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A few weeks after graduating from our Career Development program, Ready4Work client Andrea gave birth to a beautiful baby girl – Selena. She told her case manager Darvina that she was worried about being able to provide for all the baby’s needs while waiting to return to work, and so Darvina made a few calls. She reached out to one of our great community partners – Kym Maye at Helping Hand Center of Jacksonville – and asked if she could help. Kim said yes and immediately contacted her network on Facebook and asked for donations. The baby supplies started pouring, and within a few days, she had a carload of donations – diapers, wipes, clothing, bibs, and even a stroller, portable crib, and car seat. We met up with Kim last Friday and delivered the donations to a very grateful Andrea at her transitional home.
After seeing all the baby products, Andrea kept repeating “Oh my goodness, oh my goodness. I just can’t believe it. This is so amazing. Thank you so much. This is such a blessing!”
Kym gave her a hug and said, “All the children are our children. This is how community works. We are all out here willing to help.”
Kym Maye started Helping Hand Center of Jacksonville more than 11 years ago when she and her sister Shannon identified a need in the community. Since that time, she has been collecting baby donations and connecting people with community services and support. She also operates another nonprofit Knowledge and Empowerment with her sisters Shannon Denson and Irris Wallace, which is focused on empowering the people in the community, and EBI Market which was created to make change in the food desert areas.
The two women talked for some time. Kym counseled Andrea on the importance of parenting and working hard to provide. She shared her personal number with Andrea and told her to call any time. “Now it’s on you, though,” she said to Andrea. “I’m only the connector. Tell me what you need to make your life a success, and I will do what I can to help you achieve it.”
We are so thankful for the support from Kym Maye at Helping Hand Center of Jacksonville and to everyone that donated to help Andrea and new baby Selena. It’s community connections like this that have helped us build a City of Second Chances. For over 20 years, we have worked to build strategic partnerships and foster community coalitions with community partners, faith-based organizations, local businesses, and the judicial system. Together, we cultivate stronger communities and create opportunities to realize second chances.
Does your organization offer community resources, connections, and support? If so, contact us today to find out how you can partner with us.