What difference can one person make?

24th Jan 2020

What difference can one person make? 

CPLC donor Christian Archambault wondered the same thing when she signed up to volunteer at the CPLC De Colores Domestic Violence Shelter. She used her background in banking to teach a financial education course to shelter residents.

During this class, Christian met Maricela, an immigrant seeking refuge at De Colores. Maricela had been physically abused by her husband, who abandoned her and took her children. De Colores provided Maricela with her immediate physical needs—a roof over her head, a place to sleep, food, toiletries, and clothes. But even more importantly, De Colores provided legal help so she could regain custody of her three children, who joined her at the shelter. Together, Maricela and her children learned to heal from the abuse of the past.

Christian saw something of herself in Maricela. Earlier in life, Christian had also experienced losing everything and knew what it was like to have to start over. She felt compelled to help Maricela regain her strength and independence.

In Christian's financial education class, Maricela opened her first bank account and learned to manage her personal finances while renting a low-cost apartment through De Colores. Christian encouraged Maricela to use her unique baking skills and start a custom cake business to earn money.

Christian helped Maricela obtain her business license and even located commercial baking equipment to help Maricela get started. 

Soon, Maricela was earning enough money to leave the shelter and begin a new life with her children. Today, Maricela is a successful entrepreneur and a new homeowner.

Christian and Maricela learned how one person can make a difference. Christian saw an opportunity to give time and resources that change Maricela's life. Maricela took this opportunity and summoned the strength to make a new life for herself and her children.

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