I'm Velvet and these are my grandchildren that I'm raising. I've been at my current employer for more than 25 years, but instead of thinking about retirement, I'm working to provide a good life for my family. I recently went through the Strong Families program and when I first started I was under so much stress. I thought 15 weeks of these skill building classes would be impossible. All I wanted is a bigger home for the kids and myself. I didn't think I would make it. Three weeks later, I thought "I'm done", the weeks seemed longer than when I started. But the information that was being poured into to us each week was so helpful and fulfilling that I started sharing with my church, my family, my co-workers, and strangers! I left each meeting excited and hoping my kids would take advantage of the opportunities given to them through Strong Families. They made budgeting, and keeping up with where money can be saved, not so scary. I don't think a day goes by that I'm not using something I have been taught on my everyday life.
I am budgeting better and I have paid down three credit cards. Since I started the program my credit score has come up at least 50 points and I bought a 2015 Dodge Journey. I have completed the Home Buyers Education class, so hopefully in the near future I will be a new home owner. I'm still working on my savings, I'm not where I want to be, but thank God, it now means something to me to want to save. The last two years my goal was cleaning up my credit. I will continue to do that, but saving is my goal this year. I have Strong Families to thank for that, because I never really considered saving that important. Now it's as important as cleaning up my credit.
I will reach 30 years at my place of employment in two years. I always said once I retire, I would not be going back to work or school. Now, I think I am going to take a college course or two. I want to use some of the information and resources I have received. I can't say thank you enough for your donations that have helped me get the needed resources I need to help my family.