When we last looked in on Deborah, she was emerging from a time of crisis with a renewed sense of her purpose. Today, she’s thriving as a Customer Advocate sharing her story. And every time she does, she becomes a little bit stronger.
Last year, Shavonna’s family struggled through chronic illness, furloughs, COVID-precautions, and more. 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.
For over twenty years, Sheila worked at the same fast food restaurant, making salads for little more than minimum wage. After all that time, she earned just a dollar an hour more than the day she started. When a cut in her hours brought her to Crisis Assistance Ministry seeking assistance, her path began to change.
A recent discussion and training session brought together college-aged interns with community advocates who have experienced life on the bottom rung of the economic ladder in Charlotte. The wide-ranging conversation allowed participants to put themselves in the shoes of the people they will serve and to think a bit differently about the lives of people in poverty.
On May 4, Crisis Assistance Ministry joyfully celebrated the graduations of a new class of Customer Advocates. New graduate Kimberly reflected on her journey from customer to empowered advocate saying: “I have found my voice and will utilize it to the best of my ability to help families like mine understand that there is hope, that life happens to everyone, and that we must not give up but continue to move forward.”