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There are only a few hours left to help out families affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Gifts made today will be matched.
#GivingTuesdayNow is almost over. Only a few hours left to help our families affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Gifts made today will be matched up to $50,000 thanks to the generosity of a dedicated group of employees at William Blair and its matching gifts program.
Young Man Now Looks to Future With Confidence
There was only one opinion that really mattered to Will—his brother’s. For as long as Will could remember, he idolized everything his brother did.
His brother played an especially large role in Will’s life because their parents were so absent. Their dad was in jail due to his involvement in a gang and their mother worked several jobs to try to make ends meet. Neither parent graduated high school, and Will didn’t have very high hopes for his own academic career.
It wasn’t until he watched his brother excel academically, and ultimately graduate high school, that Will even considered the possibility he could do well in school. But then he had another problem—his grades.
Will was never a good student. Even when he tried hard, his grades never seemed to reflect his hard work. There wasn’t really anywhere for him to turn for help, either. His teachers were overwhelmed with his classmates, who rarely behaved in school. And his mother certainly didn’t have time to help him with his schoolwork.
As usual, it felt like the only person Will could depend on was his brother. Even though his brother had moved out of their mother’s home and started working several jobs himself, he tried his best to make time for Will. It meant the world to him.
But everything changed when Will’s mother received a terrible phone call in the middle of the night. Will’s brother had been killed — shot by a gang member who mistook him for someone else. Just like that, the most important person in Will’s life was gone.
His brother’s death triggered more difficulties for Will. His mother was so heartbroken over the loss of her son that she was barely able to get out of bed, much less go to work. As the bills piled up, the electricity in their apartment was turned off and their landlord threatened to evict them.
Will was overwhelmed with his own grief and didn’t know how to help his mother. Feeling totally alone, he decided to confide in the only person he could think of—his guidance counselor at school. When he met with her, all of his grief and anxiety poured out. It felt good to tell someone just how paralyzed with fear he felt.
His guidance counselor immediately had a good suggestion for him: Mercy Home. She explained that not only would he be free of worries like bills and having enough food to eat, but there would also be resources to help him deal with his grief.
Hearing about Mercy Home was the first piece of hope that Will had received in months, if not longer. He immediately agreed that it was exactly what he needed to get his life back on track.
Despite his willingness to move in right away, Will was still nervous about what to expect. He had never lived in a place like Mercy Home, but he discovered that he liked having other boys around. He had often been lonely when he was at home, especially after his brother moved out. Many of the other boys had also faced difficult circumstances, and it was nice to talk to peers who understood all he had been through.
But what Will liked most about Mercy Home was his therapist. She had a way of making him feel comfortable sharing anything that was on his mind. Every time he met with her, he felt a weight lift from his shoulders.
Will also raised his grades, thanks to the support he received from his tutors and our coworkers. He discovered that he was dyslexic, which explained a lot of the trouble he had always experienced in school. With that knowledge, and so many people to support him, Will started receiving good grades for the first time in his life.
Now that he’s been at Mercy Home for nearly a year, Will can finally look to the future with confidence. He aims to go to college and become a lawyer—a path he hopes would have made his brother proud.
Thank you for helping countless kids like Will overcome the most difficult circumstances to look forward to bright futures. You change lives every day.