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My three children and I live with my mother and her boyfriend in an apartment in the city. I attend school full time. I can't afford the cost of daycare that is why I am so grateful for Mom's House. I can't find a job that would pay enough for me to raise my family on my own.
However, I am hoping that will change soon. I'm in the process of completing my degree and I only have a semester to go. With my new degree, I can earn more and provide a better life for my family. In the meantime, though, we rely on Mom's House and the different programs there like the food pantry to help feed my children.
Mom's House has been able to help me the entire time my daughter and I have been at Mom's House. Mom's House has been particularly helpful to my entire family during the summer. My other two children who are school age - aren't receiving free school meals – so I must stretch our budget even further those extra costs. I start stocking up shelf-stable items from the pantry early in the year so I know we'll have enough. During the summer, I also cut food costs by enjoying fruits and vegetables from the Mom's House garden. I do everything I can to make sure my children have enough of the healthy food they need to grow strong – no matter the season.
I have no income and it's self-defeating at times. Especially when I get up to go to school each day when I can't put food on the table. Even so, I refuse to let my income level define me. I am Ivonne. I am a daughter, a mother, and I am surrounded by a loving, caring community – including the people at Mom's House who are always there for us.
I'm going to get my degree and tomorrow will be brighter. But today, I'm still thankful for what I have. We may not experience the "finer things" in life but we have everything we need, including love – and that's something money will never be able to buy.