Hope for the Future
Kimberlin had recently arrived from Venezuela. She was in despair and losing hope as she found herself living with her husband and son in their car. They had no money and no food. A chance meeting on the street with Eli from Boys Town New England showed them that there are people who care and ultimately helped turn their lives around. Through the Lift with Boys Town program, that partners schools, parents and communities to help those in need, Kimberlin and her family are back on their feet and now have hope for the future.
Eli: I think that New England area allows a opportunity for people to really know one another. There's a sense of community in the New England area. So that morning I was going to my favorite coffee shop. I start walking towards the coffee shop and I see this family that's walking towards me. The mom approached me and she asked me if I spoke Spanish and immediately I saw the husband and the little boy behind her.
And so they asked me if I knew where the library was. Told them, "Okay, can I use your phone so that I can give you the GPS? I can put the address in the GPS and make it easier for you to get to the library." And that's when they reported to me that they did not have service and that they didn't have funds. So I asked them what their story was and invited them to our office. They needed some documents printed so that they can then get some services for their child. But they had to rush out because they had an appointment.
And so I ended up scheduling an intake so that they can get the support that they needed. And by the time I met them to the time our intake happened, they were in a place where they needed even more support than they needed the couple of days before because they were sleeping in their car at a truck stop. But the father didn't sleep that night because he wanted to make sure the kids...Dillem and his mom were safe. So he didn't sleep. He stayed up all night and they didn't have any funds to eat.
So I immediately stopped what I was doing, went and grabbed basic needs that included some snacks. And when I walked into the conference room to provide these items, the father was laid out on the conference table. The mother and the son just looked really drained and exhausted. I still remember the way that, you know, Dillem grabbed the granola bar and just stuffed his face with that granola bar. I've never seen someone eat something as simple as a granola bar that way.
And to be able to come and see a family who I just met in the sidewalk, just days prior, meet a family that way, and then support them immediately, I think, is why I do what I do. Kimberlin is Mom, Jose is the father. And Dillem is the little 8-year-old boy. Seeing them recently was really nice to see the difference that they did have, the things that they needed, and to see them happy and playful and together because I know that all could be affected by the situations that families go through like theirs.
Kimberlin had mentioned that she...and when she was living in Venezuela with her son, her husband was murdered because it was a really tough environment and situation to live in. There was a lot of murder, kidnapping, different things. Later she was able to meet Jose. They decided that they wanted to come to the United States for a better life.
Kimberlin: I think this country gives opportunities, a lot of opportunities. And I feel good because at least I can help my family.
Eli: Kimberlin is now currently working in a fast food restaurant. She's really enjoying it, really likes it. And Jose is currently a mechanic, and he really enjoys his work. Dillem is in school. He is thriving in school. Now he's speaking English. He was able to count his numbers in English, too, which is awesome. And he also translates for Mom as needed. He did also get the medical care that he needed, dental care. The way his gums were so inflamed, his teeth weren't coming out, and now they are.
Kimberlin: It's like appreciation, affection. I don't know. I can't describe it. Gratitude. How do I feel about Boys Town? It's like my home, my family. Because literally, it's like when you can count on your family. For me, that's what it is, a family.
Eli: I think the biggest thing for me has always been helping those that are struggling. And this is why I do the work that I do. I love working for Boys Town.