Grow Hope Story #12 – Hope for the Future

“I want a safe place for my children that we can call home.” 

That sentiment rang true for Leila…a woman whose confidence and self-worth had been battered for many years at the hand of an abusive husband.

Pregnant with two young children, she was petrified to leave, uncertain of what would happen to her children.  With no family of her own to turn to, she felt she had no options.  

That all changed, though, when her therapist made a concerned call to CPS.  

Ms Nancy, a counselor with Healthy Families Virginia, became ‘the rock’ that Leila needed, providing hope and encouragement through housing resources and a visit to Mercy Mall to receive clothing for her growing children and practical items for her baby on the way!

This loving care has grown Leila’s confidence to have hope for the future and to ‘live before it’s too late.’  

Her priority now is creating a safe, stable home for her children!

Leila is hopeful for her future, and focused on creating a safe, stable home for her children with the supplies she needs, thanks to the kind donations from donors like you!  Your gift of $200 or any amount will serve a mom like Leila with a fresh start!  Together we can Grow Hope!! 

Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  Thank you, Ms. Nancy, for being the hands and feet of Jesus!

Grow Hope Story #11 – A Medical Crisis

For a mother, it’s a phone call that turns into the worst nightmare…  “Your son has been in a car accident.  8 hours away.  He may not make it.”

In an instant, Demetria did what any mother would do.  She uprooted her children from West Virginia to Richmond overnight, leaving everything behind. 

Though the following months have been a blur, she is thankful that her son is going to be ok.

‘I’ve never had anything like this happen before.  I wasn’t prepared.’

The care of her family has been front and center and she stops at nothing to self-advocate.  Seeking out stable housing, resources for furniture, and being served at Mercy Mall to fill the gaps of so many of the items they were forced to leave behind in West Virginia – clothing, bedding, basic kitchen essentials.  

We are proud to stand beside this fierce mama!

Your $120 donation serves a mother just like Demetria who is fighting for her family. Donate here:

Grow Hope Story #10 – Leaving Behind the Old Life

Turning away from a toxic lifestyle takes courage and resolve and we celebrate those who make these lifesaving decisions!

Crisis hit John’s home when his father unexpectedly passed away.  Consumed with grief,  John and his mother’s world began to unravel.  Their income was depleted, disaster struck their home, and substance abuse became a mechanism to cope.

In a moment of clarity, John was desperate to get his life together.  Through Hope, Inc., John is on the road to recovery.  The kind guidance of a counselor led him to a treatment facility and ultimately Mercy Mall, where we served him with much needed winter clothing.   

For John, leaving his old life behind has been a lesson in learning to ‘stay the course, no matter how hard it gets.’  

He is determined to continue treatment and looks forward to receiving job training to learn a trade.  John holds onto hope for the future and is resolved to not give up!

$35 is all it takes to give hope and encouragement to someone in our community who is striving to leave their ‘old life behind.’  Together, we can change lives!  Grow Hope!!

Grow Hope Story #9 – God is the Waymaker

“My children don’t need to be around that.” 

Angel had reached her threshold of abuse and it was time to leave the man she still loved and focus on what’s best for her and her six children.  

Angel met her husband when she was 14 and grew accustomed to taking care of everyone else.  She felt stuck. Until she felt the Lord telling her to leave her life in New York behind, move to her loving home in Virginia, and go back to school. 

After 18 months, she received a housing voucher, but didn’t have enough money to purchase what was needed to start over.   We supplied her family with practical household items, winter clothes, cleaning supplies, and more to take the next step on her journey to stability.  

We meet many families on their road to healing and recovery from what seems like impossible circumstances!  Angel’s zest for life, greater love for children and finally herself put her on a path of progression.  She never lost sight of God’s goodness, His faithfulness, and the power of prayer! 

She wants others to know, “You don’t have to stay in a toxic relationship…God will make a way…in His timing.”  And at Mercy Mall, we have seen this play out in countless lives.  

Be part of someone’s miracle by helping us Grow Hope today by texting growhope23 to 44-321.  Thank you, Angel, for sharing your story with us!!

Grow Hope Story #8 – God Created CommUNITY

When asked, our clients will sometimes describe a pivotal moment in their crisis that is the catalyst for much-needed change!

For Destiny, this moment was a stroke causing her to be hit by a car… leaving her speechless and immobile, depressed, and lonely!

She was clearly not proud of her past lifestyle and she felt as though “God was trying to get her attention.” She traveled through months of not being able to walk or talk.  

She leaned into the Lord and He showed her more of who she was created to be.  She pours herself into church and focuses on her health and future.  Mercy Mall was able to provide her much-needed clothing, housewares and a Bible.  

We were never meant to be alone.  God created community.  We take this seriously.

Part of our mission statement is “…building relationships.”  We may not be able to join our clients around the dinner table or stay in touch with all of them, but in that very moment of giving and receiving in the lobby at Mercy Mall, Destiny felt loved, seen, and cared for…a precious moment of God-centered commUNITY!!

Destiny, you go girl!!!  You are an inspiration. None of us have it all together either…keep doing the next right thing in love!!  A $35 donation can serve someone in the community just like Destiny with warm clothes, a Bible, and a loving hand to grab onto!  Help Us Grow Hope Today!!

