Ten children slept on the floor of a two-bedroom house, no beds or blankets to keep them warm. Water dripped from the ceiling, speeding the spread of black mold, while rodents nibbled on scraps of rotting food amid piles of trash and dirty laundry.
It’s hard to imagine children right here in America - in our own communities - living in conditions like this. But for those ten children, that was just the beginning of their story. The oldest spoke of being shoved into walls, out doors, and even into a washing machine. Drugs and alcohol had led the adults in the home to abuse and neglect the children. Adults who were supposed to love and care for them.
Fortunately, the children were removed from that situation and placed with adults who would love and care for them. A relative of one of the children welcomed five of them with open arms. But she had no idea how she was going to provide for them.
When they were removed from the home, the infestation of lice and bed bugs was so severe they were not allowed to take anything with them. Not even their shoes. She suddenly had five children who needed everything.
That’s when we learned about their needs and stepped in to help. Thanks to the generosity of friends like you, we were able to give those children clothes, shoes, school supplies, toiletries, and even a few toys.
And we scheduled the children who were old enough to come to Youth Haven for an exciting week of summer camp, free of charge! What a privilege to provide a safe, fun environment with plenty of good food, clean linens, healthy and engaging activities, and nothing to worry about!
Even more importantly, those children were loved and cared for at Youth Haven. They learned they were created for a purpose by a God who loves them unconditionally. And they went back to their new home with an invitation to return regularly, so we can continue to invest in their lives.
For children with traumatic pasts, a week at Youth Haven can be life-changing. It’s a place of fun and safety, but it’s so much more. It’s a place where healing can begin. It’s a place of hope.