A letter from Community Assistance Manger, Sonya Humphries.
I know what it means to feel alone.
I know how it feels when your heart and mind believe you have run out of options. I also know the feeling of happiness and hope when someone unexpectedly lends a helping hand.
As a single mother of three girls, I know firsthand how difficult it is to raise children with little to no help and the frustrations that come along with it. The long nights and tear-stained pillows. There is no manual given to new moms with detailed instructions on the proper way to raise a child, and, sometimes, even often times, we do not get it right.
It was in these moments of what could have been seen as moments of despair that I truly learned the importance of helping others.
I had my first baby at eighteen. For a young mother still figuring life out herself, the birth of my baby girl brought on a new set of challenges I was not prepared for, and, that I could not fully handle on my own.
The birth of my daughter taught me so much. It taught me the importance of humility and what it really means to be of service to others. When I felt alone, confused, or scared, my “village” was there to comfort me. When I did not know how I would feed my daughter or buy pampers, there were people who moved mountains and made miracles happen. It was in these moments of what could have been seen as moments of despair that I truly learned the importance of helping others. I promised myself that I would dedicate my life to being a helping hand to other people the way that I was helped when I was a new mom figuring it out.
My daughters are either married, gainfully employed, or currently in college, and I cannot take all of the credit for their success. My “village” and the resources afforded to me when I had nowhere to turn helped me and my babies turn it all around.
As a native Atlantan, I have lived in, worked in, and frequented low-income neighborhoods all of my life, and I know first-hand the services we provide at AVLF are making a difference.
The people we serve at AVLF deserve the care, concern, and support so graciously given to me. As a native Atlantan, I have lived in, worked in, and frequented low-income neighborhoods all of my life, and I know first-hand the services we provide at AVLF are making a difference.
I am the Community Assistance Manager at AVLF. Our Emergency Assistance Program allows us to provide emergency financial help to our clients who otherwise would face homelessness, or would have to return to their abuser.
The biggest challenges I face are the times when someone has found the courage to ask for help, but due to limited funding or funding restrictions, we just can’t give them what they need.
It is important in our personal success stories that we remember there are people in our community still trying to figure it out. There are people that need that extra support to get their lives back on track. Support in all forms, whether it’s time or resources, is a building block for a thriving community.
It is my hope that AVLF continues to be that safe space where people feel comfortable saying “I need help.”
The best part of my job thus far has been the moments when I get to hug a smiling client whose burdens are less bothersome because of the assistance afforded by our generous donors. Without their love, care, and support, many of my Atlanta brothers and sisters would not have received the help they so desperately needed.
It is my hope that we are able to continuously be a part of the “village” for the people that live in our community that are still trying to figure it out. It is my hope that AVLF continues to be that safe space where people feel comfortable saying “I need help.” It is my hope to expand the Community Assistance Program, reaching more families who need extra support.
Want to read other Letters From Leadership? They are an easy way to find out what drives us here at AVLF. You can find them all here.