How to Celebrate National Single Parents Day on March 21

Celebrate with us! March 21 is National Single Parents Day, and we at H.O.P.E. Inc. are thrilled to encourage and spur on the single mothers and fathers in our community on this special day.

Did you know that as of 2023, over 15 million children live with a single mother in the US, and over 3 million children live with a single father? Single parents are everywhere, and it’s a hard job to raise children on your own. Balancing work, school, child care, and more — being a single parent takes sacrifice, grit, and steadfastness.

It’s important that single parents feel seen and supported by their community. On National Single Parents Day, we have an opportunity to uplift single parents and celebrate them for the work they do and love they give. 

Here are a couple ways that you can celebrate National Single Parents Day this year, whether you are a single parent or are close to one.

If you are a single parent:

  • Make the day special! Treat yourself to a nice meal, plan a fun activity to do with your kids, or just take an evening to rest and focus on self-care. You deserve it!
  • Use this day as a chance to share your experiences as a single mother or father. If you post on social media, you can use the hashtag #NationalSingleParentsDay to connect with other families.
  • Meet up with other single parents to celebrate, whether that is hosting a dinner or planning a hangout for the kids to play together while the adults get time to chat.
  • Take some time to reflect on how you’ve grown and gained strength over the years. Write in a journal or take a quiet walk, spending some time with yourself.

If you support a single parent:

  • Show your support! Offer to watch the kids for an evening, invite the family over for dinner, or run an errand for the parent to lighten his or her load.
  • Give some encouragement — write a letter or call single parents you know to give them some praise for the work they are doing. Affirm them that they are doing a great job!
  • Look into supporting a local women’s shelter or single parents support center, and consider volunteering or donating to help out.

At H.O.P.E. Inc., we celebrate single parents every day, helping them to pursue their dream careers by supporting them through their higher education experience. We believe that single parents can change the trajectory of families for generations to come, and we want to give them the best foot forward through offering them financial assistance, life coaching, and additional resources.

Do you want to celebrate National Single Parents Day with us? Learn more about our program and consider becoming a donor today.

5 Tips for Eating Organic on a Budget

Eating organic — products free from genetic engineering and synthetic fertilizers — is becoming more and more popular as families strive to put the healthiest meals on the table. However, organic products can be expensive and inaccessible, especially when one is living on a tight budget. 

For single parents, you may be wanting to purchase organic foods, but it feels like the cost is too high. Luckily for you, we have some tips that can help you shop for the best products at the lowest prices.

  1. Pay attention to the season

Produce is more expensive out-of-season due to shipping costs, so you can save money by buying certain products only when they are in season. For example, beef is usually at its peak season after the weather first cools down in the fall, so you’ll find cheaper prices then. Plus, these products will taste better since they are more fresh! To shop seasonally, you can get more information from local farmer’s markets and community-supported agriculture programs (CSAs).

  1. Buy in bulk

Purchasing larger quantities of organic products like onions, potatoes, and flour that don’t go bad quickly can help you save money — and time running to the grocery store. Plus, you can freeze items in bulk like organic meat or fruits and veggies to have on hand at later dates. To buy in bulk, consider shopping at a store like Costco that specializes in affordable bulk items.

  1. Purchase store brand products

Seeking out the generic store brand of your favorite grocery store can help you cut costs, since store brand products are often priced lower than name-brand items. Here are some labels to look out for at your local store:

  • Publix: GreenWise
  • Aldi: Simply Nature
  • Target: Simply Balanced
  • Kroger: Simple Truth
  1. Use cash-back apps

Want to make easy cash back? There are apps where all you have to do is scan your receipt, and they will give you cash rewards. Check out apps like Fetch Rewards to start making a little extra on your purchases today.

  1. Look for coupons

Websites like Coupons.com can offer you additional savings on your organic groceries if you take the time to look for good deals. You can also sign up for your local grocery store’s loyalty program to earn additional savings and rewards from past purchases.

