The Relatives’ Family Update – July 2019
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Growing Up with The Relatives
Musa’s story began in Liberia. When he was 7 years old, a civil war broke out in his country. Rebels used small boys his age as soldiers and if you refused to become a soldier, they did horrible things to you and your family. To ensure this didn’t happen to Musa and his siblings, Musa’s mother took them to a refugee camp. After spending many sleepless nights watching the rain fall through the plastic roof of their hut, they were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to come to Charlotte with a refugee program. They ended up in a 2 bedroom apartment and, while that might seem small for a family of 7, it felt like a luxury to have a real roof over their heads. After the horror they escaped, Musa’s life felt like a dream. That dream didn’t last long, though.
When Musa was 13, his mother started to lock him and his 14-year-old brother out of their home and refused to feed them. In Liberia, boys became men at 13, even though this was hard for Musa to understand. Musa and his brother would beg strangers for money so that they could get a meal. They were scared, angry, and did whatever they needed to survive.
They eventually ended up in a foster care family together, and when they turned 18 and aged out of their situation, they found themselves with The Relatives at Journey Place, a transitional living facility for young adult males aging out of foster care. Musa remembers the day he walked into Journey Place. He was feeling so uncomfortable and unsure of what he was doing. He was 18 and technically a man, but knew he had a lot to learn.
Quickly, that apprehension faded away. Musa connected with Mr. Desmond, one of our Housing Case Managers. Mr. Desmond was the first man in Musa’s life who taught him how to be a man. Not only did Mr. Desmond and The Relatives help Musa with housing, education, and employment, but they taught Musa how to cook, do laundry, and how to respect himself and other people. Most importantly, The Relatives made him realize that family should support you through the good times and the bad.
Today, Musa is working full-time at Home Depot which includes benefits and he has maintained his own apartment for two years. You helped make this happen by Being A Relative and committing your support to our youth.
While Musa doesn’t come in every day, he continues to check in with The Relatives staff who have constantly given him the support he has needed.
Make A Difference While You Shop
Prime Day is a parade of epic deals and it’s happening now! Prime members can score deals through July 16 at 11:59pm PT. And don’t forget that you can make a difference while you shop. Simply shop using this link and AmazonSmile donates to The Relatives! While Prime Day doesn’t last forever, you can use AmazonSmile throughout the year!
And while you’re on Amazon, check out our needs list, which currently includes items like cooling towels and handheld fans, to see how you can help our youth beat the heat this summer!
2019 Career Fair
Last year, 195 young adults at The Relatives were placed into employment opportunities. On Sept. 11, The Relatives will be hosting the annual Career Fair at Charlotte Mecklenburg Library – Main Branch.
If you’re interested in how to get involved, contact our Employment Readiness Specialist, Lynette Bradford, at (704) 501-8246 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank You, CWFW!
We are extremely grateful to Charlotte Wine and Food Weekend!
Their support helps us serve 5,000 youth each year who find themselves in crisis by giving them the counseling and tools they need to reach safety, stability, and independence.
Don’t miss out on next year’s festivities! Save the date for April 22-25, 2020 and support The Relatives while having a great time!
Your Company Can Help
With the help of our sponsors last year, we were able to raise over $800,000 at our 2018 Breakfast With The Relatives!
We are gearing up for our 2019 BWTR on October 22. If your company is interested in getting involved, you can find more information about sponsorship here.