Each year at the Annual South Jersey Banquet, we are blessed to have a mother step forward to tell the story of how she came to Good Counsel. Hearing a Good Counsel mother tell her own story is priceless for all who listen. Our friends, donors, supporters, volunteers, and others get to hear first hand how they have impacted the lives of those we are privileged to serve.
Good Counsel mom, Vanetta, was up to the task and eager to prepare her to tell her story. A story that undoubtedly deeply affected every person in the room.
Vanetta began by telling the crowded room that she “arrived at good counsel on a late Tuesday evening in February. I felt defeated and exhausted both emotionally & physically. It was almost as if every moment of my life, every mistake, every wrong turn, and stupid choice brought me to this moment in my life, homeless, pregnant, and alone.”
Vanetta continued that before arriving at Good Counsel, she went from sharing a room with five people at once to living in the backseat of a car, “to sleeping on some sheets on the floor, then to a homeless shelter, a couch. A part of me died each day. It felt like the world rejected me. I felt truly alone in the world. I stopped looking forward to each day. The spark in my eyes and the smile on my face disappeared.”
Facing another challenge.
Vanetta, far left, holding her baby girl, Micah, enjoys the Banquet with fellow moms and staff from Good Counsel.
It was at this low point in her life that Vanetta found out she was pregnant. She was afraid of not being able to take care of another person when she could barely care for herself. Vanetta felt as though she had found a way to make her life even worse. Fortunately, Vanetta was not alone in her despair, saying, ” I didn’t understand it then but God was listening all along, preparing a place for me and my baby.” Vanessa quoted Jeremiah 29:11,”For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you hope and a future.” She came to know that part of His plan for her life, and her unborn baby’s life was Good Counsel homes.
Vanetta took full advantage of everything Good Counsel offered to her. Each day her confidence grew, and her hope for the future deepened. She found the motivation to work toward a better future for herself and her baby. She enrolled in school to become a Certified Nursing Assitant.
Vanetta was eight months pregnant when she became certified as a nurse’s assistant. Not able to get a job with her baby due so soon, she began to volunteer in healthcare settings. She didn’t get to volunteer for long as she had to be induced emergently at 37 weeks. Once again, feelings of defeat and helplessness descended on her. She said, “I worried for my unborn child and her health. My worry turned into panic when my baby girl stopped breathing momentarily after being born. Those seconds felt like a lifetime. I did the only thing I knew how to do, I prayed.”
Without Good Counsel, where would moms like Vanetta go?
Vanetta’s prayers were answered a few days later when her baby girl, Micah, was strong enough to leave the NICU and go home with her. Vanetta was happy that she had a place to come home to and clothing, food, security, for as long as she needed it. Vanetta finished her speech at the Banquet saying, “I want to thank each and every person that is a part of the Good Counsel family, whether you donate your time, food, clothing, money or even keep us in prayer daily. Without you, there would be no Good Counsel. With you, the women that that come through the door of Good Counsel arrive seeking a haven, but we find so much more. There’s hope, rest, safety, opportunity, and a clear vision into a brighter future.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart. My Name is Vanetta and I am a Good Counsel RESCUE!”
Each day stories like Vanetta’s are unfolding at a Good Counsel home. What seems like insurmountable odds become success stories. The success stories would never be told if it weren’t for the support of our friends, donors, supporters, and volunteers. If you would like to help a homeless, pregnant mother began to craft a success story, please click here to find out how. We need you and our mothers and babies need you!
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