Look into her eyes and you can see the longing. This isn’t the way life was supposed to be. Kids shouldn’t have to suffer because of other people’s choices, but all too often they become the innocent victims. Do a google search on homeless children in America, and you’ll discover there are 1.3 million school-age children who are homeless. 1.3 million. Right here in America.
Addison* was one of those children when she came to Youth Haven. Here is the request her mother sent to us:
“Our family is currently homeless. The home we were renting is being sold and we have not been able to find housing due to past evictions and Addison’s father’s criminal record. We have been staying together with her two little sisters in one room at her aunt’s house... We are uncertain of how our holiday season will go this year and I am doing my best to make sure my burdens are not affecting the kids as much as possible. Some fun time away just for her would be the best gift anyone could give her right now.”
That was just before Christmas in 2018. Because of the generosity of friends like you, we were able to welcome Addison to Youth Haven and give her a Merry Christmas. She had a safe, warm place to sleep, plenty of food to eat, and fun activities to take her mind off her hardships. She received clothing, a hat and gloves, personal items like shampoo and toothpaste, and a bag full of Christmas gifts and toys. Most importantly, she learned that Jesus is the greatest gift we have ever received, and the real reason we celebrate Christmas.
Addison also received her very own copy of the Bible, called the Youth Haven Trailbook, during that first visit. Since then, she has returned to Youth Haven multiple times, and made a decision to accept Christ as her Savior! Just a few months ago, she earned her first “Harvey and Friends” stuffed animal as part of our new incentive program that encourages the children to read their Trailbooks, memorize verses, complete activity pages, and show kindness to the other kids on their teams. And as long as God provides, she will continue to attend our programs, where we can provide for her needs and teach her about Him.
I am so grateful Youth Haven can be a safe, stable place for kids who are experiencing a lot of uncertainty in their lives!
There are tremendous needs in our nation, and homelessness is just one of them. We welcome kids to Youth Haven every week from desperate situations like abuse, neglect, domestic violence, poverty, and more.
These kids are being overlooked, and they need us to see their needs and respond to them. They need heroes. They need you.
God has blessed Youth Haven with an incredible team of people who daily give of themselves to help children who are hurting. And it’s not just our small team of staff. It’s you, too. Whether it has been through financial love gifts, prayers, or volunteer service, you have made it possible for Addison and so many other children facing hard times to experience love, care, and hope for the future.
I wish I could say the need is diminishing, but it’s not. Applications for help like the one we received from Addison’s mother come to us daily. We provide our programs for all of these children free of charge, and we don’t accept any state or federal support. You are a vital partner in our mission, and we need to you to continue to stand with us.
Will you please prayerfully consider giving today, to help meet the needs of a child like Addison? For a lot of them, Youth Haven is their only hope. The only place they’ll ever hear about Jesus. Your gift could change a child’s life forever!
Thank you for caring about at-risk children in America and responding to their needs. Thank you for allowing God to use you in the life of a child like Addison!
Your Mission Partner,
President & CEO
*Name changed for confidentiality.
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