*Alice (not her real name) graduated from Rollins College and successfully held down a job and ran her own business for many years. Alice was also bipolar and as time went by, found it difficult to navigate a successful career and side business. She eventually found herself homeless and without insurance. That is when we met her.
Alice walked into the offices of Christian HELP for the first time last November. Her hands were jittery, her eyes darted back and forth and it became apparent to her Care Manager that Alice would need more than her resume reviewed and new clothes to land a job.
Since losing her insurance, Alice was not able to get the proper medical treatment she needed. Our Care Manager referred her to one of our community partners to address this issue. Two weeks later Alice walked back into our office a completely different person. She was not only able to get back on her medication but through our collaborative partners, she was able to get a haircut and appropriate clothing for a job interview. She looked fantastic and we were thrilled!
Alice continued to meet with her Christian HELP Care Manager for the next three months and the transformation she experienced was nothing shy of a miracle. Alice not only physically began to transform, but her heart began to grow in the love and grace as she willing heard of the love of Jesus Christ.
Alice is now living with a friend and contributing to the household by supplying the food she receives from Christian HELP’s Food Pantry. She also found a job working for the Department of Economics at a local college!
What do you do when you are laid off?
I shared the answer to that question to a group of 17 adults who had just found out 15-minutes before they met me that their company was closing and their positions discontinued.
The room was full of emotion; some tears, blank stares of shock, faces of worry, and even some angry expressions. Their employer had asked me to come and share hope with their employees, as well as practical solutions, because they cared about them and felt so bad about laying them off.
I was grateful for this privilege and honored that they would ask me. I knew the message I brought from Christian HELP would be that of hope, as well as helpful.
I shared about our services; about our resume reviewing, cover letter coaching, mock interviewing, free groceries and more. I told them about how we would help them process their emotions and help them find a way up and out of their despair. Many were entry-level workers, and some had positions in sales and others in mid-level management. I assured them we could help each of them and that we customize our approach to their need. Many commented they couldn’t believe our services were free.
We also talked about good decision making and how to live until a living could be found and how to move forward and the importance of a good attitude and a strong sense of self in the process.
I invited them to drop by the office of Christian HELP or make an appt., and reassured them that we were there for them. Christians helping all people.
By the time I left, they were asking questions, making jokes and smiling. I felt blessed to be your ambassador that day
Vickie Martin, Executive Director – Christian HELP
February is that great time of year when there is so much extra talk about love and so it only seems fitting to share with you this month a story about love, but not the kind you may expect.
The work of the Care Managers at Christian HELP often involves tough love. It can be hard to tell someone about the barriers they have in their life to employment and what it will take to overcome them. It is hard to hold someone to a plan and require participation on their part, but that is what Care Managers do every day at Christian HELP. Accountability for the client is not always welcome, but it is actually one of the ways we love job seekers.
Case and point – a Care Manager visits with an unemployed, middle-age woman recently and speaks sincerely and truthfully with her about her efforts in seeking a job. The conversation is not appreciated and the client gets up and walks out. These are difficult moments in the everyday work of helping people, but there is more to the story…
Some time later, that same Care Manager comes face-to-face with that same client at one of our Job Fairs. And to our surprise, the client approaches the Care Manager, offers up a hug and apologizes. She asks for forgiveness for her behavior and goes on to share how she thought about what the Care Manager said and put it into practice. Upon doing so, she got a part-time job and was now at the job fair looking for another one. She attributed this as possible because of what the Care Manager had shared with her before. Needless to say, the Care Manager was thrilled at the outcome of this story. They want people to find employment – that’s the simple goal, but it can be hard to help, but when it works out – it’s all worth it.
The doors to Christian HELP are open. The line outside has been forming since 9:15am. Men, women and children fill the waiting room. The atmosphere is one of excitement and anticipation.
The phone rings, it is a client from the week before telling us she just found a job thanks to the job search coaching and leads she received at Christian HELP. The bell is rung and the entire staff joins in the celebration that one more life is being transformed.
Ann, one of our Care Managers, will be busy all day, counseling, praying and providing support to job seekers. Clients will receive one-on-one attention, as well enough food to feed their families.
The day isn’t over for Ann. She starts making calls to check in on clients from the previous week. She celebrates with the ones who have found a job and provides hope and sets follow up appointments for those who are still looking.
It’s time to call it a day! The food pantry is cleaned and ready to receive the follow morning’s shipment of milk, eggs, meat, etc. The day has ended much like the 8,760 previous days that Christian HELP has served the community. People being served, lives being changed.
Will You Join Us?
Will you support the work to help others get back to work? Right now we are in our biggest fundraising campaign of the year, Harvest of Hope. All donations received by November 15th for our Campaign will be doubled. Will you help us help twice as many people have their lives changed? Send your donation now and thank you in advance for helping to transform lives – right here in Central Florida.
On behalf of all clients and families who benefit from your generosity, thank you so much for your support! We were able to raise about $80,000, which is a little more than HALF of our Goal of $150,000.
We still have the opportunity to take advantage of the MATCH until November 15th! Click Here
When he came to us in June, Adam* was out of full-time work for four years. He was picking up a few consulting jobs but it was not the same as full-time employment. Well educated and experience in IT, Adam was now depressed, lacking self-confidence and worn out from trying. For three years, he wanted to propose marriage to his girlfriend, but without a job, he wouldn’t do it. Through our services, Adam had access to open positions, the training he needed to find work and the transforming support of staff and volunteers who believed in him. By mid-August, he was working full time.
Last night I was offered the position as an IT Support Technician and I gracefully accepted it. I am so happy I’m finally going back to work!!! I want to Thank God for this Blessing!!! because without him this would have never happened and I never would have found your organization. You showed me the proper way to get a job and provided encouragement, prayer and support, instilling the confidence I needed to get this position. You believed in me when I had nearly given up on myself.
*Name has been changed
“I don’t think I belong here,” said Yvonne with tears in her eyes. It was her first day at Christian HELP’s CFJI job training course.
“I feel very uncomfortable and want to leave.”
Yvonne had been unemployed for many years and felt unsure of herself and her ability to be of value to anyone. Many times during the seven-day CFJI course, she wanted to quit. When the day arrived for the participants to practice their interview skills, Yvonne was more unsure of herself than ever before.
One of our trainers noticed her anxiety and decided right then and there to pray. Yvonne made the decision to push forward and to finish the class. And boy, are we happy that she did!
The last day of the class Yvonne seemed like a new person. Even her family noticed a changed! She then attended our CFEC Job Fair and used the skills she learned in class to network, something she never would have had the confidence to do before!
We are happy to announce Yvonne applied for a job at our Job Fair and was offered a position!
Won’t you JOIN US as we work to provide Central Floridians with Hope Encouragement Love and Prayer! Visit us at HERE to find out more about Christian HELP and how you can partner with us!