This is an incredibly hard letter for us to write. We have tossed and turned over the best way to share this story with you all. Please take the time to read the message below and to figure out a way that you can help Ms. Haskins.
Most of you do not know that Ms. Haskins is only 17 years old. Every day she has come to work here at Karate Atlanta with a vibrant and positive attitude. Many of you have mistaken her for someone much more mature than her age would suggest. This is due to the circumstances that she has had to deal with over the last couple of years. Unfortunately, Ms. Haskins has had a lot of challenges to face.
Both her father and her mother have fought with substance abuse. As many of you know this is a hard road to take. Incredibly she has veered away from the examples they have set and vowed to “turn her life around.” Ms. Haskins started working for Karate Atlanta when she was 14 in hopes of giving herself a brighter future. At that age she already knew she would have to pay for college herself!
Two years ago her parents foreclosed on their house and separated. This left Ms. Haskins homeless. The crossroads she faced was tough and she chose not to move in with either her father or mother. She took this situation and turned it around by finding a neighbor, on her own, that would allow her to live with her and continue school. Since the age of 16 she has been considered an “Independent Homeless Minor”.
Karate Atlanta and some parents have been trying to keep Ms. Haskins on the right path since then. It’s amazing to me to see how many people have stepped up and helped her as much as they can. We believe that many of you would also do the same if you knew her circumstances.
Ms. Haskins is an incredible young woman and has defied many of the odds that have been placed in front of her. Unfortunately the last couple of weeks have been even harder. Two weeks ago a lawyer “mistakenly” drafted her entire account because her PARENTS owed back payments on their H.O.A. payments. This was money that she had been earning and saving on her own! This over drafted her account over $2,000!
And then last week her mother was admitted into the hospital with liver and kidney failure. Despite efforts from the doctors her mother passed last night due to complications.
As someone who has lost a parent I understand the confusion and sadness that she must be feeling. I also know that with help and support from the families here at Karate Atlanta we can help her through this incredibly hard situation.
Ms. Haskins has been a vital part of your training here at Karate Atlanta. She has always shown up with a smile on despite what was going on at home. I have had the honor of being her instructor since she was only 7 years old. It’s with a heavy heart that we are asking for help.
We are asking for financial contributions to a scholarship fund for Ms. Haskins in an effort to keep her on the best path to a productive future; she needs money for tuition, books, a meal plan and a dorm to reside in. Milton Karate Atlanta is the only true family that she has and we are asking everyone to share what they have to help her in this time of need. We will be having ongoing programs this summer after initial collections to continue to build this fund for her to help her mature on a much different road than she has seen in her family of origin. You can make a donation at the front desk by cash or check. Of course, the power of emotional support cannot be underestimated and we ask you to do anything in your power to help her through this toughest of times.
To top it off this Saturday, June 7th is Ms. Haskins 18th birthday. Please help us give her a summer to remember not for its negatives but for its positives.
Mr. Bell and Karater Atlanta staff
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