Thank you for helping us support vital domestic programs like Casa Youth — a temporary shelter for runaways and youth in crisis. Located in Los Alamitos, California, the shelter provides a supportive environment with family reunification as a primary goal. Casa Youth Shelter shared with us some of their residents’ stories. You are supporting young women like “Samantha” and helping them change their future. Samantha is a 16 year old sexual exploitation victim brought to Casa Youth Shelter by the Department of Homeland Security. Samantha didn’t come from an abusive home. She wasn’t on drugs. She is a kid who got caught up in a nightmare. Samantha ran away from her parents’ home in Oakland, California after an argument with her mother. She wasn’t sure what she would do next, but Samantha felt she had to get out, so she ran away. Shortly after leaving home, Samantha met up with an older man who offered to give her a ride to Southern California. He seemed like someone she could trust, so she accepted the ride. A thousand times since that moment she has played her decision over and over. There are no words to describe how much she regrets that choice. Half […]
Together Rising family, meet Whitney, Adam, and their three precious babies Isaac, Noah, and Gideon. In early 2015, Adam began experiencing episodes of dizziness and numbness in his leg, which increased in frequency over the course of many months. At the time he was juggling graduate school, working, and raising two young boys with a third on the way, and his doctor assured him it was likely stress-related. After a scary incident in which he had a loss of vision while driving, Adam’s doctor ordered an MRI, which revealed a brain tumor the size of a baseball. After the surgery to remove the tumor Whitney and Adam received the devastating news that the tumor was glioblastoma, an aggressive and incurable cancer with an average survival rate of 15 months post-diagnosis. In a recent blog post, titled “We’re having a crappy time,” Whitney writes, “And the truth is, we are. A really crappy time actually. Now I know I was not the one lying on the OR table with my brain exposed while surgeons carefully resected a tumor. But (I know this without a doubt because Adam and I talk about it often) this part of the battle is […]
REAL love is not pink and fluffy and rose-y and butterflies. Real love is not shiny and whole and smiling serenely. Real love is not holding hands while running through fields of sunflowers or gazing over chardonnay while wearing sexy dresses and opening boxes of diamonds. It’s just not. That stuff is something else. That stuff is something that can be packaged and sold, which is why we see a lot of it this time of year. Real love is tough as nails. Real love is busted up and scuffed and a little jagged and exhausted. Real love is losing your temper seven times and apologizing eight times. Real love is overwhelmed and exhausted and just DONE at the end of each day. Real love is ADHD and how are we going to make rent and hurt feelings and sucky report cards and cancer and Listen, babies– this is life, this is brutiful life — and there is still much beauty to be found. Let’s find it together. Real love is knowing that tears of exhaustion are not signs that you’re on the wrong track — tears of exhaustion are confirmation that you are pouring out every bit of your heart […]
One of the notes that inspired us to begin our Together Letters program was one received during our most recent Holiday Hands. Mom Beckie wrote about her son Wyatt, and your response to her desire for connection was overwhelming. “My 8 year old son, Wyatt, is in 2nd grade and is in an LLD classroom for learning disabilities. Over the past year, Wyatt has been struggling with anxiety and depression. Over the past couple of weeks, … he is believing that he is not a good person, worthy of love and friendship. And that there is no hope for him in this world. And that all of the confusion and frustration going on inside cannot be fixed. Would you consider writing a card or letter to Wyatt this holiday season? He needs words & prayers of truth, affirmation, love and encouragement poured into him. He is kind, thoughtful, caring, and funny. I am certain that it would lift his spirits and that Truth and Love can and WILL win in Wyatt.” As you always do, you showed up. Over 140 of you commented, saying you wanted to send love and letters to Wyatt. “I would be absolutely […]
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