We at H.O.P.E. Inc. are all about supporting single-parent households, and we understand that it can be hard to manage school, work, and rent — without the grocery bill on top. That’s why we want to help, providing financial assistance for single parents as they progress throughout their higher education journey.

If you are a single parent looking for support as you attain your degree, check out our program to see if it is a good fit for you!

Sue

Sue is a 38-year-old single mother to eight-year-old twins, Alex and Emily, living in Buford, Georgia. After going through a divorce, Sue decided to go back to school for her nursing degree at Chamberlain University. However, between school and the high cost of rent, Sue struggled to make ends meet. Reaching out to H.O.P.E. Inc. for financial assistance, Sue received the support needed to pursue her degree and accomplish her goals.

Background:

When Sue got pregnant with her twins, she gave up her career in order to take care of her children with her husband. However, in 2019, everything started to fall apart. Her marriage was unraveling, and Sue knew that she would have to find a way to provide for herself and her children with a divorce. Though she got a full-time job, COVID hit soon after, and she quickly lost her new position. “It put me in a really tight spot,” she remembers. “I decided that I didn’t want another career that could be expendable. So nursing seemed like the best fit for me.”

Client situation:

Sue started her nursing degree at Chamberlain University in 2021, and she found it difficult to juggle school, childcare, and pay for housing at the same time as a newly single mother. “My rent is astronomical, and I didn’t want to move because I didn’t want to disrupt the kids with another life change,” she says.

When her university sent out an email sharing about H.O.P.E. Inc.’s program, Sue was hesitant to check it out. She had applied for dozens of scholarships already to no avail, and she had started to lose hope of receiving financial aid. However, when her friend got into the program and suggested she should also apply, Sue finally reached out to H.O.P.E. “I applied and Kenita called me a couple days later — it was just like that,” Sue says. In April of 2022, she became a H.O.P.E. participant.

Action:

Through H.O.P.E. Inc., Sue received $400 a month for rent assistance and an additional $400 a month to help pay for childcare services. “The after school services were huge,” she explains. “I didn’t have to worry about getting home from class or cutting my studying short. I was able to use those two days the kids were in childcare to get the bulk of my studying done. I don’t know if I could have done it without that help.”

However, beyond the financial support, Sue accredits H.O.P.E. to being a vital support system for her as she finished her education. “More than anything, I knew that if I ever had a serious problem, I could call Kenita or Danielle for anything,” she says.

Sue graduated with her nursing degree in December 2023, and she is looking forward to starting her new job as an ER nurse in March. With a career lined up, she now has the security to move confidently forward into the future without fear.

Testimony:

“Your family is always going to be there for you, but this is different. These people have no idea who I am, and they are believing in me. And they are giving me money to keep pushing towards my goals. That is a massive investment.” (Sue, 2023 Graduate)

Celebrating Christmas Without Stress: 3 Tips on How to Plan for the Holidays

As Christmas draws near, excitement grows more and more as we look forward to gift-giving, time with family, and fun winter activities. A time for joy and gratitude, it’s no wonder that the holidays are eagerly awaited each year.

However, for some, the Christmas season can be stressful. Expectations for the holidays are high — for both kids and adults alike — and for many single parents, navigating the celebrations alongside work, school, or family responsibilities can feel more like survival.  Are you feeling overwhelmed with the weight of the holidays? Here’s a couple tips on how you can embrace the season without fear of breaking the bank.

1. Set a budget

Whether you have already set money aside or have created a specific budget for gifts, it’s important to stick to a financial plan. Though you may feel tempted to spend more money on exciting gifts, knowing what you can or can’t afford gives you the freedom to shop without worries of lasting consequences. Not sure how to make a budget? Check out free apps like Mint or EveryDollar that can help you get started.

2. Navigate expectations with kids

It’s important to set your kids up for success, and that means setting Christmas expectations early. For example, this could look like telling your kids to create a three-item list of their most wanted items, and then the rest of their list are things they need. You can also invite your kids into your holiday planning, letting them provide ideas for at-home or inexpensive activities that you can do together over winter break. For ideas, check out Altana Parent’s list of free activities you can do with your children in the city.

