Happy Holidays from the Allen Community Outreach Board of Directors and Staff! Because of the generosity and kindness of neighbors like you, ACO is able to help thousands of individuals who would otherwise face hunger and homelessness. This is the time of year, when we reflect on the many families we have assisted, and give thanks to our neighbors and friends for making it possible. It is also the season of giving, and we hope that ACO is on your Christmas list!
These past months made many of us stop and look at our families and gain perspective about what TRULY matters. After hurricanes, earthquakes, wild fires, and a horrific massive shooting, today more than ever we have to look to our home, neighborhood, and community and think about how TOGETHER we can help one another face the hardships that life presents. This holiday season many families right here in our area need our help. Please help us to help families, like the one below.
Here is an example of how your donations help families in Collin County. I’d like to share with you the story of Stacy, a single mother of four daughters. Her two younger girls live with her, and one of them suffers from sickle cell anemia, and faces many of the challenges that come with the disease, including infections, pain, fatigue and blood transfusions. Over the years, Stacy found flexible employment that allowed her to care for her daughter when she was most ill and at her weakest. But, Stacy’s caregiver role did not stop there. A few years ago, Stacy’s mother had surgery and could not live on her own, so she moved in with Stacy and her two daughters. After a few stressful weeks of health complications with her mother, Stacy realized she couldn’t manage her job and be a full time caretaker to her mother. Stacy struggled to pay her bills as they started to pile up. There were days she had to decide to pay for either her daughter’s medication or the heating bill. That is when a friend told her about Allen Community Outreach.
“I felt relieved, and it gave me comfort to get my needs met during the most difficult time of my life. Although I was a caretaker, I felt like I could not take care of my family… I remember the day I went to the Food Pantry, which is like a grocery store. I went home knowing I was going to eat and feed my children and mother not only that day, but for the whole week.” Stacy also shared, “It was so helpful to me and my family to know that ACO was there to support us during a very tough time. I am grateful to have a place like ACO to turn for help when you don’t have anyone else to turn to.”
What if there were no agency like Allen Community Outreach to provide a path to independence for single moms like Stacy or to the hundreds of families who come through the doors of ACO each month? Imagine if ACO had no support from the community to help these individuals and families. That is why your gift is vital to help ACO’s mission to prevent hunger and homelessness and help families transform their lives.
As I reflect back on this year, I am grateful for the warm welcome I received from the community as I started this position back in January. I am also appreciative to see our donors and partners come together to help our families here at home, and the new families to the area such as Hurricane Harvey victims who have been displaced to our area. I am hopeful that you, along with other generous neighbors, will continue to help ACO bring needed services and programs to further our mission in transforming families’ lives.
With warmest wishes for a joy-filled holiday season,
Chief Executive Officer