This is a story about a young man named Mike. At the age of 18, after the 9-11 attacks, Mike decided to serve our country in the United States Army Special Forces. After Mike’s service was over, he came home to many challenges. Life was not what he expected it to be. Faced with a new baby upon his return home, Mike’s life challenges would continue to grow, including the birth of another child.

Along the way, Mike and his family became homeless, moving from shelter to shelter – time was running out and there was a possibility they would end up living in the woods. Mike continued to work, but was never able to make enough money to pay the deposits necessary to move his family into their own place. Fortunately, one day recently, the Jewish Coalition was able to find them a home they could afford. They received the keys to their new home and that night they slept on the bags of their clothes. Even though they had no food, they didn’t mind – Mike and his family finally had a safe place to live.

The day after they moved into their new home, I asked everyone I know to help out these young adults. Then the miracle happened! Marc Marois and Giving Hope Thrift Store donated beds, chairs, a table, pictures, a mirror and assorted cookware. When Mike learned this was happening, he was so choked up he could hardly speak. He was so overwhelmed with heartfelt thanks, he could’t believe that someone would be willing to help out  his family.

Marc Marois even allowed Mike to use his pickup truck to get the stuff to the house. So, that night, they were all able to sleep in a bed. Marc Marois and Giving Hope Thift Store gave Mike and his family much more than just a place to call their own, he gave them a fresh start in life after their time of difficulties. He gave them HOPE!

This was hard for me to write, because Mike is my son, and because “Thank You” just doesn’t completely describe how I feel. I cried tears of joy, knowing my child and grandchildren have a place of their own and a bed to sleep in. Knowing that everyone was safe, comfortable, and have food, I’ve slept well. During a recent visit, the family seemed relaxed for the first time in a very long time. They were playing and laughing – a real laugh is such a beautiful sound!

Michelle B. – Venice, Florida