Helping Families Like Melissa's

Melissa, a mother of five (two biological and three she is guardian of), is one of the many people we helped this year. Melissa was facing some serious challenges and we were able to help her because of support from people like YOU!

With Melissa’s permission, we share her story:

Before coming to Church Community Services, Melissa says she was stuck.  Melissa was abused as a child, and the cycle of abuse continued into her adulthood with a series of abusive relationships. “My husband took everything from me and I decided that I was going to get up and fight for it all back.”

Melissa started her journey to a more safe and stable life when she entered a women’s shelter in Michigan and they moved her to a shelter in Elkhart to protect her from her now ex-husband. While she was trying to get on her feet, she didn’t always have enough for essentials, so she came to the CCS food pantry to help feed her family. "The CCS food pantry was a lifeline for me and my family, especially when I was waiting for approval for food stamps. That can take a few months for some people."

Eventually Melissa was accepted into subsidized housing and signed up for the self-sufficiency program at the Elkhart Housing Authority. “I couldn’t find a job after I left my husband. I had almost always been a stay-at-home mom.” When Melissa kept hitting roadblocks to gaining employment, her caseworker referred her to Soup Of Success.

Soup Of Success helped Melissa figure out the steps she needed to take to find a job. She was able to research careers and receive help with her resume. “I had large gaps in my job history and I didn’t know what to do about it. Through the program I learned a lot about transferrable skills I had from being a stay-at-home mom. Soup of Success was great because I was able to show what a good, reliable worker I can be, and I can use them as a reference when I apply for jobs.”

Melissa says Soup Of Success also helped to erase some of the negative things she was taught to believe about herself. She began to see negative patterns in the behavior of some of her friends and began to realize she needed to surround herself with healthier, kinder people. Soup Of Success also made her a role-model to her children who had never seen her take good care of herself before.  “When I try to explain Soup Of Success I feel I really don’t do it justice. How do you explain a program that takes a woman and gives her back her life? How do you explain how they reteach you to dream again and give you confidence to make those dreams a reality?”

Melissa says Soup Of Success inspired her to get further education. She is currently studying to be a paralegal and got all A’s on her last report card! Melissa eventually wants to find a job where she can help other people who have experienced abuse so she can help them break the cycle and live healthier, happier lives, too.   

It is because of support from people like you that we are able to help families like Melissa’s, who come to us in need. Please consider giving generously so you can help more families like Melissa’s. Here are examples of what your gift will achieve:

$50: Provides 150 meals

$125: Provides 125 lbs of pork (which is 665 servings) to the pantry

$250: Helps keep 5 families from losing their utilities

$1500: provides a scholarship for a woman participating in Soup Of Success

Give Now!

Hayley Tessier