Success Stories

A  letter sent to a benefactor from the Guardian Angels Center volunteers.

     Since the events of yesterday afternoon at the Guardian Angel I have been thinking about your generosity and all of our benefactors.  Yesterday was the last day that the Guardian Angel Center will be open before Christmas.  It was a fairly busy day with a number of families coming to the Center seeking assistance in securing clothing for their children.  Most of the day was routine with a few families who had unique needs related to the cold weather and the upcoming holidays.

It was 4:40 P.M., just twenty minutes before closing.  It had been a long day!  Most of the volunteers had been at the Center since before 10 A.M.  The volunteers were anxious to get home.  It was a cold and dreary day.  It had snowed earlier in the day – without accumulation and now it was raining.  It is nearly dark outside and everyone was looking forward to the end of the day.

Through the door came a mother with several children.  It was obvious by her demeanor that she had not been to Guardian Angel previously.  She approached the check-in desk cautiously, indicating that she was new to the Center and had driven some distance to come here.  The children stood quietly, eyes down as she presented her documentation and demographic information.  The children were elementary school ages and scantily clad in clean but well-worn clothing.  One child came with no jacket.  One wore shoes that were sizes too large.

What happened over the next forty-five minutes was the epitome of the existence of Guardian Angel Center.  Each child was assisted by a volunteer.  They selected shirts and pants and new socks and underwear.  There were new winter jackets for all.  There were hats and gloves – even a spare pair of gloves for each.  Each child got new sneakers and winter boots.  There were books for reading and stuffed animals for each.  When it was time for check-out, each child had a new wardrobe.

This was the perfect way to end the holiday season as Guardian Angel – helping a family to have the basic needs for warmth and personal pride in self.  This family happened to be from your community but it could have been anybody.  It was a family in need with children who were cooperative, polite and so appreciative.  Thanks so much to you and all of our benefactors for making this all possible!

 Dickinson Center Inc. ~ Crossroads Partial Hospitalization Program

“Molly” came to Crossroads following psychiatric hospitalization due to suicidal thoughts. She experienced symptoms of depression and anxiety and did not feel good about herself. Molly was able to participate in group therapy, individual therapy and family therapy while at Crossroads. She was also able to participate in an academic setting, where a special education teacher and teacher’s aide supported her in completing assignments sent from her home school district.

Molly participated in treatment at Crossroads for less than six months and during this time was able to learn to recognize triggers to both her anxiety and depression. She worked with her primary therapist to change her negative thoughts of herself and be more comfortable with who she is. Molly also was able to become more assertive about her feelings and less anxious in larger settings (such as her school).

Molly successfully returned to her school and has maintained all of the progress she made. She has joined extracurricular activities and is able to attend social events without experience debilitating anxiety. She successfully completed the school year with above average grades and looks forward to a new school year.

 CAPSEA

Taken from a letter written by a victim to CAPSEA, Inc. Staff:

“I just want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you are doing for me. For the first time in my life I feel safe, secure, and cared about, and most of all I feel wanted! I am so grateful for you giving me the confidence in myself to have the courage and strength to break the cycle of negativity, abuse, and neglect. You are changing the world, even if only one battered abused or neglected woman or child at a time, you ARE changing lives, BE PROUD!”

 Alcohol & Drug Abuse Services

From a drug counselor:
I completed an evaluation on a gentleman who had been drinking for many years and received a DUI.  He was very upset and ashamed that it had happened, but was open to doing whatever necessary to help him quit drinking.  He was recommended to attend outpatient treatment and throughout the course of treatment, he was able to achieve sobriety.  He attended AA meetings, got a sponsor and was doing all the right things.  He completed outpatient treatment with success and went on his way.  Once treatment is completed, many times we don’t know the status of those that we treat.  Months passed by and I ran into this gentleman walking down the street and he stopped me and thanked me over and over again for helping him quit drinking and he couldn’t say enough about ADAS, Inc. and the treatment that he received.

 St. Marys Public Library

From a resident of Fox Township:

“Our library is a resource that encourages reading all year, not just an academic school year!  I grew up utilizing my hometown public library, and am very fortunate to live now in a township that reimburses residents who take advantage of its neighboring city’s public library.  From storytime to summer reading programs, my children are growing up with our public library and enjoying all it has to offer.  I was devastated to learn of the decline in services and neglect of my own hometown library.  When visiting my parents, I planned a trip to the library with my children…it was sad.  I believe this was a reflection of the economy, and it showed a lack of interest in the community.  The success of a community can be seen in the investment it makes in their residence…the future!”

Computer Use at the St. Marys Public Library:

The St. Marys Public Library has 15 computers available for the community to use.  Last year, the library had 8,268 uses of our computers.  The library also offers free wi-fi for people wanting to use their own devices.  Our computers are used by people looking and applying for jobs, filing taxes, applying for health insurance or benefits, staying in touch with their friends and families, and working on school projects.  We received the following thank you note for providing these services to the St. Marys community.

“I have been homeless, in every sense of the word for the last month.  I have been living out of my truck. The Humane Society agreed to take my dog for two weeks because it’s been too cold for him to stay in the truck with me.  Thank you for the free use of your computers and internet.  By using them I was able to find a rental and co-ordinate my move. I get the keys to my new place tonight.  The other services that are in the community that should have been available to me were not, because I was told that I have too much income for assistance.  Thank you for your services.”

St. Marys Boys & Girls Club

One story that sticks out in my mind is that recently a parent came up to me and said just how happy they are that we have such a great place in our community for their child to go.  They spoke of how their child has had some difficulties in the past in regards to social interaction but now their child wants to come down here all the time because they love everything that the Club has to offer them.  They stated that they have seen such improvement in their child’s social interactions and they feel this is largely due to them having the opportunity to utilize everything that the Boys and Girls Club of St. Marys has to offer.  This child gets their homework done during our Power Hour Homework Club time, participates in leisure activities by interacting with others in the game rooms, and this child loves to get up into the gymnasium and play.  We are a very proud group of staff when we hear stories like this and we will continue to be a unique and great asset to our community.  The Club changes lives in our community and we are pleased it is changing the life of this child.  –John Benjamin, Executive Director