2020-03-03 22:00:00
2020-04-02 18:00:00

Brighter Futures..

begin with you, help Chicago’s children by donating to Mercy Home!

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Brighter futures begin with you

You can help create a brighter future for Chicago’s children by supporting Mercy Home’s March for Kids this month.

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Giving Tuesday is December 3rd. A day to give a brighter future.

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Aluma Honors Donors Through Life of Service

Aluma Honors Donors Through Life of Service

testing testing Kristina Jordan, a Captain in the U.S. Army National Guard, has devoted her life and career to service—a deliberate choice in honor of the time she lived at Mercy Home for Boys & Girls.

“I chose to serve in the military because I thought I could pay back those donors who paid for the roof over my head, food, hot water, and high-quality education during my time at Mercy Home,” Kristina said. “I continue to serve today because the staff at Mercy taught me what leadership can do for a person.”

Life is picture-perfect these days for Kristina. She has a clear purpose, a fulfilling career, and recently earned her master’s degree in Homeland Security. She is happily married in Delaware and loves taking advantage of the state’s beaches with her husband and pit bull. But when she first moved to the U.S. from Lithuania, life was far less than perfect.

When Kristina was 14, her mother sent her to live with her father in Chicago. She wanted her daughter to have a better life and live the American Dream. But the moment she stepped off the plane, she got a glimpse of the nightmare to come. Her father was intoxicated and stumbling.

It didn’t take long before Kristina realized her new home was full of alcoholism and abuse. One day, she recalls coming home to find grease and blood dripping on the kitchen floor.

“My dad took the pan and hit my stepmother in the head with it because the steak wasn’t rare enough,” she said.

Kristina stayed at school long hours to avoid going home. Eventually, a classroom journaling assignment revealed the truth when Kristina wrote about her home life. “The teacher approached me and goes, ‘Is this fiction?’ I said ‘no.’”

Like a lifesaver, Kristina’s teacher intervened and offered a solution: Mercy Home. Prior to moving in, Kristina was conflicted. She didn’t want to return to Lithuania and blamed her mother for her situation. But she didn’t want to see her father, either. She felt trapped.

“I just felt like I had nobody and nothing,” she said. “I was falling apart.”

But Mercy Home’s patient and loving coworkers helped Kristina realize that she belonged and made her feel like she had a home. Monti Clayton, Kristina’s former program manager, gave her some sage advice.

“I sort of said to her, you know what, you can’t tear down a mountain in a day, so can we just carve at it a little bit?” Monti recalled telling her.

“I just felt like I had nobody and nothing. I was falling apart.”

Kristina’s father was angry and resentful and vowed to send her back to Lithuania. But Monti was persistent and continued to chip away at his obstinance.

“One night I asked him if he could do something that would make his heart less heavy—to let Kristina remain at Mercy Home, to let Kristina continue to grow,” Monti said.

When her dad finally relented, Kristina began to flourish at Mercy Home. She finished high school and went on to graduate from Elmhurst College. To this day, Kristina’s determination and tenacity continues to resonate around our Home.

“Her intellectual curiosity, her energy, her enthusiasm, the way she took care of her peers…has never left me,” said Father Scott Donahue.

As she continues to live the good life, Kristina remains ever grateful for the patience, guidance, and tools that Mercy Home provided. She is especially appreciative of the love and support she received—not only from our coworkers, but from our donors.

“I sort of said to her, you know what, you can’t tear down a mountain in a day, so can we just carve at it a little bit?” Monti recalled telling her.

Kristina’s father was angry and resentful and vowed to send her back to Lithuania. But Monti was persistent and continued to chip away at his obstinance.

“One night I asked him if he could do something that would make his heart less heavy—to let Kristina remain at Mercy Home, to let Kristina continue to grow,” Monti said.

When her dad finally relented, Kristina began to flourish at Mercy Home. She finished high school and went on to graduate from Elmhurst College. To this day, Kristina’s determination and tenacity continues to resonate around our Home.

“You did not have to love me, but I felt it and I developed into who I am today,” she wrote in a note to Mercy Home. “I don’t think I can ever repay you for what you have done for me, but I will continue to try.”

One way she envisions doing so is to emulate those who support Mercy Home for Boys & Girls.

“I have every intention of coming back as a donor, so I can tell the kids ‘I know how it is,’” she said.

“You did not have to love me, but I felt it and I developed into who I am today. I don’t think I can ever repay you for what you have done for me, but I will continue to try.”

We are so proud of Kristina and all her accomplishments, and all the love and happiness she’s found. All of it can be traced back to our donors, whom we salute and thank for their support.

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