Client TestimoniesPlease note - all names of clients have been changed.
Lila is a 20-year-old single mother of a 4-year-old boy. Her parents have not been supportive since her teen pregnancy, but she is determined to provide for little Joseph. She works full-time at a medical office, but recently sought help with a utility bill because her earnings had fallen short while she took leave during her son's illness. WFCM gave aid to cover her bill--the only assistance she wanted. Lila shared, "I sometimes go to high schools to talk about my struggles and encourage other teenage girls to avoid going down the same path I have. There are no more nights out with friends . . . you grow up very fast; all your energy goes to working and coming home to take care of your child. The only thing that gets me through is knowing how much my son depends on me." She added, "Thanks to organizations like yours, I'm able to do this and make ends meet."
A 72-year-old man came to WFCM this spring for food assistance. He lives alone and had been paying his rent late every month due to the timing of his social security check's arrival. With the help of funds from St. Vincent De Paul Society at St. Timothy Catholic Church in Chantilly, WFCM was able to pay his next month's rent, allowing him to save his own funds to pay the next bill before the deadline. He now has auto payment set up with his bank and leasing office, saving $97 monthly in late fees--more resources toward his food needs
Helen says of WFCM, "This place is like my right arm in my life. It motivates me to go on." After working for 23 years as supervisor seamstress, Helen lost her job when the company closed. She became depressed about situation since she was too young to retire. While Helen was looking for work, WFCM provided emergency utility and mortage assistance so she could keep her home. Now Helen is working again as a seamstress, but makes less than half the income she made previously. Cheerfully, Helen affirms, "People are amazed that I am able to support myself and my daughter in college at Virginia Tech." As she considers her blessings, she is thankful for her health, her ability to work, and the food assistance from the WFCM Pantry - all which allow her to care for her family.
Mary has been a WFCM client for one year. She has three children ranging in age from 15 to 2 years old. Mary works 38-40 hours a week cleaning houses and is grateful for the variety of food she is able to select each month in the Food Pantry. Vegetables, soup and pasta are staples in her family and when she is able to obtain these items at the Pantry, her food dollar stretches at the grocery store. Mary also appreciates some convenience foods like canned pasta which simplify dinner prep after a hard day at work. Holding a can of garbanzo beans, Mary says she even gets to pick out items for herself. The referral Mary receives for clothing at the WFCM Thrift Store helps the whole family, especially her youngest son, who is constantly growing. In speaking in general about WFCM, Mary says, " I really appreciate everything you do for us. Thank you! "
Marissa was referred to WFCM by the case manager at Shelter House. Working with Shelter House, they were able to find housing in our service area for Marissa. Jonathan has income as a driver and Marissa isn't able to work due to an injury but they will be able to afford their living expenses on his income. She is working with a therapist to improve her medical situation and hopes to return to work someday. WFCM is supporting this family with monthly food and quarterly clothing assistance. WFCM and Shelter House will continue to work together to secure their future.
Martha is a mother with five children and has been on her own for about six years now after separating (on and off) from her husband. She collects scrap metal and recycling to allow her a more flexible schedule to care for her children. She has been receiving minimal child support as well as food stamps to make ends meet.
Martha has worked diligently to keep her children with her. This past summer, when she was renting a room and went into foreclosure, she was forced to seek a new place. In the meantime, the children stayed with her ex-husband while she sought a new rental. Unbeknownst to her, he left for New Jersey, taking the three youngest children while leaving the older two with his sister. The oldest, in distress, was able to reach Martha. She desperately tried calling him, but he would not return her calls. Martha feared that he had left without the intention of returning the children.
School started in September. She reached out to WFCM for assistance and spoke to an employee about her concerns. There was a genuine opportunity to share the gospel and Martha received Jesus as her personal Lord and Savior. The following week, she participated in the Bible study and prayer group offered by WFCM. To our surprise, the following Wednesday, she returned with joy, as her ex-husband had returned her children. She praised God for His faithfulness and was very grateful. Her life has improved greatly. Her children are all doing well in school and she is now in the process of receiving housing and learning English.
Juan is a single father of three boys. He came to the United States and while his family was waiting to join him, his wife passed away. He brought over his sons. He has worked full time and has struggled to pay his bills on his limited income. He did not want to take his sons out of their high school, so finding a more affordable place to live was out of the question. His twin boys will be graduating from high school this year and attending Northern Virginia Community College in the fall. They have applied and been approved for a housing choice voucher and will be moving to a more affordable place in August. He has been a WFCM client since 2009 and we've provided him with food, clothing and financial assistance with utilities and car repairs.