OPEN M strives to be more of a “hand up” rather than a “hand out” organization. We believe the “Give a Man a Fish, and You Feed Him for a Day. Teach a Man To Fish, and You Feed Him for a Lifetime.” proverb and try to lead by example with our programs, specifically with Community Works Connection. Sometimes circumstances align and truly allow us to follow through with that in a big way.
Tandreasha has been involved with OPEN M for over 2 years now. She was a graduate of our Getting Ahead classes and also a recent graduate of the CWC program. When Tandreasha graduated from CWC, she was 9 months pregnant with her daughter Breyana. A lot of different concepts and ideological strategies are taught within a CWC class, but the main thing Tandreasha took away from her class, what that she absolutely needed to become self-sufficient to take care of her growing family.
Since completing her programming at OPEN M, Tandreasha has been able to have her record sealed, gained full-time employment as a home healthcare aide and recently secured her Section 8 certificate that will give her stable housing moving forward. The only piece still missing from her puzzle was safe, reliable and constant transportation.
That’s where our friend Karen comes into the story. Karen is the President / CEO of Mature Services, another non-profit in the area that OPEN M works with on a regular basis. Karen had a car that she didn’t need anymore. Instead of trying to sell it or deal with the hassle of trying to trade it in at a used car lot, Karen thought the best thing to do was to “pay it forward” so to speak. After taking applications and narrowing down the field, we decided that it was time to complete Tandreasha’s puzzle.
As everyone with children knows, getting them up and moving in the morning can, at times, become an impossible task. The mere act of putting shoes on can become quickly akin to climbing Kilimanjaro. For Tandreasha, every morning begins with her waking up at 5 am and walking with her 3 children to the bus stop shortly thereafter.
This is where the journey begins.
They take the bus to drop her oldest daughter off at school, then wait 30 minutes for another bus to come so she can take that to drop off the youngest kids to 2 separate daycare locations. All of that just so Tandreasha can start working. Once that begins, she’ll have to take busses once again to each and every client’s house that day. On average Tandreasha spends 4 hours a day on the bus. 4 hours that could be much better put to use. Extra time reading books to her kids, extra time helping with homework, extra time as a family, extra time getting some much-needed sleep so she can be all the parent her children need her to be.
There’s an easy solution to make all those hopes and needs a reality; a car. For us it was as close to a no-brainer as it could be, Tandreasha needs this vehicle. If we can help her to complete her puzzle and improve the quality of her life and by proxy her children, then it became imperative for us to do just that.
So in the spirit of the Christmas season, on December 18th OPEN M and Karen Hurdlicka presented Tandreasha with her new Hyundai Santa Fe! A few minor repairs need doing, but OPEN M is handling all that for her as well. We truly hope that this is that last remaining puzzle piece to make Tandreasha as self-sufficient as she has dreamt to be. We’re so excited for her to be able to better use her time to spend with her kids rather than standing out in the cold at 5 am and spending hours riding around on a bus.
God bless and Merry Christmas Tandreasha!