It was a particularly cold winter. Christmas was approaching, and Helen*, a single mom of four kids, longed — as any mother would – to provide each of her kids with at least one gift from their wish list. She worked full time, but it wasn’t quite enough to cope with the added financial burden of buying presents and new winter clothing for her growing kids. After a lot of hard work and saving, Helen was able to provide some semblance of holiday celebration for her kids.

However, when January rolled around, the heat bill was begging to be paid, and was higher than usual as temperatures dropped. But Helen didn’t have enough money to cover the cost.

That’s where Closer to Home stepped in. Thanks to our incredible donors, we were able to help Helen to pay a portion of her heat bill. This, combined with her own funds and some additional help by a local church, made it possible for Helen to keep her house warm for her little ones.

It’s a fund like this that can mean everything for a struggling family.

Closer to Home’s new Seasons of Hope Fund helps meet the needs of struggling families by providing resources so that these families can be rest assured that they have a warm roof over their heads and the skills to keep their family together. Support from this fund could take the form of rent subsidies, grocery gift cards, funds to cover bills or participate in skill-building programs, and more.

Seasons of Hope goes beyond the material necessities; it also will provide empowering programming to build family resilience, such as in-home visitation for parents who need help raising their children.

Take Marcos*, for instance: a father of two, he was at a loss with how to build positive relationships with his kids. He and his partner had recently broken up, and he was left with raising the two young ones. He did not know what to expect of a three-year-old, nor did he realize how his negative comments were badly hurting his oldest.

A Closer to Home staff member came to visit his family regularly in their home. Marcos felt supported to ask questions and learn how to problem-solve with his kids. Over time, he was able to praise his children and understand their developmental milestones and needs. When a new partner entered the picture, this time around, Marcos had developed healthy communication skills so that they could both use positive parenting skills to raise healthy, happy kids.

The Seasons of Hope Fund will enable us to continue this important work that gives a helping hand, while empowering families to develop their own skill sets. And you can be a part of making a big difference for families! To donate to the Seasons of Hope Fund, click here.

*name changed to protect privacy