As a father myself, I relate to stories of a parent’s devotion to and love for their child. As a parent, I understand what it means to put my children’s needs above my own, even if it is to my own detriment. A parent will do whatever it takes to provide and care for their child, which can lead to going without so that the child does not.
This is Victor’s Story
There’s no question that Victor is a hardworking man.
Working two jobs to support his family, he didn’t get much time for rest or relaxation. Not sleeping, barely eating and surviving on energy drinks, he worked hard day and night to make ends meet. Inevitably, the stress took its toll.
“The doctor said I would die if I kept this up,” Victor says. Instead, Victor found himself lashing out in anger. The broken furniture and holes in the walls were clear evidence that he needed help. The lowest point came when Victor’s wife left with his son and never came back.
“I was destroyed. She broke me. A person can only take so much,” Victor says. Deep in depression, Victor did what he could to stay close to his son. He lived in his car, in hotels, and sometimes in the park. “I was focused on my son more than anything,” Victor says. “The depression caused me to want to take my life a few times.”
Victor found stability — and a chance to work through his anger, depression and the stress he was feeling — at Orange County Rescue Mission. “My case manager was someone I could talk to,” says Victor. “I was reading my Bible every day. I prayed constantly. It instilled in me to be humble and not be so angry.”
Victor recently earned his high school diploma and has become a role model for his son. At his graduation, Victor says his son told him, “Daddy, I want to go to college.” It was, he says, one of his proudest moments.
Here at the Mission, people who are hurting don’t have to worry about food and shelter. Because these immediate needs are met, they can let go of much of their stress and worry — and concentrate on building a new life for themselves.
Victor’s message to the donors and supporters: “There’s no words to express my thanks and appreciation [to Orange County Rescue Mission and its donors]. Thank you … from the bottom of my heart.”