Deborah never imagined for a moment that she would find herself sitting across the desk from another social worker seeking help to dig herself out of a crisis. Returning to school in her 40s to earn associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees in social work, she was used to making her own way as a mother, daughter, caregiver, and advocate for children.
But as she watched dementia slowly take her mother, battled her own depression, and ultimately had to retire due to her own health difficulties, things got hard for Deborah. Loss of income and grief overtook her, and before long she was, in her own words, “sitting alone in the dark, with no lights, no food, and too much pride to ask anyone for help.”
After three days, she finally confided in a friend who suggested Crisis Assistance Ministry could help. Hesitant and embarrassed, Deborah initially resisted, but finally made the brave journey to seek assistance.
“I was sad, I was distraught, I was at the point of giving up, and I was humbled,” she recalls. “Yet, kindness, concern, and hope is what I got that day.”
Thanks to your generous support, payments directly to her utility providers restored her service and an emergency referral provided her with food to make it through.
But what happened next surprised even Deborah.
“Who knew that my encounter with Crisis Assistance would be the catalyst to relaunch me? To shake me out of a depression and a sense of loss, so that I could once again become a part of the helping community?”
With her immediate emergency solved, Deborah entered the Customer Advocate training program where she reconnected with her voice and her purpose. At graduation, she shared her story and her triumph over hardship, declaring “I am Deborah … and I am an Advocate.”
Since then, she has volunteered in Crisis Assistance Ministry’s business office and continues to serve as a mentor, advocate, and encouraging friend to others who find themselves in need in our community.
For Deborah, your support in her lowest moment was more than a financial lifeline. It was a life-changing gift that empowered her to reclaim her true self.
You can become an advocate for people like Deborah in Charlotte-Mecklenburg by making a gift today.