“Coming to Toyland, it didn’t look like struggle. There were kids my age and toys and music. I was so excited when I got a starter jacket. I picked it out, but getting it wrapped to have a gift to open, it fills you up.
Shana and Eric both worked multiple jobs to support their small family. But now, with rising prices, they can’t afford to buy enough food for their family. “It was hard to admit we needed help, but the Center made it easy to get food and diapers,” said Shana.
“We were out of money. Then we ran out of diapers. It was awful. We visit the Center every month for diapers now. Thank you.”
“I had a bad experience with my neighbor who knew I could not speak English. The police tried to help, but I could not explain myself.
“I was visiting the Center for food when someone told me SNAP qualifications had changed. They set me up with an appointment for Client Assistance, and Salim walked me through the whole application.
“[Opening Doors] helped me land a job when I was first released. But the pandemic hit, and I was laid-off. I almost lost everything!
“The POP scholarship program helped me earn my associate’s degree. Now I’m a radiology tech.
“You can tell that [Opening Doors] staff really care. They’re the kind of people we need in our lives right now.
“This year has been rough. First, we all got COVID. A short while later, Suz had to stay home with Connor for a 14-day quarantine. She didn’t have a full paycheck for two months, so we started visiting the Center occasionally for food.
“Diapers are expensive, and our little guy goes through a LOT of them. Being able to get some diapers from the Center every month really helps.