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End of the Year Story

Dear Alison,

Looking at my home, you’d have no idea…

It’s just after five a.m. The alarm reminds me of the full day I have. Like many, I’m a mom of two great kids. I live in a booming small-town community. I have a newer car, college loans that drown me, a safe place to live, a good job, and have food in the fridge. I count myself blessed. I begin to reflect on the mission of the day and push back tears that remind me that my plan was for it to never be so difficult.

I thought my big house in Lake Township would keep me safe from all the memories I’ve tried to escape, and I’d raise a family in the loving arms of my husband. I thought life wouldn’t alter my plan, it couldn’t. I did my time in hell. I starved as a child. I felt beatings as a child. I was living in a car as a child, and watched my parents encourage drugs on myself and my siblings. I Listened to the screams of violence through the night, just to be pulled out of bed and told to get on the bus for school.

Yes, in beautiful Lake Township, I was one of the children the community refused to see.

Love Our Community is one of the first places that asked “how can we walk beside you?” I held my breath, because it’d been so long since I felt seen for all I’d been doing right, instead of all my failures. This life gave me a path I wasn’t prepared for. Now I’m determined to keep pulling myself up, learning to hold my head high when it hurts, as my neighbors start to acknowledge that “poor” individuals come in various forms. Not all are dirty and homeless. Inner-city struggles can be found in our own backyards.

Thank you for understanding I need to feel value in what I do, for my children. It’s so important for me to keep pulling my kids up and out of generational poverty. That they don’t ever have to realize they were poor until it’s all over, until they are grown and successful. I know now why they say it takes a village, because my children deserve to live in a community full of love and respect. In a community that builds one another up, working hand in hand. We are not promised anything in this life, but we can promise one another that no one should have to walk alone. We can STAND UP for each other.

This holiday season, the best way we can stand up for each other is to donate to Love Our Community, to help expand their community-based response to homelessness in Lake Township as we enter the new year. After great events this past year and the movement of neighbors standing up for each other inspired by their WE STAND project, Love Our Community is highlighting the issue of hidden homelessness in Lake Township now more than ever. They are standing up to fight this good fight alongside all of us.

Will you consider making a year-end gift to Love Our Community? Together we can stand up for our neighbors and make a tremendous difference. You can donate online

or by check to 2470 Findlay Circle NW Uniontown, OH 44685.


Your No Longer Unseen Neighbor

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