3. Check out helpful holiday resources

Want some assistance in making Christmas a special time for your kids? Luckily, there are several organizations dedicated to helping lower income families celebrate through providing gift and meal assistance. Santa’s Knights and USPS Operation Santa are nation-wide gift-assistance programs, and Lift Up Atlanta offers services like a Christmas toy drive, an adopt-a-child for Christmas program, and holiday meal baskets. For more help with meals, you can also check out food bank opportunities through organizations like the Atlanta Community Food Bank and Salvation Army.

At H.O.P.E. Inc., we want single parents to be able to enjoy the holidays for what they are — a time for family and fun — without fear of financial burden, especially for those trying to earn their degree and work at the same time. Through resources, financial assistance, and continued support, we come alongside our participants to help them succeed and thrive while achieving their goals.

Are you interested in learning more about H.O.P.E.’s program? Check out our website to learn how you can partner with us to empower and lift up single parents in our community!

Ashley

Client need: Ashley

Ashley is a 34-year-old single mother to three children who are 13, 5, and 4 years old. Living in Duluth, Georgia, Ashley was attending nursing school at Chamberlain University when she discovered that she was struggling to balance work, school, and raising her children. Reaching out to H.O.P.E. Inc. for help, Ashley was able to receive financial assistance and resources that helped her achieve her goals.

Background:

Ashley always had a dream to become a nurse, desiring to follow in her mother’s footsteps. “Because she was a nurse, I wanted to be a nurse,” Ashley says. “When she passed away 6 years ago, I wanted to be a nurse to make her proud.”

Having worked as a medical assistant for several years, Ashley wanted to take the next step to pursue her nursing degree. Enrolling at Chamberlain University in 2020, she started her path to make her dreams come true.\

Client situation:

As Ashley pursued her degree, she quickly realized that juggling work, school, and parenting was a challenge. “Between expenses, studying, and trying to spend time with my kids, I was overwhelmed,” Ashley says. “I didn’t think I was going to be able to make it, and I did not see a light at the end of the tunnel.”

When Ashley learned about H.O.P.E. Inc. through a university email, she was drawn to the program’s financial assistance and resources. Reaching out to Kenita Smith, H.O.P.E. Inc.’s founder, she decided to apply.

Action:

Through her participation with H.O.P.E., Ashley received $400 a month of rent assistance. “H.O.P.E. Inc. took a weight off my shoulders,” Ashley says. “Just knowing I could rely on that extra assistance each month helped me to pay my bills with less stress, knowing it would be paid for on time.”

H.O.P.E. also provided Ashley with a budget coach, which helped her track and plan where her money was going, as well as school supplies and Christmas gifts for her kids.

When Ashley first started school, she wasn’t sure if she was going to be able to manage it all. However, in October 2023, Ashley graduated from Chamberlain University with her nursing degree and a job lined up as a labor and delivery nurse for a local hospital. Looking forward, she hopes to save money and eventually buy a home for her family.

Testimony:

“If you feel like you are overwhelmed or drowning, H.O.P.E. is a great resource. Not only do they help you financially, but mentally as well. If you are feeling anxious or stressed, they are always someone you can talk to. They are there to alleviate any burdens you may have.” (Ashley, Graduate 2023)

Support H.O.P.E. Inc. this Giving Tuesday

Would you like to work alongside us to transform lives?

This Giving Tuesday on November 28, you have the opportunity to join us in creating a ripple of change, impacting the lives and futures of single parents for generations to come.

At H.O.P.E. Inc. our mission is to support and encourage single parents as they work towards their goals of higher education and career growth. For single parents who are struggling to balance the responsibilities and financial stress of school, work, and parenting, we aim to be a necessary and uplifting source of hope, community, and relief.

