Testimonials

J.W.'s Testimony

The greatest blessings in life seem to occur by happenstance, but supremely those blessings prove to be all a part of God's design. I truly feel this way about the Cradle of Hope. I found the Cradle in the latter part of September when after arriving to Philadelphia on a family emergency, my family abandoned and rejected me. Six months pregnant, I was forced to uproot my life from the comfort I had known in Atlanta, now to Philadelphia; where I grew up as a child, but of which I did not have the best memories.

Naturally, I concluded the worst of my situation was that I would be homeless with a newborn baby in the dead of winter. Although I found temporary relief with a family friend, my stay there would be exhausted as the holidays soon approached. Desperate and anxious, I began to look around for assistance. Initially, my search resulted in a list of emergency shelters who either did not have availability, or did not assist pregnant women.

Running out of hope, I went online after receiving the number to Guiding Star. By happenstance I went to their website to learn more about their organization when over in the corner I saw a drop-down box that read, "Pregnant, need help?" I clicked and there was a list of pregnancy resources. The Cradle of Hope was among them. I began to call every number on the list, and every conversation ended the same. When I called the Cradle of Hope, a kind gentle voice answered and I began to explain to her my need. She agreed to see me; the greatest blessing. Though there was no guarantee, I was so grateful that I gave thanks to God, prayed, and believed His word that He would provide for my daughter and me.

After a series of interviews, I was accepted into the house at 2238 in November, 2016. I was 7 months pregnant. The Cradle of Hope had offered me the supreme blessing of peace and rest. I had been traveling like a pilgrim and found rest in a town I did not know. As previously mentioned, I grew up in North Philadelphia, so I thought only row houses existed here. I was and still am so thankful for the kindness extended to me through the Cradle. Whenever I walk around the house or arise in the morning, I marvel at this amazing blessing God chose to give me through them and I'm thankful even more. Not only has the Cradle been a place of refuge and comfort, it has served as a reminder of God's very promises to me. His promise to never leave me, nor forsake me, a reminder that although a man's heart devises his way, the Lord orders his steps.  Lastly, that He knows the thoughts He has toward me, plans to give me a future and a hope (Jer 29:11). The Cradle of Hope has helped to position me to trust God's word concerning my life and the life of my daughter.

My daughter D. was born in February, 2017. Although I have sacrificed many freedoms and made major lifestyle changes, these sacrifices have strengthened my character, as well as disciplined me. I know now that God used the Cradle of Hope to prepare me for the task of motherhood, and to place me on a path to success in every area of my life. I have gained valuable relationships that I cherish, but more importantly, I have obtained the highest hope towards a very bright future for my daughter and me; all because of the Cradle of Hope.

Forever grateful,

-J.W.

K.D.'s Testimony

Greetings to you all, it is my great pleasure to stand before you to share my story, my in the hope to motivate you mothers, and to inspire the audience to continue the great work that the Lord has begun. This great work in touching and giving back hope, courage, confidence, and opportunities to young mothers such as myself; teaching us not to give up, but to believe, trust, and strive to accomplish our life goals as young women. Better yet, providing us with the skills needed and necessary to be great mothers to our children.

Prior to coming to the Cradle in 2003, I was broken, with an inch of hope. My son was 3 months old. I was on the verge of homelessness, not knowing where to go, where to turn, who to trust, what to really do; I wanted to get into school (because this was going to pave the way to providing my child a better life, opportunities to getting what he needed), and get to work, but did not know how or where to begin; I had no sense of direction. All these things troubled my heart, and my mind, but I did not give up. I carried this one inch of hope, and I believed that something was going to happen, even though the situation looked desperate. With sleepless nights, I believed that the God I praise, the God I believe in, was able to turn my situation around. I did not know how, but I believed.

One day, I finally received my YES call after many dead-end searches for placement for my son and me. When I received that phone call, and heard that bubbly, energized and sweet voice on the other end of the line, (Larissa, the social worker at Cradle of Hope) offering me the opportunity to meet with her, brought great relief to my heart, knowing and confirming that when all else has failed, God always makes a way. In that moment, you better believe that I gave Him a shout of Praise for what He had done and was going to do.

When I stepped into this home, with everything that was offered, I knew and experienced “Light at the end of the tunnel”. By His grace, my life and my son’s life have turned for the good since being a part of this program. Being at the Cradle began a new season for our lives. This is where our lives began to soar on Angel wings because doors began to open, things began to take place in my life that I thought could not have happened at the state we were in. I found a church to attend regularly; this was one of my accomplishments.

I completed a home health aid program in Lansdale, where I began working. Working entailed waking up early, getting the bus to drop Joshua off at daycare, taking the bus back to catch the train, then another bus from the train station to work. And the same pattern at the end of the day. This was my routine every day until I began attending Montgomery County Community College.

