Help bring joy to a family in need this Holiday season! We are hosting our annual Gift Card Drive benefiting FamilyForward. FamilyForward is a local non-profit that helps low-income, working parents who face incredible obstacles as they struggle to provide for their families and live their best lives.
FamilyForward helps families reach financial and career goals and gain skills to rise above poverty. Each Holiday season, they sponsor families and help to provide them with funds to get through the Holidays and provide gifts for their families. We want to help!
Instead of buying gifts directly for the kids, we ask for gift cards to their favorite stores, which allows the parents to pick out their own gifts, giving them a sense of pride and independence.
If you’d like to adopt a family and get more information on their situation and favorite places to shop, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more!
Here are a few suggestions for Gift Card Ideas…
- Gas Cards
- Family Dining such as Subway, Chipotle, McDonald’s, Dominoes, Portillos, Culvers, Starbucks
- Visa Gift Cards
For Papa’s Sake will match all donations DOLLAR FOR DOLLAR. Any amount you are able to give is truly appreciated!
We raised over $13,000 for FamilyForward families in 2021, and we are hoping to do the same this year!
Meet the Families
The B Family
Mom B is a CNA at a long-term care facility. She has one child in elementary school and one child in middle school. She contracted Covid twice since the pandemic began, and her kids had it once, but fortunately, everyone has fully recovered. Taking care of herself and her children has exhausted all her paid time off. So now, when one of the kids is sick, and Mom B needs to stay home, the hours she misses are unpaid. Mom B works overtime shifts when they are available and when she can find someone to watch the kids.
The children’s father only sometimes pays court-ordered child support, and his only visitation must be supervised, so Mom B cannot rely on him to help watch the kids so she can work more.
Mom B has been diligent about paying down her debt. She lives frugally and seeks out bargains. When Mom B was the victim of bank fraud, FamilyForward paid her rent until the stolen money was recovered. She is grateful to FamilyForward for the safety net they have provided and for the ongoing support and encouragement of her volunteer mentors.
The D Family
Mom and Dad D have 3 children – high school, elementary school, and a toddler. When they applied to our program, Mom D had been off work for longer than expected due to complications with pregnancy and delivery. They fell behind on some bills while she was recovering. Mom D returned to work on day shift, and Dad D works overnights in a warehouse. This schedule allows them to keep their childcare costs low.
While in our program, Mom D finished her professional certificate from a local community college and uses that for her new 2nd job, which she can do from home. This additional income allowed the family to pay off their car, eliminate some old debt, and put plenty of money into savings for future emergencies. Their future goal is to start college savings plans for their children.
The E Family
Mom E has 2 daughters, one in high school and one in elementary school. She works the overnight shift for a financial services company, on the phone and on the computer at her home. She sleeps during the day when her children are at school. The children’s father does not participate in their lives. Mom E’s wage is just a little bit too high for her to qualify for a Link card (food stamps) so she must pay for all the groceries out of her paycheck. She is taking a certification class that will increase her credentials (FamilyForward paid the tuition) and make her eligible for a higher paying job. With her mentors, Mom E is working on creating a realistic household budget and a debt reduction plan to reduce some of the debt she has accrued in recent years.
The F Family
Mom F has 3 children – middle school, high school, and college. When her marriage ended, she was determined to maintain stability for the children, of whom she has sole custody. With the help of FamilyForward, she moved into an apartment that allows her kids to stay in the same schools.
Her income as an employee of a local public school district does not allow her a lot of breathing room financially. She worked with her mentors on establishing a household budget to reflect her new life as a single-income household. In addition to parenting her 3 kids, Mom F is also the primary caregiver to her aging parent, who lives in a nearby suburb. Mom F is grateful to FamilyForward for looking out for her because she spends all her energy looking out for other people.
The G Family
Mom G has twins in elementary school. Mom G’s biggest concern and biggest expense is child care. She makes just a little too much to qualify for assistance from the State of Illinois for child care. Last summer, she exhausted her savings to pay for day camp so she could work, and her income made her ineligible for any scholarships. Part of what Mom G is working on with her FamilyForward mentors is establishing a plan to save up for day camp so that expense does not wipe her out next summer.
The children’s father does not pay child support, and he does not participate in their lives. After a long time at a dead-end job, Mom G recently got a higher-paying job as an administrative assistant at a large corporation. Her wage went up, and she subsequently lost her Link card (food stamps). She is hopeful that she can work her way up to a better position within this company so that paying for groceries out of pocket will be less of a financial burden. Mom G is eager to live debt-free and is working with her mentors on a plan to pay off the last of her debt.
The H Family
Mom H has 2 children in elementary school. She and her husband were able to make ends meet between the two of them, but he passed away in an accident last year. Mom H’s priority is to provide stability for the children, and she is doing her best to keep them in the same apartment and at the same school and to minimize any further disruption in their lives.
