One of the events that took place this past year was when we received a call from the United Way 211 Operator asking if our organization had the ability to help a mother with three little girls who were living in their car.

The young mother, an abused wife, had finally had enough and when she stood up to her abusive husband, he beat her. After, he raped her until she was broken—so he thought, but this young woman found her resolve and stood up to him. He beat her again—in front of her young children and then he called two of his friends to come to their trailer, where they also raped her—also in front of her children.

Somehow, in the middle of the night, when her abuser was drunk asleep, she gathered her three young daughters and her son from their terrified beds and drove. She had no idea where she was going and she had very little money, just enough for gas and food. They slept in their car until she reached San Bernardino, California. There she heard that the United Way hotline may be able to help. After she called, begging for assistance, United Way called Stephanie Machado, the CEO of our organization.

Our mission is to help children, and this often means with food or clothing. Never were we in a unique position to make a greater impact that this night.

With less than $500 in our bank account, Stephanie answered the call and met the mother and her daughters at a local motel where we paid for two nights lodging.

“How can your heart not break for these beautiful little girls?” She later told her staff.

How not indeed?

According to the California Coalition For Youth, there are approximately two million homeless youth between the ages of 12-24 years of age. Many of these kids are mobile, sleeping on friend’s couches, in a car as they try to evade social services. Many of them have come from Foster Care, where they have no desire to return. Would you like to partner with us as we impact children’s lives? DONATE NOW