You may see a Star Wars X-Wing Fighter in this picture, but we see a symbol of hope!  When a family is facing debilitating poverty, there is no time for the ordinary stuff of childhood, like spending an afternoon building imaginations and family connections with Legos.

One of our moms arrived in Houston earlier this year with her three boys and the clothes on their backs.  She was restarting her life and needed help after relocating to Texas.  Her neighbor brought her to Kids’ Meals when she saw them “move in” with absolutely nothing.  This young mom was so worried about if her children would have food (three boys ages 4, 5 and 15).  She cried in our lobby as she tried to figure out life’s basics and a path forward for herself and her family.  She was gripped by stress.  We learned that they were all sleeping on the floor of their apartment and literally had nothing else.

We immediately had her sign up for our healthy meal delivery program so her children would receive a free, delivered, daily healthy meal and weekly bags of groceries full of fresh produce, bread, rice, beans, peanut butter, pasta and more.  In short order we connected her with additional resources as well as amazing angel-donors who shared clothing, back to school supplies, bedding, towels, basic housewares, beds, a sofa and more.  A volunteer (our Harvest Luncheon Auction Co-chair) connected us with Small Steps Learning Center who accepted the 4-year-old into their preschool program.  This same volunteer donated boxes of books, action figures, barely touched legos and more.  Once the youngest began school, mom was able to start a job as a home healthcare worker.  A few weeks later she took on a second job as a part-time janitor.

Little by little, the smile returned to her face.  She had pride in herself and her strengthening family.

There are no words for how amazing it felt to receive a photo and thank you notes from the family a few weeks ago of a bunch of Lego creations including this wonderful Star Wars X-Wing Fighter that they spent a weekend creating.  You, our wonderful donors and champions, made it possible for this family to stabilize and be in a place where there was time and energy to just be together as a family building Legos.