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This fundraiser ended on 02/15/10

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I have been a \"big sister\" to Katie since she was 4 years old. She\'s now 19, married to a sweet young man named Sam, and pregnant with their first child - Kieran. They need some help getting started, and a place to live with their son.

About 15 years ago I signed up as a volunteer for Project Growing Together, a program that partners adults with "at risk" kids. I met Katie the day after her fourth birthday. I'll never forget that little girl waiting at the top of the stairs to meet her new "big sister." We've been together ever since.

Katie is now 19 and married to a sweet young man named Sam. They are about to have a son named Kieran - any minute now. They have no money and no good place to live with their son. They only have a strong desire to make a better life for Kieran than they had for themselves.

Both Katie and Sam had challenging childhoods. I won't go into details to respect their privacy. Suffice it to say, I had a lot of heartache watching the things Katie had to go through as a child.

I see in them now a fierce determination to grow and build a good life for their son. However, they're having a hard time. Sam did not graduate high school, and they can't afford the $70.00 it will take for him to get his GED. (We're helping him with this). They have no transportation and no money for a bus pass. Sam has had a really hard time finding a job without transportation or a high school diploma.

He does have one now. However, their current living situation and the expenses of a baby on the way have made it impossible for them to get ahead.

Katie was working, but had a high-risk pregnancy and was put on bed rest. Kieran could be born any minute now.

They don't really have an ideal situation (an understatement) regarding their living arrangements. Katie was talking with me about the possibility of taking her newborn and the three of them living in a shelter.

I know it's a difficult time for everyone financially. Jim and I had our own challenges last year, and are just now starting to climb out of them. However, Katie is like a daughter to me - and I can't sit by and do nothing while she talks about bringing her baby to a shelter.

So - I'm trying to raise enough money to provide them with rent and utilities for 3-4 months. This will give them time for Sam to get his GED, find a better job, and start saving some money. Katie has also looked into a program called Healthy Start that can help her with day care and schooling so she can have a better job in the future.

I truly believe this would not be a hand OUT - but a hand UP! I've been watching these two kids the last year - and I see a fierce determination to change their situation and give their son a better life than they had.

If you can, please donate whatever you can towards giving them a headstart. Even the smallest amount will help.

If you can't - please keep this young family in your prayers - that they get the strength and the help they need.


PS - They both understand this is a one-time assistance - after this, it's up to them. But I've been watching them. I believe they are determined and they're up to the challenge.


Donna Cutting

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