DC127 Family Story

DC127 Family Story

At the onset of the pandemic, Reina began our Communities For Families Program. As a full-time working mother, she adopted to the demands of homeschooling her three daughters as a full-time student herself. She is currently working towards a certificate in Early Childhood Education. In the face of the pandemic and a quarantine she stayed resolute and continued to create better circumstances for herself and her family. Unfortunately, Reina was one of millions of workers who lost their jobs as the result of COVID-19. Unable to secure childcare, she decided to manage her limited resources and focus on her role as a mother full-time. She quickly ingratiated herself in the program and became an outstanding example of what families can accomplish with DC127. Reina benefits from our direct support which included groceries, the additional food helped her to provide for her daughters.  Nationally, over 24 million adults report they didn't have enough to eat within a 7-day period. (According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities) Food insecurity is a growing global problem. When children lack proper nutrition focusing on school work becomes a challenge. Additionally, behavior problems arise.  Our support to ensure families are fed is essential to our goal to provide stability to vulnerable families.  Through our program, Reina learned to add new elements to her family diet to offer balanced, healthy meals.
Her determination and perseverance through these difficult times is truly admirable and it has been outstanding having her in our program.

Q: Talk about how DC127 assisted you and your family with food provision?

Reina: I want to eat healthier and feed my daughters good food. DC127 and my volunteer, MB, helped me tremendously especially around grocery planning. With their help, I knew what I needed to order and what I needed to prepare for the following weeks. They also gave me tips on how to make food last. For example, MB showed me how to extend a chicken breast for an entire week. She also came up with ideas on how to slowly introduce more vegetables into our diet. She even reached out to someone else who specializes in this field so that we could have the best information possible. Thus far we have made huge improvements to our family’s diet and we are excited for the future.

Q: What has your relationship with your volunteer, MB, meant to you? 

Reina: I really felt a connection with MB. She was very supportive of me and the girls throughout the entire process. What she really helped me work on is organizing myself, meal planning, and meal prepping. She always checked up on me and we would send pictures of our families back and forth to each other. We would speak by phone, text, and email. We also had each other’s calendars, so we knew when we were available. She is a registered nurse and during my time in the program my father had a bad accident. She gave me really sound medical advice and she was always there to comfort me. I was really thankful for our relationship.

Q: How has DC127 helped you and your family?

Reina: DC127 have always been a blessing in our lives. They are always incredibly supportive. They are always initiating contact and asking, do you need anything, how are you feeling? They are really invested in building a relationship with my family and me.

MB's Perspective

MB attends Church of the Advent in Washington D.C. and has volunteered with Reina for the last several months.

Q: What are your overall impressions working with Reina over the last months?
MB: Reina impressed me so much with her determination to care for her three beautiful girls in the midst of the covid-19 pandemic. She took on the challenge of teaching them from home while also attending school herself. She set an example to her girls by prioritizing her education along with theirs and that really left an impression on me. Reina was also always really receptive to any tips I had or suggestions that I could offer.

Q: Has this volunteer experience been fulfilling for you? 
MB: This volunteering experience helped my own personal reflection and goal-setting as well. I gained a beautiful friend in Reina and our time together at DC127 was just the start to our friendship. I am thankful that DC127 connected our families and look forward to what the future holds for Reina- I feel honored to be a part of her life and her daughters.