St. Leo’s adopts ESR families for Christmas

St. Leo’s adopts ESR families for Christmas
January 04
03:00 2018

Twenty-seven clients of Experiment in Self-Reliance (ESR) were adopted this Christmas as a part of a Christmas Giveaway this holiday season. In partnership with St. Leo’s Catholic Church, families in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County area were adopted for Christmas and were provided with toys and necessities, and a Christmas meal.

After St. Leo’s contacted ESR about wanting to give families in need the opportunity to enjoy Christmas, ESR case managers then contacted the families and arranged for pickup.

Gifts ranged from bikes, to clothes and turkeys.

Clients and families were thankful to be able to provide a Christmas meal for their families, and give their children toys to open. With the average cost of a Christmas meal being over $50, community members were eager to help clients alleviate that cost.

Ashley, a single mom who has been participating in the Self-Sufficiency Program, was grateful for the donation she received for Christmas. “This donation for Christmas means a lot to me because I have been having a rough year this year and haven’t really been able to do a lot for my daughter for Christmas being as I have bills and stuff as a single parent,” said Ashley. “Y’all helped me relieve my stress, because I have been stressing for the past few days … when I got the call, I was like “Oh my God! Just a relief off my shoulders. Thank you. I really do appreciate it.“

Pamela, who received a Christmas meal and toys for her kids for Christmas, described the donation as “a blessing in disguise.” Having been through a difficult time lately, she has found hope. “At first we didn’t hardly have anything and now I prayed upon it, and I had Susan and everyone here who just stepped into my life and made it really happen for my children. … I didn’t know how I was going to get Christmas done, but it is taken care of now, and everything is just coming forward and believing in God for a new year and a new beginning.”

Pamela is enrolled in ESR’s Self-Sufficiency Program, where she works with her Success Coach, Susan Claire Bowen, to reach her career and financial goals. Since enrolling into the program, she has found a new job and will enroll in school this month

Getting through the Self-Sufficiency Program and reaching her goals wouldn’t have been possible without Pamela’s determination to become self-sufficient, and the support of her Success Coach. “It is hard work and dedication. Hard work and dedication. It really paid off.  It really really paid off,” said Pamela. “I told Susan she is like a second family to me. I am always calling her on the phone just to tell her what kind of day I am having. Good day or bad day, or if I just want to talk, I will just call her to just to say hello. She just really makes my day and lifts me up.”

“She is a family. She is my family. It is good to have someone to turn to.”

ESR would like to give a special thanks to St. Leo’s Catholic Church for their generous donation and for providing hope to families this holiday season.

Experiment in Self-Reliance is a nonprofit Community Action Agency that focuses on empowering people with low-moderate income to become self-reliant. Programs help provide housing, teach clients to save, budget, and improve credit scores, provide assistance for education, and help clients build assets like homeownership, as well as free tax preparation. All clients must be working.

For more information on ESR’s services, visit their website at or call (336) 722-9400.

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