98% of Crittenton girls live in economically challenged communities. Over the years, when they’ve needed it most, we’ve stepped in—providing computers for school, safe rides home, feminine products, and school uniforms. During the pandemic we’ve also paid for groceries, car repairs, and, sadly, funeral expenses. Our aim is to prevent unanticipated financial hardships from snowballing into insurmountable challenges.
Last year we launched the Crittenton Cupboard Campaign to stock our virtual Cupboard of necessities and emergency funds. Below is one example of how these funds made a difference for an alumna of our programs.
“Pray for me.” Jahnia asked Lameka, her best friend since they were in Crittenton’s Pearls program together.
After three years in an apartment with black mold, a broken oven, and a refrigerator that leaked constantly, Jahnia thought she’d finally found a new home for her and her boys. But the security deposit kept increasing. First it was $500, then $1,000. When it hit $1,500, she knew she was in trouble. She’d been saving; she had first and last month’s rent, $1,000 for the security deposit, and even money set aside for a DIY moving van. She needed another $500. Worst yet, she’d given notice and her current landlord wouldn’t grant her an extension. She had to be out in a few weeks.
Jahnia tried everything she could think of. She asked family members for a loan. She reached out to her church. She was stuck.
Lameka had been watching this saga play out over the past few years. She would have gladly lent Jahnia the money, but she and her husband had just moved their family, so money was tight. “I was thinking through options, and thought ‘Let me check with Miss Deb’”.
Miss Deb is the long-standing and much beloved advisor to many of the Crittenton Pearls groups, including the one where Jahnia and Lameka learned to balance the demands of motherhood and high school. “Whenever I had an issue—if my baby wasn’t latching—I could turn to Miss Deb. If she didn’t have the answer, she knew where to turn.” Lameka explained.
“Call Siobhan.” Miss Deb told her. “I think Crittenton can help.”
Crittenton’s CEO and President, Siobhan Davenport, got the call a few minutes later. Although she wasn’t on staff when Lameka and Jahnia were in Pearls, she happened to be honored by Crittenton their senior year. (In fact, it was Jahnia who introduced Siobhan at Crittenton’s 2015 Anniversary Celebration!)
Lameka explained the situation and Siobhan told her about the Crittenton Cupboard. Within two hours, Jahnia had the money in her bank account. The move went smoothly, and she and her boys are thriving.
“I’m so grateful.” Jahnia wants donors to the Cupboard Campaign to know. “I hope I can be part of something like this in the future, helping someone else in a similar situation. Thank you.”
The 2022 Crittenton Cupboard Campaign will take place in June. If you’d like to participate, please contact Siobhan Davenport at firstname.lastname@example.org.