Last year, Shavonna’s family struggled through chronic illness, furloughs, COVID-precautions, and more. You can read about her financial crisis and how your generosity kept her housed until her employment returned in this story from December 2020.
But Shavonna’s story is bigger than that. She’s a survivor, a mother, a teacher, a caregiver. She’s someone who encouraged others to fulfill their potential while questioning her own. Until now.
“You can start where you are right now and change the ending”– Shavonna
After her immediate emergency was resolved, Shavonna was invited to participate in Customer Advocate training. Over eight sessions, individuals who have been served at Crisis Assistance Ministry share their stories, learn how the community discusses poverty, practice public speaking and storytelling, and develop their own mission statement. In the end, participants are empowered with the tools to advocate for themselves and their neighbors.
What Shavonna found through the program was a sense of community and an insight into her own strength and resilience.
“I realized I have so much to offer and that all my life I’ve been giving,” she says. “I’m an advocate for children, I’m an advocate for single parents, I’m an advocate for women who’ve been dealing with domestic violence, I’m an advocate for people who’ve been overweight all their lives that want to feel like they are worth being around. I’ve been that all my life and never realized it until this class.”
For Shavonna, what began with a single payment to keep her family safely housed became a life-changing opportunity to find herself and her next chapter. Her ability to love and inspire others will continue to enrich our community throughout her lifetime. Thank you for making that possible for Shavonna and so many others in their moment of need.
As she looks back on her own journey, Shavonna is enthusiastic about her future. “I’m ready, so let’s get started.”