A Mother is Thankful for Operation Santa

To CCCC:

The reason I am writing this thank you letter is to express my greatest thank you so much to all the people involved in the Operation Santa program.

I started coming to CCCC and CAP three years ago. We are one low-income family with a husband and father who supports the five of us. I have severe mental illness, and I’ve also gained weight due to the medication and inability to get adequate exercise, as I live with degenerative disc disease.

In the past two years I wasn’t in time to do the point system, but signed up anyway. The kids just adored their gifts. This year I decided to get with the program and do the point system. I volunteered, got a credit report (which I thought was horrible and it turned out good) I started writing about what I was thankful for and began to think positively. I also lost 12 pounds, and although I have a long way to go, I’ve got a start.

I am usually depressed around the holidays and can be found crying myself to sleep most nights because we have good kids who get excellent grades and deserve a good Christmas. But by doing these positive activities, it helped me to stay “up.”

I get it now, what it means again to go out there and get involved. Kindness is contagious. I’m UP this Christmas (even though I don’t have less on my plate but actually more). I’m UP, and that is a good place to be. I believe the holidays from here on out will be better.

My dad once told me not to use the word I so much but when you’re so thankful I have to express it. Dustin was excellent, patient, organized, knowledgeable, reliable and kind. Now I will use the word You. Thank you! You, you, you, you and you (all of you involved)

Thank you! Merry Christmas!

Kristina

PS I start a new job after the first of the year, and my back is good.

FED EX Chandler Donation Tops Locations Statewide

FED EX (Chandler) collected and donated over 200 totes filled with baby food, diapers, wipes, and holiday food items. The 1,165 lbs of contributed items will benefit the CCCC Food Bank and will be distributed to children in need and included in Holiday Food Boxes.

Congratulations to FED EX Chandler for collecting the most donated items of any FED EX location in Arizona! CCCC appreciates your work and generosity.

CAP Empowers a Mother to Provide for Her Children after Her Husband Becomes Unemployed

Christina’s husband had struggled with alcoholism for some time. She worried that he would lose his job because of his drinking, as he was the sole breadwinner for her and their two young children. He ignored her pleas to seek help, however, and the quality of their family life was declining rapidly.

Christina decided to come to Chandler Christian Community Center to seek help for her husband and to save her family. She met with CAP (Community Action Program) Case Manager, Maria, and shared her story. She was beginning to feel hopeless but repeatedly stated that she wanted to help her husband get into a rehabilitation program.

The case manager provided resources to her, but during the next visit she reported that he had rejected the help. She knew that she needed to return to work and provide for her family, and soon after, her husband was fired after drinking on the job. His behavior became increasingly erratic, and fearing for the safety of her children, she asked him to leave the house and began her job search.

As Christina set out to find employment, her car broke down. Obtaining transportation from a friend, she arrived at the CAP office in tears. She stated that her husband had been living in a hotel and had exhausted their savings. Worse yet, days earlier she saw him sleeping on a park bench near their home and asked the case manager what she could do to help him. The case manager explained that once her husband was willing to get help, he could overcome his alcoholism, but for now, she had to focus on the needs of her children.

Christina prepared her resume, and was quickly hired for a job paying $15 per hour. CAP temporarily paid her car repair and child care expenses, so she could have reliable transportation to her new job. As a college graduate, she believed she could eventually do better than $15 per hour but was thankful for a job that began covering basic living expenses.

In their most recent meeting, Christina shared with Maria that she felt empowered now that she is caring for her children’s financial needs. Her affect communicated a newfound hope and personal confidence. Not only did she gain employment, but she reported the great news that her husband has entered treatment for alcohol abuse. Christina is currently receiving case management as a working single mother until she attains self-sufficiency and no longer needs the program.

Senior Program Manager Celebrates Smooth Transition to CCCC

My name is Kelly Delgado and I’ve been working in the Senior Nutrition Program for 16 years. This program is near and dear to my heart. Providing meals, socialization, exercise, special events and other activities to the elderly and disabled has become an important part of my life.

In 2012, I was working as the Senior Program Manager when I heard the organization I was employed by needed to focus on other projects. They would no longer be able to provide the Senior Nutrition Program and CAP (Community Action Program) offices in Gilbert or Chandler. I was concerned for the participants and wondered what this could mean to my family’s finances. We were told the organization was committed to finding a home for our programs and hoped the transition would be a smooth one.

That’s when Chandler Christian Community Center stepped in. CCCC interviewed senior center and CAP employees and hired us to manage the programs as we had been doing all along. The transition from one organization to another was seamless. Participants wouldn’t have known there was a change of organizations if we hadn’t shared the information with them. No one missed a meal; we didn’t stop activities from happening, CAP services were still provided every day and employees never missed a paycheck.

It’s been four years and I am proud to say CCCC is committed to the people it serves as well as its employees. CCCC has invested and supported me to become a better manager and helped me realize I am a leader in the community. They encouraged me to join Gilbert Leadership and have provided hours of staff development and supervisor training. CCCC also makes every effort to shop and provide affordable benefits to its employees and their families. CCCC’s mission is to change lives by nourishing minds and bodies to create a connected, thriving community; that’s exactly what CCCC has done for me!

Thank you CCCC for protecting the Senior Nutrition Program, all the support you provide in the community and for giving me new opportunities. I am forever grateful!