Francisco Ruiz, Family Promise graduate

My name is Francisco Ruiz, Jr. I lived in Indiana for over 30 years and I was an Electrician for 25 of those years.  I made a lot money.   I got custody of my daughter but I didn’t have a babysitter.  I couldn’t get childcare because I worked a 3am-11am shift.  I lived in a good place but being a single dad, I needed babysitting for my daughter and to get her to school.   

My family was all in Philly and Delaware.   I decided maybe it would be better to move closer so I moved in with my family in New Castle.  I got a job as a Laundry Attendant at a hotel.  Out of nowhere, I got really sick.  I was in Intensive Care for a month and a half. They didn’t know what was wrong with me still don’t know.  I eventually ran out of money because I couldn’t work due to my health.  Still to this day, I see heart, lung and back doctors regularly.

Because we ran out of money, we went to the state building for help.  The state put my daughter and me in a motel for a month.   We then got connected to Family Promise.  I met all of these awesome cool people.  I had the nicest case manager.  She gave me numbers for resources and they helped out a whole lot.  All the people involved took time out of their personal lives to help out, even helping someone you don’t know.   

It was amazing the people I met.  For example, I ran into a lady on the street. She was wondering how my daughter was.  I didn’t recognize her because there are so many people at Family Promise.  I said thank you but I didn’t really know who she was at first.  She said she was a volunteer with Family Promise.  I forgot to get her name.  There are just so many people.

I was at Family Promise for a few months.  I remember conversations with an older army guy at one congregation- he had a lot of master’s degrees.  I don’t think anyone else is more educated than him.   The birthday White Clay Creek did for my daughter was awesome.  I would have never thought of a birthday party like that.  They spent more than they should have.  She got a lot of stuff. It was a surprise to my daughter.  She enjoyed it.  They treated her so good. 

There were congregations that painted the girls’ nails.  St. Phillips showed the kids had to make ice cream.  It was all over the kid’s faces.  The volunteers didn’t mind. They were laughing about it.  It was in their brand new building but they did have them go outside.  They were so excited, it was like they couldn’t wait for us to show up.  It actually tasted really good.  Another week there was kickball and haircuts.  My daughter played kickball and got a home run.  I didn’t get a haircut because I don’t have too many left in my future.  It was great too to meet the pastors.  They took time out of their schedule and showed up too.  That was really great.  All the congregations did special things. 

I got my apartment through Family Promise.  They helped me get in contact with people from Aging and Disability so that I can have a home for my daughter and me while I figure out my health.   I would have never found the place I have.  I love making meals with my daughter.  I’m overwhelmed and still on cloud 9.

I still see a lot of families who went through the program with me on the street.  We say hello.  They are doing good too.  Family Promise helped a lot of us.  You’re really thankful especially when you don’t know resources.

I am going to back to one of the churches in two weeks.  We went to several of their services and Ta’tyanna paid attention.  She got attached to Bob, and the other Bob, Dorothy and the other volunteers.  So we try to keep in touch.  I still got other churches to go back to.  I’d like to visit them all.

Since we moved to our new home, it has been a new school for my daughter and a new life for both of us.  I am making sure I keep everything. Family Promise changed our lives for the best. They say God got a plan for everyone.  And he does.  Family Promise is probably one of the greatest things ever and there are so many amazing people behind it.  I will always be grateful.

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