That’s a simple enough question isn’t it? But, we live in a world that is anything but simple. It’s a complicated world. Those of us who have the privilege of raising someone else’s children, well, we have a definite understanding of what a complicated life can be. That’s where the Carl Perkins Program enters in—at least for me.
They have proven to be a lifeline when I needed one. Outside of going to church and going over to a friend's for coffee on occasions, we don’t have much of a social life. We don’t go out to eat much or to the movies or even bowling. Those are luxuries we can’t afford anymore. Instead, we try to do things with the girls while they still enjoy our company. We know when they get a litter older, that will change some, so we do things now that don’t cost much but pay out in big ways. The Carl Perkins Program has given us a lot of these ideas.
When I have my monthly visit with our case manager, it’s like visiting with a friend. She’s my sounding board for so many things I couldn’t talk about with anyone else. I have grown to love her very much, and I trust her. I can’t say that about many people.
Then there were the months—years really, that we didn’t have an open case any longer, but they never turned their backs to us.
We no longer were eligible for certain things in the program, but the monthly group meetings were still open to us with all the wonderful people that are just like us. No matter the age, size, color or background, we’re all raising someone else’s kids. Often, they’re our grandchildren, or like us, great-grandchildren. Some are nieces/nephews, etc., but all of us have opened our hearts and lives to children we haven’t birthed to keep them out of Foster Care. God bless those who foster care, don’t get me wrong, but I didn’t want my great-granddaughters in Foster Care. We were the best answer to fill their needs, and they were with us all the time anyway. With the help the Carl Perkins Program has given to us, we’ve had a relatively smooth ride.
They helped by buying the girls a bunk bed a few years ago. At the time we only had two beds—twin size for all three of them. Now we have three! It’s helped so much because they all share a bedroom. Also, they’ve supplied the girls with school uniforms and school supplies, and regular clothes, too! And groceries as well. Ms Marilyn almost always shows up with something to help us. She even brings me cleaning supplies like dish soap if I need it. The Carl Perkins Program has helped to lift so many little burdens off of us that it’s made the larger burdens a little easier to bare. I think that that’s part of what they do, help ease the burdens. Make the weight a little lighter.
The Carl Perkins Case Managers, volunteers, field workers and everyone associated with the program are truly the best examples of what Jesus was describing as the “Good Samaritan”, (Luke Chapter 10 verse 35 – 37).