Nakia’s Story

One such parent is Nakia, a 30-year-old single mother whose life was turned upside down when both of her parents passed away within a month. Raising her two children and now suddenly taking care of four additional younger siblings, Nakia struggled to focus on her studies and make ends meet amongst grief and rising stress. With mounting rent and bills, the threat of eviction loomed, and her financial situation spiraled out of control.

“I was on the brink of losing my apartment with nowhere to go, when people like you stepped in and saved my life,” Nakia says. “I will forever be grateful for each and every single person responsible for assisting me with my rent and other benefits. Even though things are still very hard, my head is now above water, and I am no longer drowning.”

How you can help

Nakia’s story is a testament to the incredible strength of single parents, but they can’t do it alone. Your support on Giving Tuesday will empower us to continue providing crucial assistance and resources to individuals like Nakia, who are determined to complete their education and create a brighter future for their families.

By donating this Giving Tuesday, you can:

  • Provide immediate relief to single parents facing eviction and financial hardship.
  • Support single parents’ educational pursuits and dreams for a brighter future.
  • Create a sense of community and empowerment for families.
  • Help turn stories of adversity into stories of triumph.

Are you ready to become a source of hope and a catalyst for change? Visit H.O.P.E. Inc.’s website this Giving Tuesday to partner with us as we walk hand-in-hand with single parents as they achieve their goals and pursue their dreams.

Erica

Erica is a 41-year-old single mother to three children, who are 11, 12, and 19 years old, living in Georgia. As she was studying to become a nurse at Chamberlain University, she worried about paying tuition and balancing her time with school, work, and family. It was then that she joined H.O.P.E. Inc.’s program, gaining the financial and personal support to complete her degree with excellence and begin her career.

Background:

Erica has worked in the medical field as a medical assistant for 15 years. However, she always wanted to become a nurse and enhance her degree. For years, it felt like there was no chance for her to return to school — she was busy taking care of her children and her father, who was ill from cancer. “I put those things before myself,” she says. “But once I got the opportunity to go, I took it and ran with it.”

Client situation:

When Erica was accepted into Chamberlain University’s nursing program, she quickly discovered that it was very difficult to keep up with the financial obligations and day-to-day responsibilities of managing a home. She started to wonder if it was possible to pursue her dream of becoming a nurse without putting her children’s dreams and aspirations on hold.

Then, Erica received an email from her university about H.O.P.E. Inc.’s program. She applied for the program’s financial assistance and was accepted as a participant. For her, she was accepted into the H.O.P.E. program during a time she needed it the most.

“It was a time when I wanted to give up, and I didn’t know if I was going to make it through nursing school,” Erica says. “And yet, I could always call H.O.P.E., and they were always there for me. Whether it was just to talk or to offer advice or encouragement, they were the outside support when you can’t go to your family.”

Action:

H.O.P.E. Inc. provided Erica with financial assistance for her monthly mortgage payments. However, the support did not stop there. H.O.P.E. also offered additional resources, such as a personal financial coach, budgeting classes, counseling, and life coaching that helped Erica prepare for life post-grad.

“I was previously living paycheck-to-paycheck and would get behind on things to pay something else off,” she says. “H.O.P.E. helped me get on track and get my emergency fund together. Now that I’ve finished school, I’ll be going into a different income bracket. They taught me how to budget and maintain it.”

H.O.P.E. also helped when it came to supporting Erica’s children. During holidays, they would provide gifts off of the childrens’ wish lists, and they also helped buy school supplies when the kids went back to school. When Erica’s oldest son was injured and couldn’t play football in college, H.O.P.E. offered him a scholarship so that he could get the supplies he needed for school.

On August 25, 2023, Erica graduated from Chamberlain’s nursing school, and now she is lined up to start her new career working in an emergency room department in November.

“Without H.O.P.E., there is no possible way I would have been able to finish my program,” Erica says. “My father got sick with cancer, and we were dealing with that. I had a lot on my plate. But they gave me a cushion, and they made it doable.”

