Young Man Channels Anger into Positive Changes

Young Man Channels Anger into Positive Changes

Nathan kept a map of the city hidden in his desk. Because he was always thinking of running away.

When he was a small boy, Nathan lived with his parents. There, he saw drug abuse before he was old enough to understand what it was. When he was 5 years old, he was sent to live with his aunt, where he would be safer.

Nathan’s aunt wanted to give him a better life. She made sure he had everything he needed. She helped him with his schoolwork. She made sure he was fed, clothed, and loved. But there was one thing Nathan’s aunt couldn’t control: her boyfriend’s violent outbursts.

Her boyfriend was frustrated when Nathan moved in. His patience with the arrangement wore off quickly. When he came home from work, he would get angry and yell. He would push them around. Year after year, it only got worse.

Nathan’s aunt wanted to protect her young nephew. She didn’t know what to do. She hated the way her boyfriend treated them, but he kept food on the table. Nathan didn’t know how to feel. Sometimes he felt scared. Sometimes he felt betrayed. Mostly, he got angry.

The one person who could calm Nathan down was his next door neighbor, Alex. Nathan would go over to Alex’s house when things got bad at home. The two went to the same school, and Nathan always felt safe in the hallways knowing Alex was around.

Then Alex’s family moved away, and everything changed. Nathan stopped doing his homework. He would talk back to his teachers. His grades plummeted.

Nathan started hanging out with a rough crowd. He would act out just to impress them. His home life made him so angry that he would start fights or experiment with drugs to distract himself. He had no other way to cope.

His aunt didn’t know what to do. Nathan’s behavior had changed so drastically, and she didn’t know how to reach him. She asked her pastor for help and he told her about a place called Mercy Home for Boys & Girls.

When Nathan moved in, he had mixed emotions. He was glad to leave home. But he wasn’t ready to trust us either.

At first, he tried to test our coworkers. He would break the rules, trying to make them angry. He needed to see if we would turn violent like his aunt’s boyfriend had.

Slowly but surely, Nathan realized he could feel safe at Mercy Home. Our coworkers showed him that they were there to help him. That they would stick with him through the good and the bad. And Nathan realized that he had friends like you who believe in him and who will always be by his side.

He started building relationships with our coworkers—going on walks with them and playing basketball. He became friendly with his tutors, who helped him get back on track in school. And eventually, he became a leader for our younger boys.

He would talk to them about their struggles and their future plans. He would help them with their homework assignments when they had questions. He would encourage them to sign up for Mercy Home activities. And he would help them calm down when they were angry, just like his friend Alex had done for him.

Nathan has improved tremendously in school. He has a B average, and has some A’s, too. He is on track to go to a good high school and is already thinking about college.

He has done hard work in therapy, and in family therapy as well. He still gets angry sometimes, but he now has positive ways to cope: He goes for a walk or plays basketball in our gym or talks to one of our coworkers.

Thank you for giving children like Nathan the safe home they so desperately need. You not only help them heal from difficult pasts, but you give them hope for better futures. For that, we will always be grateful.

Please note: Because we care deeply about protecting our children’s privacy, the names and certain identifying details in this story have been changed.

Comments

5 replies
  1. Patty Contreras says:

    It was our Lord who helped Nathan, even though he had a wonderful aunt, Alex, and blessed Mercy helpers. Jesus protected him from that nasty boyfriend of his aunt’s and watched over him.
    I am amazed in what you accomplish with these children every day. What would they do without You. I would love to help financially but as i explained to you once before, I am on a very fixed income and cannot afford to donate.
    May the Lord bless you all the days of your lives. You are very special people.

    Reply
  2. Patty Contreras says:

    It was our Lord who helped Nathan, even though he had a wonderful aunt, Alex, and blessed Mercy helpers. Jesus protected him from that nasty boyfriend of his aunt’s and watched over him.
    I am amazed in what you accomplish with these children every day. What would they do without You. I would love to help financially but as i explained to you once before, I am on a very fixed income and cannot afford to donate.
    May the Lord bless you all the days of your lives. You are very special people. I would certainly help if I could. Getting older has many drawbacks .

    Reply
  3. Pat Darby says:

    So beautiful to see this young man brought to a place where he can heal and achieve. God bless Mercy Home for these boys that so desperately need love and direction. Prayers for all of you.

    Reply
  4. John Chowanes says:

    My authorization for monthly contributions of $10 should be expiring soon. Please send a reply to indicate how I can renew it for at least 1 more year.

    Reply
    • Erin Ash says:

      Hello, John. Thank you for reaching out. I will forward your message to our donor relations team who will reach out to you. Many thanks for your generous support of our kids!

      Reply

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young girl, Angel

Loved, At Last

Ever since Angel was a little girl, she felt like something was missing. And she knew exactly what that thing was: the love and care of her parents.

Angel was born when her parents were still in high school. They didn’t stay together, and her dad left the state after graduation. He never came back to visit.

Her mom was never very interested in having a child. Instead, she wanted to continue living her life as if she didn’t have a daughter at all. She continued going out with friends, staying out until all hours and then sleeping all day instead of spending time with Angel.

Eventually, Angel’s mother made the decision to allow her mother, Angel’s grandmother, to raise her. Once Angel’s mother left her in the custody of her grandmother, she rarely bothered to visit, either.

Angel tried to pretend that it didn’t bother her. Her grandmother took great care of her and was very loving and involved in Angel’s life. She tried to tell herself that longing for her parents made her ungrateful. But no matter what she did, she couldn’t shake the feeling that something was wrong with her. Because if there wasn’t, wouldn’t her parents have stayed? Wouldn’t they care about her?

young girl, Angel

Angel was consumed with being perfect, hoping that if she was just good enough, her parents might want to be in her life. But when her grandmother fell down a flight of stairs and had to be hospitalized, Angel felt that it was her fault and that she had somehow failed her.

To make matters worse, when the social worker at the hospital tried to contact her mother to see if Angel could stay with her while her grandmother recovered from her accident, her mother refused to let her stay with her. Angel felt totally alone.

The social worker decided to tell Angel about Mercy Home, explaining it was a safe place to live where there would be a lot of people who cared about her. Angel doubted that there was anybody out there who could care about her but decided to give our Home a try anyway.

The first weeks at Mercy Home were difficult. Angel moved in at what she considered to be the lowest point in her life. She refused to talk to our coworkers or the other girls. She was convinced that she was a failure, and totally unlovable.

But over time, something began to change. Angel decided to open up to her therapist and confess the dark feelings she had been harboring. Releasing them felt like a weight had been lifted from her shoulders.

Slowly, Angel was able to open up and she found herself being able to trust others. Today, she finally knows that she is someone worth loving, because the entire Mercy Home family is behind her.

Your kindness shows our kids every day that there are countless people who care about them, even when they feel like they are totally alone. Thank you for being a true Guardian Angel to children like Angel.

Please note: Because we care deeply about protecting our children’s privacy, the names and certain identifying details in this story have been changed.

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