“I was looking forward to being able to celebrate my daughter’s birthday with her for the first time in 5 years. She’s my motivation, my everything. Everything I do is for her.”
~ Jennifer, Fashion & Compassion Artisan
Jennifer had big plans for Braelynn’s 10th birthday, but Covid-19 changed all that. You see, Jennifer was released from prison in February, and doesn’t have custody of Braelynn, so visiting her isn’t possible now. But Jennifer still has hope and is making the most of the gift of time during this pandemic to change her life and to reunite with her daughter.
Jennifer was referred to us through Changed Choices, one of our amazing community partners. Together, our two organizations are working to give Jennifer a gentle re-entry into society. The gift of a new life. She’s a changed woman and now wants to focus on her goals, which include gaining custody of her daughter, furthering her education, long-term housing, and full-time employment as a social worker. That’s right, this inspiring young woman just came out of prison and now wants to be a social worker! Jennifer’s past fuels her to want to become a champion for others in similar circumstances, facing similar temptations. Her heart’s desire is to change the hearts of others, just as God has changed her. She says “wouldn’t it be great if, say, 5 years from now, I came back to visit Fashion & Compassion and could encourage another Artisan like me….to tell them that I got from “there” to “here”, and they can, too?!”
Even during Stay at Home orders, Jennifer has been able to move towards her financial goals and has even been able to put money into savings thanks to the weekly stipend paid to her by Fashion & Compassion. She has continued to receive services from our team including mentoring, coaching, and guidance on how to achieve her goals. Jennifer says “you won’t believe the impact it has….to have someone guide you. It’s so nice that I’m not doing this alone. Working with a huge network….it’s been so valuable.” Among other resources, Emily has connected Jennifer to free legal services through one of our beloved Board members, as well as employment preparation through our friends at Dress for Success.
Jennifer has learned much from her past, and she knows God is giving her a silver lining during this time to continue to prepare for a new life. A life reconciled with her daughter, a life helping others. “I’m able to use this time to prepare. God uses everything for good.”
Yes, He does!
~ Beth and Emily