Testimonial:

“The program works. They don’t ask a lot of you, but if you keep up with the criteria, you are guaranteed to complete every program you are trying to finish. They are always there, one phone call or email away. They are the support you’ve never had. And they are going to make sure you finish.” (Erica, 2023 Graduate)

Single Parenting on a Shoestring Budget: Tips for Financial Survival

Let’s be honest — simply going about day-to-day life can be expensive. From filling the pantry to paying for rent or childcare, expenses can rack up on your bill before you know it. For a single parent, managing these everyday costs can feel overwhelming, and it can be hard to know how to budget and prioritize cutting costs.

Though there are many tips and tricks to manage your money, here are a couple small ways that you can save money through everyday purchases and budgeting.

1. Cut grocery costs

Buying groceries is a necessary expense, especially when raising a family. However, there are ways to get the food you need without breaking the bank. Using coupon finders like Coupons.com or Groupon can help you score deals at your local stores. Plus, strategies like buying generic brands, only buying bulk of items you know you will use, and using up what you have in your pantry before going back to the store can help lower your overall monthly food budget. It can also be profitable to check out rebate apps like Ibotta, Fetch Rewards, and Receipt Hog, which can give you money back after shopping!

2. Save on clothing

Clothing costs — especially for growing children — can quickly add up. Borrowing clothes from family members or thrifting can be easy ways to save money. You can even thrift clothes online through shops like Poshmark and ThredUp. Beyond thrifting, you can also save money on clothes by shopping for items out of season (like buying coats in summer or swimsuits in winter), as well as buying generic brands for basic clothes. Plus, you can find clothing discounts and coupons for local stores using sites like RetailMeNot and Rakuten.

3. Find free activities

As a parent, you are always looking for fun activities to do with your kids. Luckily, there are plenty of free activities that you can do throughout the year to keep your children entertained. You can go exploring at local parks or trails or spend an afternoon at a local museum or library. Plus, many places have discount days that you could take your kids to, such as lower movie theater tickets on Tuesdays or going to eat at a restaurant during a kids-eat-free day.

4. Learn how to budget

Budgeting is one of the most important and effective ways you can take control of your finances. When you examine and categorize how much you spend each month, it can help you prioritize your spending and set goals for saving or paying off debt. By looking at your budget, you can trim expenses you don’t need, such as recurring subscriptions you don’t use or overpaying for cell phone or insurance plans. If you aren’t sure where to start with budgeting, you can use apps like Mint or Empower that will help you set your goals and budget categories.

At H.O.P.E. Inc., we want to support single parents so that they feel equipped to gain their degrees and pursue their dreams. Through financial aid, budget coaching, and more, H.O.P.E. walks alongside parents and encourages them as they work towards their goals.

Are you interested in becoming a participant or donor? You can learn more about H.O.P.E. Inc. and our mission today!

Tanisha

Tanisha is a 44-year-old single mother to two children — one minor and one adult — living in Douglasville, Georgia. When Tanisha found herself newly single while attaining her nursing degree from Chamberlain University, she struggled to keep up with her bills. Working part-time and trying to maintain her studies, she applied for H.O.P.E.’s program, hoping the organization could give her the needed support to complete her degree.

Background:

Having worked in healthcare for 20 years, Tanisha always knew that she wanted to obtain her nursing degree. Though she had started nursing school previously, she never completed the program — taking a class every now and again before quitting. However, when Tanisha started her degree at Chamberlain a little over two years ago, something was different. She was determined to finish her degree, and nothing was going to stop her.

Client situation:

Tanisha was working part-time while attending classes when her long-term relationship ended. Where he had been helping with bills and rent, suddenly Tanisha was trying to cover all the costs of rent, childcare, and tuition on her own. “When he left, I was working part-time, and I was in a position of strain,” she says. “I wasn’t sure if or how I was going to make it all happen.”

