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Success Stories

Success Stories—Just a few inspirational stories of our friends and neighbors

Real changes made in the lives of local people just like you — made possible by donors like you.

River Valley Shelter for Battered Women and Children

Call me client "X".  I was not from this area.  I relocated here specifically to get away from my abuser.  I was not what one might think of as the typical "FACE" of domestic violence.  Sometimes people have the misconception that domestic violence only touches those people who are low income or uneducated.  I have a college degree and had been very successful in my career.  I left all that and came here with only the clothes on my back -- literally.  Once settled into the shelter, I followed the program and worked every day to becoming self sufficient and free from domestic violence.  I walked to my job everyday until I had saved up enough money to purchase a car.  I have my own house, a car, a job, a church and new friends in what was once an unfamiliar area.  Because of funding from United Way, River Valley Shelter for Battered Women and Children was able to change my story and put me on this right path to self sufficiency. 

 

Arkansas Center for Legal Services

I am the grandmother of a three-year-old child.  The child's mom, my daughter had used drugs during the pregnancy. The child was born premature, with a birth weight of one pound.  The child tested positive for THC, at birth. Due to the child's medical condition at birth, the child was awarded a Supplemental Security Income [SSI] pension, which was direct deposited into her mom's bank account.

My daughter abandoned the child at my home, after pushing me and the child to the floor.  I applied for legal assistance with the Arkansas Center for Legal Services, seeking to be appointed the child's guardian.  The staff attorney assigned to the case filed for emergency guardianship, so that I could stop my daughter from taking the child.  Then, the attorney filed for temporary guardianship, which required a hearing and the production of specific documents.  Next, the attorney filed for a permanent guardianship, which was granted in April of 2015.

The guardianship enabled me to go to the Social Security Office and discuss my grandchild's case.  I learned that my daughter had been using the child's SSI check for herself and that the child's case had been closed because mom failed to complete necessary documents. I, as child's guardian, reapplied for SSI benefits and was represented by the CENTER's attorney.  The child's benefits were reinstated and my daughter was arrested for misappropriation of child's benefits.

The guardianship enabled me to obtain both medical and therapeutic aid for my grandchild. Now the child and I are both free from abuse and violence. Because of funding from River Valley United Way, my family had access to services that changed the story for my grandchild.

 

Help Network

A client came to Help Network to request assistance on a utility Disconnect Notice. Her only source of income is Social Security Disability. Due to some unexpected automotive repairs, she had gotten behind on her bills. She lived in HUD subsidized housing which meant that if either electricity or water is disconnected, the tenant will be evicted from the property. Her disconnect notice was for $190.37. It is the policy of Help Network to pay a maximum of $100 per utility, but in this case, paid the entire amount for this client knowing if she was disconnected she would be evicted and would expend significantly more resources re-housing her than paying extra on this utility. She was asked to attend a free budgeting class, which she did. Not only has she not had to receive additional assistance, she made a contribution back to Help Network within three months of receiving the assistance. Help network changed her story from one of disconnection of utilities and possible eviction to one of self-sufficiency and even giving back to the program that helped change her story.

 

Single Parent Scholarship Foundation-Johnson County

I am a past recipient of the SPSF. I was successful in my education because of this scholarship and unbelievable support. I attended ATU and earned my teaching licensure. I am now a literacy teacher at Kraus Middle School in Clarksville. I am the single parent of two boys. I honestly believe that God had a plan for me to attend school later in life.  My oldest son and I were freshman the same year. He was a freshman in high school and I was going back to school and a freshman in college. Both of my kids were very supportive of my decision to go back to school. The reason I waited so late in life to go back is because my youngest son had a cognitive disorder which means that you could only teach him in steps. He went to school every day and every evening I would reteach him.  There were many evenings were there was books all over the kitchen table because all three of us would be studying together. I think because my sons witnessed me studying so much that they picked up on the importance of education and the study ethic it takes to succeed. When you want to succeed at something you have to put in the hard work.

So we did all together.  Because of the scholarship I received from SPSF JC, funded in part by River Valley United Way my story has a happy ending, I believe that it was a group success. I was on the Dean’s List every semester that I attended Arkansas Tech. My oldest son and I graduated four days apart where he was Valedictorian of his class.  I don’t think that I could have been as successful without the support of SPSF.