Overcoming - Moving Forward - Starting Over


In September 2018, my cousin Jenna and her kids had to take up residence in a domestic violence shelter for women after a 911 call to the police regarding an incident with her husband, whose months-long drug use turned into physical violence. He was arrested and has been in and out of jail multiple times since then. Jenna and the kids have remained in the shelter, struggling to move forward.


Jenna and her family have been through a lot in the last several months, and she has taken all the right steps to ensure the children’s safety and her own. She has filed for divorce, she has gotten daycare assistance for Estelle while Vance and Garett are in school, and she has been working as many hours as she can to pay bills and make ends meet. This has not been easy with a single income. Jenna doesn’t have any savings, and she owes huge amounts to creditors and home utilities because her husband was using bill money for his drug addiction.



For abuse survivors to start over and gain stability, money is a major priority. Domestic violence has a domino effect on a family. It has been impossible for Jenna to save money when she needs her bi-weekly income to get by with basic cost of living expenses for her and the kids.


Finding housing options to fit their needs so they can move out of the shelter has been extremely challenging without a reserve of money to secure a place, and the shelter does not have the funds to help Jenna with a housing grant. We (her family and friends) would like to help Jenna raise money for what she would need as a deposit for a house or apartment, and anything over that cost would help her get caught up with debt. This would mean so much to Jenna and the kids, as I’m sure you can imagine. It takes a village, so even if you can only spare $5, it’s still $5 toward helping Jenna and her family start over. And anything more than the goal amount is also a huge help!


Jenna and the kids are very grateful for the support they have received from family and friends during this trying time, and it truly would be a blessing to get them into a house they can call “home” again and to be able to put their worries at ease. Thank you for your time and help.



The Starfish Story by Loren Eisley

One day a man was walking along the beach, when he noticed a boy hurriedly picking up and gently throwing things into the ocean.

Approaching the boy, he asked, “Young man, what are you doing?”

The boy replied, “Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back, they’ll die.”

The man laughed to himself and said, “Don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can’t make any difference!”

After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it into the surf. Then, smiling at the man, he said…

“I made a difference to that one.”
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Organizer and beneficiary

Chrissy Nelson
Minneapolis, MN
Jenna Rusnak

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