It wasn’t long before Tanisha came across H.O.P.E. Inc.’s program through a university email. After speaking with Kenita Smith, H.O.P.E. Inc.’s founder, she knew she wanted to become a participant. “I had my meeting with Kenita, and that solidified everything for me,” Tanisha says. “With the type of help you receive from the program, it was definitely worth it.”

Action:

H.O.P.E. supported Tanisha through $400 a month in rent assistance, helping to relieve her financial burden and stress. The program even assisted when Tanisha’s car was totaled in an accident, offering funds for rideshare services to transport her to work and school.

“H.O.P.E. allowed me to survive nursing school and get another part-time job that was better for my schedule,” Tanisha says. “The combination helped me finish school without any hiccups or fear.”

Tanisha graduated from Chamberlain University’s nursing school in September 2023, and she has a job lined up to work in an ICU department in November. She always wanted to work in critical care, and now, Tanisha finally has the job of her dreams!

Testimony:

“I definitely feel the impact from H.O.P.E.’s program. Without it, it would have been more of a struggle to manage work and school and make ends meet. H.O.P.E. was a huge relief, and they truly took the burden off.” (Tanisha, 2023 Graduate)

Join us for the 10th Annual Deon Lewis Memorial Hope Run on Oct. 8!

The 10th annual Deon Lewis Memorial Hope Run is one month away, and we could not be more excited!

Also known as the Neon Deon Run, our 5K fundraiser seeks to raise support and awareness for single parents as they pursue higher education, pull themselves out of poverty, and forever change the trajectory of their lives.

“At H.O.P.E, our mission is crystal clear: empower single parents, transform lives, and break the cycle of poverty for single parent families,” Kenita Smith, founder of H.O.P.E. Inc., says. “Every step in the Neon Deon Run is a stride towards brighter futures for single parents. Your run becomes their hope.”

The race will take place on Oct. 8 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. ET at McDaniel Farm Park in Duluth, Georgia. We hope you will participate and celebrate with us, along with your family! The kid-friendly event is superhero themed and will include a costume contest, raffle, prizes, and a fun run for children.

If you can’t attend the 5K in person, the event will be available virtually from Sept. 25 through Oct. 6. To register for the virtual event, you can visit the run’s website for more information.

Our hope is that this fundraiser will not only be a fun, meaningful experience for all — but that it will spur on our mission to help low-income single parents complete their degrees. Since 2011, we have been able to support 108 single parents and 239 children. Of the graduated participants, the average single parent’s income has increased by over $25,000 from when they began the program!

Through opportunities like the Deon Lewis Memorial Hope Run, you can come alongside us in bolstering single parents as they work to change their lives through higher education, for generations to come.

“As we gear up for the 10th Annual Deon Lewis Memorial HOPE Run, our hope is to not just cross the finish line, but to cross the boundaries of what’s possible for our community,” Smith says.

Whether in-person or virtually, we hope to see you there!

Aurelia

Aurelia is a 43-year-old single mother to two teenage sons living in Sugar Hill, Georgia. When she went back to school to become a dental hygienist at Fortis College, Aurelia struggled to keep up with rent and other finances. Through her participation with H.O.P.E. Inc., Aurelia not only received support that allowed her to keep her home and stay in school, but it taught her how to budget and maintain financial health beyond graduation.

Background:
Working as a dental assistant for over 20 years, Aurelia knew that she wanted to one day pursue her degree to become a hygienist. “I wanted to go back to school, since I was burnt out from my old job,” she says. “I knew I wanted to do something more in dentistry.”

However, attending school and keeping up with her bills proved difficult. Aurelia found herself refereeing sports games on the weekends to help cover her monthly expenses, but it still wasn’t enough to make ends meet. As a single parent, she also wasn’t receiving support from her childrens’ father to help get by. “I started to wonder, how am I going to do this?” Aurelia says.

