Updated: Jun 27
At NEDDIE, we love to celebrate nonprofits and the work they do in our communities. That's why we do what we do: to support the work nonprofits are doing to improve and save lives. This week, we want to share with you some stories of people (and a puppy) that have been changed for the better by charitable organizations.
Habtom, Meron, and the first of their two sons arrived in the United States on December 5, 2017. The route from their home country of Eritrea took them to Israel for five years before the U.S. became their permanent home.
Habtom worked construction in Eritrea and Meron was a student when they met and married. But when the construction projects ended and the political situation worsened, they decided it was necessary to relocate.
Israel provided a safe landing spot. Habtom was able to obtain employment with a cleaning company, and when Naor was born, that kept Meron fully occupied. While in Israel, both Habtom and Meron learned Hebrew. “But we recognized that our opportunities in Israel were limited,” says Habtom. They decided to immigrate to the United States for a fresh start.
When their entry permits were granted, they first found themselves in Las Vegas. A friend in Seattle encouraged them to head to the Northwest, where their second son, Adonay, was born. The family of four currently resides in an apartment in the Rainier Beach area. Habtom works for a company that loads food and beverages onto airplanes at SeaTac. He has quickly progressed from cart loader to helper to driver. Meron looks after the boys, now ages 2 and 4.
Although their apartment is comfortable and they like their neighborhood, apartment living creates problems for them. Naor, the older son, is highly active, and the neighbors below have complained about his jumping up and down! For the sake of peace and privacy, as well as establishing a sound economic foundation, the couple began exploring options for private housing. In today’s market, that was daunting.
“Everything is so expensive!” Habtom noted. Then, a friend’s sister in Kansas City told them about Habitat for Humanity. “For us, that was the solution.” They applied, were accepted into the program, and are eagerly looking forward to moving into their new home, where the boys will be able to jump all they want.
Learn more and support Habitat for Humanity here.
For over 110 years, Atlantic Street Center has been providing wraparound services to BIPOC and low-income children, youth and families facing economic, social, and educational barriers to success. Every dollar it raises goes to support over 1,750 vulnerable community members across King and North Pierce Counties, especially those that have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID crisis. All of its programs are vital, but its Domestic Violence Program is particularly critical right now when there is a pandemic within the pandemic—a rise in intimate partner violence. The pandemic has exacerbated financial complexities by causing increased job loss and unemployment, particularly among women of color, immigrants, and workers without a college education. The public health restrictions put in place to combat the spread of the virus have also reduced access to sources of housing: shelters and hotels have reduced their capacity or shut down, and travel restrictions have limited people’s access to safe havens.
Atlantic Street's Domestic Violence Advocates and trauma-informed therapists are working harder and more creatively to communicate with and support our adult survivors and their children during these challenging times. Each year, the program provides 60 survivors and their 115 children with supportive services to build safety plans, leave their abusers to establish secure, long-term housing, and prepare to enter the workforce or get educational degrees. Each survivor has their own story of courage.
Here is Erin's story:
Erin is a mother of two young children who fled a horrific abusive marriage over 2 years ago. She and her children were subjected to many years of detrimental trauma and abuse. Erin is an extremely strong and courageous woman who puts her children before everything. She took the time to plan her escape and was able to safely flee, with her children, leaving her home, her pets, and her friends behind. She was able to escape to a location where, thankfully, her very supportive family lives. Ever since fleeing, her main priority has been the safety and well-being of her two children.
Learn more and support this amazing organization here.
This is Korra. Korra’s family reached out to Seattle Humane in late September, when they could not afford her expensive treatments for Parvovirus, an incredibly dangerous and often fatal disease. The 2-month-old French Bulldog would need round-the-clock treatment while in isolation, which would have cost her family thousands of dollars.
Their veterinarian referred them to Seattle Humane for help, and they qualified for assistance through its Community Medicine program, which provides low-cost and free veterinary care to qualifying low-income individuals and families.
Korra was provided with IV fluids, antibiotics, and a feeding tube, and soon she was feeling well enough to begin eating on her own; she was released back to her family 10 days later. Korra returned to Seattle Humane to receive more assistance through its Wellness Clinic, including vaccines, a vet check-up, and spay surgery.
With Seattle Humane’s help, Korra is growing up healthy and fast in a loving home, where she is filling up their phones with lots of great Instagram content, which people can follow @korra.gram.
Seattle Humane has responded to numerous requests for veterinary assistance since the beginning of the pandemic, and many low-income families have qualified to receive this support through their Community Medicine program. They expect to see these requests continue to increase due to the economic impacts the pandemic has had, including the loss of employment and wages for many working families.
Providing resources that keep pets in their homes and out of the shelter system continues to be a high priority for Seattle Humane as it looks toward the future of the organization and its growing community programs.
You can support Seattle Humane’s life-saving work by making a donation.
These nonprofits are doing the hard work to improve people's and animals' lives, and we at NEDDIE are grateful to partner with them. If you want to learn more or get involved, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll point you in the right direction!