|From left: Kelsey Taylor (case manager), Aletta,|
and Ted Randall (Bryan outreach director) at Aletta's new home.
Aletta, a mother in Bryan, Texas, who is supporting 16-year-old twin daughters and a 10-year-old daughter, recently received a couch and matching chairs for her new apartment thanks to a partnership formed between MCH Family Outreach in Bryan/College Station and FEMA. Aletta has been working to improve her family’s situation and said the furniture was a helpful addition.
“I was very surprised,” Aletta said. “Really, I am blessed. I have been blessed with everything that has happened with MCH from the beginning.”
Aletta has been working with MCH for five months and through the support of her daughters and MCH case manager, Kelsey Taylor, has made positive changes.
“Change can be hard but when you have someone who knows you can do it – someone that really believes in you – that makes you want to go for that change,” Aletta said. “It is the extra voice that really helps. This program has been life-changing.”
The furniture Aletta received through FEMA was used in portable homes taken to disaster areas for families to live in while their homes are repaired. Once they are done with the homes, FEMA cleans and preps the hard-surface furniture and homes for the next use. However, any “soft” furniture, such as couches or fabric chairs, cannot be reused at sites and is donated to nonprofit organizations.
Bryan/College Station case manager Susan Hays said she learned about the FEMA resource from friends at another local nonprofit and contacted them to inquire about furniture for MCH clients. This call resulted in a collaboration that has greatly benefitted MCH families working to get back on their feet, according to Ted Randall, director of MCH Family Outreach in Bryan/College Station.
“This partnership has met a significant need for some of our families,” Randall said. “We have families who were living in substandard conditions and are able to move, but could not afford new furniture. This partnership has allowed us to supply furniture to these families. We have also been able to provide beds or pull-out couches to families who did not have enough sleeping areas for all of their family members.”
Randall said FEMA allowed them to walk through the staging area where furniture is stored to pick items that could be used by their families. They then store the furniture in the office until they are able to deliver it to families.
“Most of the furniture we get looks brand new,” Randall said.
He said they have received couches, chairs, bed frames and FEMA even received approval to donate mattresses still in its original plastic wrap that were in a home sent into the field. So far the furniture has blessed a single mother of six children as well as Aletta’s family.
“My story, it’s been a road to get here,” Aletta said. “But there is momentum. It is going good; it is going more than good.”
|MCH staff members deliver the furniture to Aletta's new apartment.|