"I'm really good at math. It's like a treasure hunt, see? They give you 2 numbers but you've gotta go find the 3rd number."
Saraya's mom is good at math, too. And she's a hard worker. "I've worked since I was 16." Up until 2 months ago, she had 2 jobs. Now she's down to one, but it's not enough.
Lavonne had been housekeeping supervisor at a local hotel for over a decade. She supplemented that income with a PRN hospital job so her kids could have some extras along the way.
The hotel was sold and the new management brought in its own team. "Just when school was about to start, too. I had to get school uniforms and supplies - - - thank God my rent was paid."
That's because Lavonne pays her rent in advance when she gets her tax refund. In fact, when she came to us for the 1st time today, the only bill she hadn't paid was her electric bill.
"Believe me, it's stressful. One of my girls set me straight, tho: 'Why are you crying, Momma? Everybody goes thru something. Now it's our turn. You still got 1 job, and you'll get another one soon.' "
"Those kids don't know how much joy they bring me, " Lavonne said. "No matter what's happening, every Sunday we have a big dinner together, cut up, have fun. There's nothing that can keep me from doing that."
And they'll do that this Sunday, with the lights on and something yummy simmering on the stove.
You matter. Thank you for being there for Lavonne and her kids.