Appreciating the Safety Net

Every year at Christmas time I send my family my Christmas wish list. Last year I asked for some fancy shampoo and a mop, the year before it was an electric griddle and a trash can. I usually throw in a request for a collectable I’ve been wanting or gift card to buy music, books or games, but overall my list is fairly practical.

Photo by Darin Reyes

Photo by Darin Reyes

There’s one gift that I receive every year from my parents that I never ask for, but we all know is always on my list. It’s my yearly membership to AAA roadside assistance. There are years I don’t use it even once, but those times when I need it, I’m so glad I have it.

Like last night when I locked my keys in the car. Moments like this is the past would have led to me kicking myself and maybe even some tears of frustration, but thanks to that simple little card in my wallet, I was able to breathe easy. Within 15 minutes my door was open and my keys were in my hand, all with no stress or fuss.

Minor mishaps like this are no big deal, but they can seriously ruin our day if we aren’t properly prepared. Peace of mind is something that’s hard to put a price on, but knowing that even if things go wrong, you have a safety net there to catch you, can really make all the difference in life. Unfortunately, for many low income families, this safety net is full of holes.

Parents have to work long hours to pay the bills and put food on the table. But in doing so, their children are left unattended; unable to receive the help they need when dealing with daily difficulties, from bullies to multiplication.

The children and families who come to The Leaven have a lot of worries, but thanks to friends like you, we are helping to give peace of mind to these hardworking families. By helping children succeed in school, parents can breathe easier, knowing their children will have the necessary educational background to go far in life.

We also give care and guidance after school, so parents know their children are spending their afternoons in a safe place. And we help to teach kids and families about healthy eating and exercise, so parents can feel secure that their children will grow up healthy.

By taking these small measures, we can help take just a little pressure off of these hardworking parents’ shoulders, and that helps the entire family breathe easier. It’s just one more way we’re helping kids and communities rise.

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