Your generosity provided a refuge for Laurel and her daughter when there was no other place to turn.
I like to share stories with you not to dwell on the sadness of the tragedy and pain these men and women have been through, but instead to encourage you that your generosity is making and incredible impact on the lives of real people. This is true for Laurel and her daughter, whose lives are now forever changed because of your faithfulness and support.
Born in Los Angeles and raised in Orange, Laurel’s life was thrown into chaos when her father died. She was only 5 years old at the time. Neither she nor her mom ever really recovered. As Laurel’s mom sank deeper and deeper into depression, Laurel often went uncared for. By the time she reached her teens, her life was a mess. So Laurel sought validation and comfort in unhealthy relationships with men.
Once Laurel had a daughter of her own, she knew she had to change.
Laurel knew she would find compassion at Orange County Rescue Mission, and that is what brought her to our door. “Since I was little, I knew I could ask Jesus to help me,” so she did. Walking through the door to the Rescue Mission was one of the most difficult things Laurel has ever done. But she had no money, no job and no place to call home.
So she took a deep breath, held her 4-year-old daughter close, and stepped across the threshold to a whole new life.
“I was so tired,” Laurel recalls, “but it felt safe, and we were welcomed, and people were kind.
“I’d gone to church and read the Bible, but I never really applied it to my life like I did when I came to the Mission,” she admits. With time, Laurel says, “I began to actually believe what the Bible says about how much God loves me.” And that was only the beginning.
Encouraged by her counselor, Laurel took parenting classes, honed her job skills, learned how to manage her finances and deal with stress. Laurel is ready to take the next steps to become a healthy and independent mom.
Her daughter has been learning, too. “She’s come such a long way,” Laurel says. “She’s reading and doing basic math.” Laurel is amazed at the progress they’ve both made. She says, “I’m just thankful that I found this place. It’s been amazing to see how many people really care about us and truly want us to succeed.”
You provided a safe, stable home for Laurel while she put her life back together. Laurel and her daughter will always remember the kindness you helped show them. Thank you!