Education has always been one of my ultimate goals. Getting my education was a huge step for me, a step I was eager to take despite the limitations of TBI, traumatic brain injury, which I had because of a serious car accident in 2000. I was told I would never go to college because of my injuries.

Faced with these limitations of TBI, and the negativity of not being college material, drove me even more to accomplish this goal and the dream embedded within me. At this point, I knew and believed that God has the final say for my life and future, my son’s life and future. I started the New Choices- New Options Program for individuals who want to get back to school, and worked as a home health aide. Once I completed the program, I was able to be registered for classes to get my associates degree. While in the mist of all this, I was approved for my apartment. My apartment was closer to campus and Joshua attended pre-school there at the college. I attended for a few years and applied to Becker College in Massachusetts, where family members also reside. I graduated with my BA in Psychology in May 2012. My son is now 14 years old and I work as a children’s therapist.

It took dedication, focus, determination, hard-work (I had to work twice as hard to be on the level as other students due to TBI), and great effort to continue this walk that began at the Cradle of Hope. I am now pursuing my Master’s in Behavior Analysis. It is not easy, but I can say, it’s worth it. If I can go on to accomplish all that I have because of the opportunities provided to me here, I believe and have faith that each of you can go on to do the same. Take advantage of the help provided here and work on your goals piece by piece until you can get to where your heart desires. I thank you all for being patient and listening to my story. I will end with a few quotes that are dear to me:

“Being confident of this very thing, He who has begun a great work in you will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthen me.” Philippians 4:13

“Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give thee the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4-

“I will not leave you nor will forsake you, said the Lord.” Hebrews 13:5

“Success is not measured by what you accomplish, but by the opposition you have encountered, and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds.”-Orison Swett Marden

“Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be.”- George Sheehan

-K.D.

S.J.'s Testimony

I resided at the Cradle of Hope in 2004 with my son. I was a teenage mother with a young sick child and still in high school. (My son was four months premature.) At the Cradle I finished my high school education at Cheltenham high school and I learned more parenting and life skills along the way that I carry with me forever. When I left the Cradle, I got my own apartment in Germantown that the Cradle helped me to furnish through IMPACT thrift shop. I began taking courses to get a certificate as a nursing assistant while I volunteered part time at a daycare and worked at a clothing store. Life hasn’t been easy but I have tons of support and my faith which has helped me make it to where I am today. Another big help was the foundation set from living at the Cradle of Hope in regards to parenting and life skills. Today my son is 13 and is as healthy as can be. I now live in Montgomery County because I want to give him a great education as my mother did for me. I pride myself on being a great mother to my son! I graduated on May 2, 2015 with my associates in behavioral health and graduated in December 2016 with my bachelors in social work from Alvernia University. Currently, I am a certified domestic violence counselor and I intern at the Women’s Center of Montgomery County. The Cradle has helped me and now I want to help other women who are struggling in our community.

-S.J.

T.M's Testimony

First-time mothers can have very many differences. Age, background, life experiences, single, married, high school dropout or college graduate. But all have one thing in common: the unconditional love they have for their child. Every mother at The Cradle of Hope has one other thing in common, a dream. To have a good life and a better life for herself and her child. The Cradle of Hope taught us that our dreams are achievable, and also taught us the life skills we needed in order to achieve those dreams.

Everyday is scheduled and follows a routine. Cooking and cleaning chores were rotated every week. This taught us structure while at the same time showing us teamwork skills. Every night we would sit down together and have dinner. The COH also offered us lots of spiritual guidance and advice about the personal aspects of our life. And there was always an ear to listen and a shoulder to lean on. They also taught us how to be independent, strong women. Many times you hit a road block with something and you keep trying until you achieve the goal you wanted.

When I arrived at The Cradle my son was 4 1/2 months old. I started out with practically nothing but my hopes and my dreams. He is now 2 1/2 years old. Now, I have my own vehicle and my own apartment. I went to school, graduated, and now work as a CNA. My son attends daycare regularly. He has many friends and enjoys going there and all the activities they do. I also still have a strong and continuous walk with the Lord. I continue to work hard and enjoy life. I also learned not to stop at just one dream, to keep going way past the limit of the stars in our sky into a whole other galaxy. Whatever you dream you can achieve. I plan on going back to school to continue my education even further.

The Cradle of Hope made it all possible with a foundation of love and guidance. We all have our differences. But the Cradle brought us all together as a group. The other mothers and I are still friends, but also so much more. We are sisters, we are a family.

-T.M.

T.M. completed her year at the Cradle of Hope in July 2010 and moved to her own apartment with her son, J.

 

 

 

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Jeremiah 29:11

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