Antwann is an extraordinary young man – just 26, who is raising his 5 younger siblings (ages ranging from 12 down to 2). Why? Well, without going into painful and private matters– suffice it to say they were going to be removed from their mother’s home by social services. The father is deceased. Rather than see that happen - he was able to get legal custody of all 5 kids and then moved closer to some of his family in Stafford County. In the process, he essentially gave-up his life – his job, his friends, his prospect for a social life/family of his own, etc. How many 26-year old’s do you know that would do this to keep the family together? Pretty amazing story really.
So, why am I involved and why am I asking for your help, and what will be done with any donated money? I became involved through a friend and neighbor who had a connection to Antwann. When she described the challenges he faced, one being that he was on the verge of eviction, I felt compelled to help however I could. Between my friend and her husband, and another couple – we formed our own Antwann support team. Our objective is to mentor and support Antwann, who would openly admit he feels overwhelmed and sometimes “in over his head”. We hope to provide him assistance in the areas of parenting, financial management and job training/search (currently out of work until daycare secured for the two-year old).
The money? As you can imagine, trying to get-by on what meager benefits he obtains from the state is virtually impossible. Antwann is NOT lazy. He WANTS to work and we have a plan to help him get back to work. In the meantime, he has fallen behind on rent and utilities. I have spent time with Antwann and the family and had some of the kids stay at my house and would not ask for any financial donations unless I understood the situation firsthand. My personal promise is that every penny donated will go solely to the family’s benefit – to catch-up rent/utilities and to otherwise purchase essential items needed for their living conditions, i.e. household items, clothing & groceries.
Anyone who has ever raised even one kid can appreciate the level of effort it takes to raise five-kids (again – all under the age of 12) – and imagine doing it as a single parent and being completely new to parenting. The poor guy gets virtually no break. They are all good kids with big hearts. All of the younger kids except the 2-year old are in school and getting caught-up quickly. They are appreciative kids – they do not expect handouts and simply want to stay-together as a family. Please consider a donation to help us make this happen – to support Antwann keeping the family together and giving them the opportunity for a better life than the trajectory they were on just a few short months ago.
- Taryn Crane
- Meghan Schulze
- Lisa Wallace
- Sarah Kleppinger
- Gill Boice
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