Janelle's Story

Janelle smiled as she prepared to take the next customer’s order. Her smile widened even more when she recognized that the customer was her middle school FAN advocate and said, “I don’t know if you remember me but you were my FAN advocate and I want to tell you that you changed my life.”

In middle school, Janelle was afraid to go to school because of the bullying she was experiencing. Her teeth were extremely crooked, causing her self-esteem to plummet. She wore her hair down to cover her face and refused to answer questions in class because she felt so embarrassed. Janelle’s mom stopped by the FAN advocate’s office one day and immediately started to cry. She did not want to see her daughter suffer, but couldn’t afford the orthodontics needed. The FAN advocate and Janelle’s mom worked with A Smile For Kids, a local partner, to get Janelle braces for free, while Janelle also contributed to the cost of the braces through community service. Now, several years later she greets each customer with a big, confident smile.

Ezra & Leo's Story

Some nights Ezra slept at his grandparent’s house with his little brother, Leo. Other nights Ezra slept in his uncle’s RV while Leo stayed with friends. Their mom slept in her car and was searching for a safe place for the three of them to live. Every night, Ezra missed his mom and hoped that the three of them would be together again. When her car broke down completely, mom found herself in their FAN advocate’s office, sharing her worries.

The advocate worked with her to get access to food and hygiene items along with car repairs. Ezra’s mom and the advocate worked together to secure a stable job which helped her to save a little money. Her goal was to reunite the family in a home of their own. With the help of local community partners, their FAN advocate, and mom’s hard work, the family was able to move into an apartment together. Walking into their shared bedroom, Ezra and Leo could not believe their eyes when they saw their new bunk beds, which they now call their own.

Harper's Story

Harper comes from a big family and when her mom remarried, her family grew even larger. The newly blended family struggled to find affordable housing. Close friends offered their garage for the family, and out of desperation they said “Yes”. It was dark and cramped, with the only light coming from the small garage door windows. Harper and her siblings did their homework in the dimly lit room and slept on makeshift beds.

Harper’s parents worked multiple jobs to make ends meet but unfortunately, this disqualified them from many housing services. While Harper was walking through school one day, her FAN advocate asked her how she was doing. She shared concerns about her living situation and the advocate jumped into action. By connecting with local partners, Harper’s parents took classes on home ownership and budgeting. Eighteen months later, the family moved into their first house! Now, Harper and her siblings do their homework around their large, well-lit dining table, sleep in their own beds, and feel a sense of stability in their lives.

Violet's Story

Violet was home sick from school and her stomach would not stop rumbling. She padded into the kitchen and opened the fridge. It was empty except for some eggs, ketchup, and mayo. She called her mom at work to let her know she was hungry. Unfortunately, her mom couldn’t leave work but promised she would bring food home for dinner that night.

Frantically, Violet’s mom called her FAN advocate explaining she had run out of money for groceries and was working extra hours to make sure they could pay rent. The FAN advocate reassured her and quickly got in touch with The Giving Plate, a local food bank, to access a food box. When Violet’s mom explained she couldn’t leave work to pick up the box, the advocate picked up the food and drove it to her. Violet’s mom saw the advocate waiting in the parking lot outside her office and burst into tears. She was so thankful that they would have food in the fridge that night. Violet went to bed that evening with a full belly and when mom was paid at the end of the week, they knew they’d be okay.

Janelle's Story

Janelle smiled as she prepared to take the next customer’s order. Her smile widened even more when she recognized that the customer was her middle school FAN advocate and said, “I don’t know if you remember me but you were my FAN advocate and I want to tell you that you changed my life.”

In middle school, Janelle was afraid to go to school because of the bullying she was experiencing. Her teeth were extremely crooked, causing her self-esteem to plummet. She wore her hair down to cover her face and refused to answer questions in class because she felt so embarrassed. Janelle’s mom stopped by the FAN advocate’s office one day and immediately started to cry. She did not want to see her daughter suffer, but couldn’t afford the orthodontics needed. The FAN advocate and Janelle’s mom worked with A Smile For Kids, a local partner, to get Janelle braces for free, while Janelle also contributed to the cost of the braces through community service. Now, several years later she greets each customer with a big, confident smile.

Harper's Story

Travis missed his older sister. He fiddled with a deck of cards, remembering how she distracted him with games when their father was yelling in the next room. A few months ago, his mother poured her savings into escaping domestic violence. But the borrowed trailer that brought them to Central Oregon, where his mom had a stable job, was too small for five kids. Travis’s older siblings were staying elsewhere until his mom could afford an apartment. Then winter hit. They were ill-equipped for the cold, but FAN was there to help, providing winter clothes and blankets, connecting the family to local food banks, and sending Travis home with extra snacks each week for himself and his younger siblings. FAN also assisted Travis’s mom with an application to low-income housing, and set aside funds for a portion of first-month’s rent. Weeks later she called their advocate in tears: they were approved! With his big sister at home, things are starting to feel “normal” for Travis. He couldn’t be happier.

Ezra & Leo's Story

Some nights Ezra slept at his grandparent’s house with his little brother, Leo. Other nights Ezra slept in his uncle’s RV while Leo stayed with friends. Their mom slept in her car and was searching for a safe place for the three of them to live. Every night, Ezra missed his mom and hoped that the three of them would be together again. When her car broke down completely, mom found herself in their FAN advocate’s office, sharing her worries.

The advocate worked with her to get access to food and hygiene items along with car repairs. Ezra’s mom and the advocate worked together to secure a stable job which helped her to save a little money. Her goal was to reunite the family in a home of their own. With the help of local community partners, their FAN advocate, and mom’s hard work, the family was able to move into an apartment together. Walking into their shared bedroom, Ezra and Leo could not believe their eyes when they saw their new bunk beds, which they now call their own.

Violet's Story

Violet was home sick from school and her stomach would not stop rumbling. She padded into the kitchen and opened the fridge. It was empty except for some eggs, ketchup, and mayo. She called her mom at work to let her know she was hungry. Unfortunately, her mom couldn’t leave work but promised she would bring food home for dinner that night.

Frantically, Violet’s mom called her FAN advocate explaining she had run out of money for groceries and was working extra hours to make sure they could pay rent. The FAN advocate reassured her and quickly got in touch with The Giving Plate, a local food bank, to access a food box. When Violet’s mom explained she couldn’t leave work to pick up the box, the advocate picked up the food and drove it to her. Violet’s mom saw the advocate waiting in the parking lot outside her office and burst into tears. She was so thankful that they would have food in the fridge that night. Violet went to bed that evening with a full belly and when mom was paid at the end of the week, they knew they’d be okay.

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