Tammy – December 2015

​Tammy, shopping in our toy shop for her kids.

​Christmas is right around the corner! This time of year is so exciting for many. When the grand day arrives, children’s eyes will pop open before the sun rises while grandparents warm themselves with coffee and fond memories of their Christmas past. I love Christmas. But for those who have lived through neglect and abuse, Christmas is nothing more than a smelling salt that reawakens pain. That’s no less sad than it is true. It would be easy to consider such folk charity cases. But I, and hundreds of others who serve at the mission, see those struggling as people with capacity, potential and worth. Below is a picture of a mom who lives in our shelter right now. Tammy shopped for her kids’ Christmas gifts from our mission and then earned them in our Worth-Shop. We don’t view Tammy as a charity case and now, she doesn’t think of herself as one either. Here are a few of her words:

“I grew up in an abusive home where I was physically and emotionally abused on a daily basis, a constant reminder that I was worthless, unloved and that no one wanted me. This had a big impact on how I saw myself. It caused me to grow up with no self-worth, never showing emotions and in the end led to depression and many attempts at suicide. The instability led to unstable relationships and bad choices. I became homeless…Then, I found Watered Gardens. My stay at Watered Gardens has been a big blessing. I have not only found my self-worth and become closer to God but I also found loving, caring, respectful, and nonjudgmental people. I give my love and thanks to all my Watered Gardens family. Without them I would have given up. They have shown that I have self-worth, I am loved, and that I am someone. Now I love myself and I am strong.”