Grow Hope Story #7 – A Sister is a Best Friend

Proverbs 3:15 – She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her.

A large number of clients have to lean on other family members for housing support, whether it’s doubling or tripling up or having multiple generations living in one home.  We see this all the time, but it’s not always a bad thing! 

The Virginia Department of Health referred Ana to us to help provide items their home was lacking as well as much-needed baby items.  She was due any day, so we can understand why she was a bit anxious…and a little scared.    

Her sister, Cecia, vowed to be right by her side through it all; our volunteers were touched by the adoration the sisters had for each other.  

Some living situations may not be ideal, but the only option for our clients during this affordable housing shortage.  Some are making it work and inspiring others to do things like other cultures have done for years!  

Ana, brimming with excitement, can’t wait to bring this baby home with all the love from her family…and the baby supplies she needs, thanks to the kind donations from donors like you! Your $200 donation will serve a new mom like Ana, with much needed baby items and practical gear, like car seats and pack-n-plays!  Together we can Grow Hope!! 

Grow Hope Story #6 – From Homeless to Hopeful

“We were homeless for three months…wouldn’t wish that on anyone!”

Gabrielle, her husband and two toddlers had to move out of the home she shared with her sister’s family due to an unsettled dispute. Living in the car was their only option. 

We were impressed by their fierce loyalty and huge heart for her family as they navigated the homeless landscape with optimism and bravery.  

We met this family when they were on the path to putting their lives back together after being rehomed…and were able to provide winter clothing for the entire family and some practical household items.  

They would love to thank their employers who had great grace and understanding during this whole transition – you all are angels!  

Gabrielle has since started caring for her 9-month old niece, but is hopeful for the future of their family. Thank you to all those who have helped them along this path!! 

 If you want to assist families like this who are doing all they can to provide and protect their children, even through living in a car, we welcome you to do so by texting “growhope23” to 44-321 or simply clicking this link:  Help Us Grow Hope Today!!

Grow Hope Story #5 – Unexpected Blessings – Twins!!

Sometimes, families need a little extra help as they navigate the unexpected!

When the Lewis family found out they were having twins, they were over the moon!  Already a family of six, with 4 school-aged children, they knew it would be tough financially.  

The baby girls arrived early and needed extra care in the hospital as well as specialty formula and insurance didn’t cover everything.  

Serving families as they overcome a crisis is at the heart of what we do…and crisis doesn’t wait.  At Mercy Mall, we are in the business of serving families who have immediate needs caused by a transition or change in circumstances.  

With your donations, we are able to provide individuals and families, like the Lewis’s, baby items like clothing, diapers, formula, and baby equipment… so the focus can be on all the other responsibilities of raising a family!!

What we loved about this family is their undeniable love, joy, and delight in who their children were becoming.  They absolutely glowed as they shared stories of their accomplishments!  Thank you, Lewis family, for being such dedicated parents – what an inspiration you both are!

Your $200 donation helps us to serve newborns like the Lewis twins with much needed baby items and practical gear, like car seats and pack and plays!  Together we can Grow Hope!!

Grow Hope Story #4 – She Has a Story to Tell

“One day, I’m gonna write a book!” she says after sharing her story of redemption. 

From growing up in foster care, being sexually assaulted, and homeless at 14 to living in abandoned homes, vacant places, parks, and dealing with homes with water issues and fire…plus being attacked by a dog leaving scars, getting kicked out, and receiving drug charges due to having the wrong friends…Ms. Halston definitely has a story to tell!! 

Like so many we serve, it feels like “…one step forward and two steps back,” but she has never lost hope and continues the momentum forward.  Ms. Halston is stable now and aspires to write a book to hopefully help other women on this journey to stability.   

At Mercy Mall, we want to create a safe space where clients can receive quality items and share their stories without judgment. Our front lobby prayer warriors provide the utmost care and compassion, offer a beverage, provide resources, and are a listening ear to hundreds of clients each year who have a story to tell!  

Would you help us continue to give a voice to those in our community who are overcoming obstacles to stability?  A $70 donation allows us to serve a mother and her child with practical items when they need it most!  Together we can Grow Hope!!

Grow Hope Story #3 – Family First

For countless families around the world, the United States is a beacon of refuge and opportunity.  That bright dream has kept the Keskin family energized!  

We recently met this sweet family from Turkey in our lobby.  You may recognize Mr. Keskin and know him more affectionately as ‘Gogo’, the ice cream man!

Gogo has poured his heart into creating a safe home for his wife and young child, started his own business (Gogo Ice Cream), and was on the path to building financial security…until the recent recession that caused his costs to go up and sales down!

Finances may be tight, but his spirits haven’t been dampened!  GoGo lives for his family and is determined to put a smile on the face of each person he meets, including us here at Mercy Mall!!

Transitioning to life in a new country poses many challenges, many of which our brave clients overcome through hard work and creativity! We are so thankful to provide families like Gogo’s practical items which help ease the transition and financial burden. This way, they can continue the dream of making a better future for them and their loved ones. 

A $120 donation serves a family like the Keskins and allows them the opportunity to focus on their family!  Help Us Grow Hope Today!!