Client situation:
It was around this time that Aurelia’s college program director sent an email referring her to H.O.P.E. Inc. Looking them up, she was encouraged by H.O.P.E.’s mission and dedication to financial assistance for single parents. After applying and meeting with Kenita Smith, H.O.P.E. Inc.’s founder, she was chosen and became the program’s 100th participant!

“That answer — getting into the program — was really special,” she says. “It saved my house, and it kept me in school.”

Action:
H.O.P.E. Inc. was able to provide Aurelia $400 a month in rent assistance, helping her maintain her housing bills. However, the program’s support did not stop there. Through monthly budget coaching, resume writing courses, and professional and life development coaching, Aurelia learned how to manage her resources and set goals for the future. “The program doesn’t just support you, but it helps you support yourself,” Aurelia says. “I’ve become a stronger person because I can utilize my budget and see where my money goes. I’ve learned valuable life lessons.”

On July 14 this year, Aurelia graduated from Fortis University at the top of her class, winning the award for top clinician. She recently passed her national board exam, and she currently has a job lined up post graduation.

“It’s been a wonderful experience — it’s been life changing,” Aurelia says. “That’s why as a postgrad, I’m going to give back so that H.O.P.E. can continue to help other people that are in a similar situation.”

Testimony:
“H.O.P.E. feels like having a big sister or family that is there to support and guide you as you go through school, giving you the tools you need. When you don’t think there’s anyone out there that can help you or understand what you’re going through, the program gives you that feeling of being understood and loved by others who are going through the same thing and have the same goals. You are not alone.” (Aurelia, 2023 Graduate)

Taibat (Tai)

Tai is a 56-year-old single mother to a 14-year-old son living in Georgia. A recent graduate from Chamberlain University, Tai was struggling to keep up with her bills when she had just started her nursing classes. When she discovered H.O.P.E. Inc.’s program online, she was hopeful that the program could help her finish her degree without fear of financial burden.

Background:
After experiencing a divorce in 2016, Tai moved to Georgia from Chicago. She had been working as an office assistant to pay the bills, but she didn’t enjoy her day-to-day work and wanted a career she loved. Deciding to go back to school to get her nursing degree, Tai enrolled at Chamberlain University. However, as she progressed further into her new education, Tai found that her tuition bills were high and she was fighting to keep up with her payments.

“I wasn’t making enough money, and I got to a position where I needed help so badly,” Tai says. “And that is when I ran into H.O.P.E. online.”

Client situation:
Tai was desperately searching for assistance when she discovered H.O.P.E.’s program on the internet. “I was praying to God for help,” she says. “I needed a divine intervention. I was searching for rental assistance online, and H.O.P.E. popped up. That’s how I came to be a participant. I had no referrals. I found it online by the grace of God.”

When Tai first looked at H.O.P.E.’s program, she didn’t think it could be real. The financial assistance seemed too good to be true, but she decided that it was worth a shot to apply anyway. Within 48 hours, Tai was surprised to hear back from Kenita Smith, H.O.P.E. Inc.’s founder. “And I’m so glad she did,” Tai says. “Because she gave me the best opportunity to be able to finish school. I’m so grateful for that.”

Action:
After Tai was accepted as a participant, she received immediate financial assistance. H.O.P.E. found her a donor that contributed $10,000 to her tuition, and later on the program did additional fundraising to provide Tai $5,000 more. This financial assistance, paired with extra rent funding, gave her the extra hand necessary to continue to pursue her education without anxiety. “If God did not use Kenita to help me, I might not have been able to complete school,” Tai says.

Tai graduated with her nursing degree from Chamberlain University in April 2023, and now is studying to receive her official license. With H.O.P.E.’s support, she has been able to lift off her financial burden and have more time to spend with her son and work toward her dreams. Today, she is excited and ready for what the future holds!

Testimony:
“I’m going to be saying it forever, but I am so grateful. I received far more than I went in for. Kenita takes in every participant like family, and I pray that God will continue to bless everything that she sets her heart on to do. There is no program like H.O.P.E.” (Tai, 2023 Graduate)