and Medicaid to ease the sting of her struggles. With everything she has gone through a seed is planted and begins to germinate in her heart and mind.
The seed takes root and insecurity and hopelessness grow, blocking her view of Thriving Road.
The memory of Mary's desire to make it to Thriving Road with her two children fades away like an old pair of worn out jeans. Somewhere along the road she threw her hopes and dreams to the curb.
Will Mary ever believe in herself again? Will someone or something remind her of the highway of life called Thriving?
I guess one can only hope. Besides, what else can anyone do?
Millions of Americans find themselves in the same situation as Mary, giving up on the dream of making something of their lives and providing more for the lives of their children. Thankfully, there is a place people like Mary can turn to in the Jamestown area.
The St. Susan Center in Jamestown is a place where people can go as they make their way on Survival Lane, with caring volunteers and staff providing assistance and help in their time of need.
St. Susan Center is asking for your consideration in becoming a partner in the fight against hunger.
For further information contact me at 664-2253, ext. 3
Sue Colwell is executive director of St. Susan Center in Jamestown.