Mom H’s current income is not enough to support the family. She has enrolled in school. Once she finishes the professional certificate in her industry, she will be eligible for higher-paying jobs. Mom H’s volunteer mentors are helping her manage many details following her husband’s passing, including selling his car, establishing a budget, and reapplying for some government assistance programs as a single-income family.
Mom H is grateful for the safety net that FamilyForward provided for her and her children, and she has told us many times how she plans to help other families in need when she is in a financial position to do so.
The J Family
Mom J has 2 children in elementary school. When she applied to FamilyForward, she was working a low-paying job. She since got hired at a new company with a higher-paying position and is trying to manage the stress of learning all the ins and outs of this new job.
Mom J has been taking classes at Harper and has one semester left until she completes her Associate’s Degree. Having her degree will allow her to advance within her new company and earn more money. Between working full-time, taking classes, doing homework and studying for tests, parenting her children, and running the household, Mom J is exhausted and often overwhelmed. The FamilyForward rent subsidy has given her some financial breathing room. She is grateful for the support and encouragement she gets from her volunteer mentors.
The P Family
Mom P has 4 children – in college, high school, and 2 in elementary school. She is an allied health professional and works full-time at a local clinic. She also picks up occasional shifts in food service to bring in extra income. The children’s father does not pay the child support that he is court-ordered to pay, and he does not participate in their lives.
When Mom P applied to FamilyForward, she had fallen behind on many bills. The FamilyForward rent subsidy stabilized her housing, so she and her family did not get evicted or displaced. Her volunteer mentors helped her figure out which bills to pay off and in what order.
She has slowly replenished her savings and paid off her car. Both her teenagers have part-time jobs, so they are able to provide their own spending money. Mom P’s priority is for her kids to go far in school and grow their earning potential so they can break the cycle of poverty.
The Q Family
Mom Q has 2 children, one in daycare and one in elementary school. She works full-time as a customer service rep for a financial services company. Unfortunately, this job does not allow her to work from home, so when she needs to stay home to take care of a sick child, she does not get paid.
Mom Q’s daycare cost is significant, and she must pay whether or not her child attends. The children’s father does not pay child support and does not participate in their lives. Mom Q encountered some difficulties in the past, and she entered our program with a large amount of debt. Like many people with a low credit score, Mom Q’s car loan had a high-interest rate, and her monthly car payment was unmanageable.
However, she needs a car to get to and from work. Her mentors helped her create a debt reduction plan, taking advantage of the FamilyForward rent subsidy and her tax refund, to clean up her credit and eventually allow her to refinance her car loan.
Mom Q now uses a budget app to help her track her spending and add to her savings. Recently Mom Q told her mentors that she has been teaching one of her siblings how to use this budget app!
The R Family
Mom R has a teenage son with special needs. She works as an allied health professional and gets paid hourly, but her employability is entirely dependent on her childcare arrangements. Her son cannot be left home alone, despite his age. In addition to working full-time, Mom R is enrolled in classes toward an advanced degree which will increase her wage.
Mom R is working on building up her own savings but also figuring out a long-term plan for her son, who will not be able to live independently. While in the FamilyForward program, Mom R has paid down some debt and brought up her credit score. More importantly, her housing is stabilized, and she is in a position to able to pay all her own bills, on time, by herself.
The T Family
Mom T has 3 children: a son in college, a daughter in high school, and a daughter in elementary school. She works full-time as a Certified Nursing Assistant in a long-term care facility. With the goal of increasing her wage, Mom T is taking classes toward her LPN degree.
The children’s father does not participate in their lives. The family’s landlord raised their rent again this year, making it even harder for Mom T to scrape by. In addition to working full-time, taking classes, and parenting 3 kids, Mom T is also dealing with an ill parent who lives in another state.
While in FamilyForward she has been able to get caught up on all her bills, so she is no longer at risk of losing her housing. Her credit score has increased, and she is almost done paying off her car. Her son is the first person on either side of the family to pursue education beyond high school, and Mom T is hopeful her daughters will follow as well.
The W Family
Mom W has an adult child and a child in high school. She works full-time as a customer service rep at a building supply company and part-time as an evening receptionist in a nearby office. She works 2 jobs because one income was not enough to pay all the bills when the children’s father exited the household.
Shortly after Mom W entered our program, the owner of the condo she had rented for many years decided to sell, so Mom W had to find a new place to live. Fortunately, she was able to get an apartment in her child’s same school district, but her rent cost went up significantly.
In addition to working two jobs and parenting her children, Mom W had to take in an aging parent who was no longer able to live independently. The structure of our program and the support of her mentors gave Mom W the motivation she needed to set and meet some short-term goals, including living within a budget and attacking her debt.
These are just a few of the families that FamilyForward is able to impact with the help of your generous support.
If you’re interested in making a donation or learning more, send us an email or drop off your gift card donation at our office.
For Papa’s Sake Home Care
34 S. Dunton Ave
Arlington Heights, IL 60005
Thank you for your generosity and compassion!