013051b9fdaa59e809a10ff334494d5f5ea7dc51c5Meet 30 year-old Jessica*. (*Name changed) She recently came through our doors for help. For the past 5 years of her life, she has been in a physically abusive relationship.

She decided one night that enough was enough. Whatever she had to leave – clothes, cars, food, houses, or belongings– was a small sacrifice in comparison to the life that she knew she would gain.

Jessica said that for a while, it was easy to hide, but after a few years, her daughters, ages 14 and 9, began to understand what was happening to their mother. “Kids are smarter than you think. I’m sure they heard the screaming, the fighting, and the sound of things slamming against the walls.”

“It gets embedded in your blood that this is it for you.”

Jessica had been told by a friend that LICS was a place where she could get help with food. When she decided to leave her abusive relationship, Jessica came for food to get her through a couple of days until  she could decide what her next move would be. She wanted to make sure that her girls were taken care of.  “You have a short time to accomplish a lot.” During her interview, the volunteer began asking Jessica her story. She began to open up, and it became obvious that this young woman was in need of much more than just food for a few days.

“I met Marett and she kept saying, ‘I’m here to help you. You can do this.’ After years of being told that I wasn’t good for anything, it meant so much to me to believe that someone truly cared. She made me feel important. It touched me to know that she was genuinely interested in me and what my kids like; what I wanted to be in life. LICS not only gave me rental assistance, food, clothing, and the other things I needed. They gave me a path forward, and gave me a reason to keep moving and working for me and my daughters.”

“LICS is an organization that can actually change lives, if you put away your stereotypes about organizations like this. The food, the 30 days of financial care, they gave me a grace period that allowed me to keep my home and figure out our plan for us. Marett didn’t forget about us. She kept checking in and making sure that I was doing okay.”
Now, Jessica’s abuser is no longer in their lives. “For so long we were secluded from activities, afraid to have to keep hiding what was going on at home. Now, we’re getting back out there. My oldest daughter is playing softball. My youngest is coming out of her shell again. I’ve been looking at a couple of schools to teach. I’ve always wanted to do that.”

“If you’re thinking about making a donation, it won’t just benefit you. LICS is a place that expands and multiplies your donation ten-fold. Donations change lives. If it is on your heart, give. There is nothing better than a true, genuine gift from the heart. It really does make a difference. Thank you LICS, and everyone here– including the unseen people, for your devotion and love.”

– Jessica, West Columbia
Would you like to help families like Jessica to get back on their feet? Donate today to impact real lives right here in our community this holiday season.

Did you know?

-Your $25 provides groceries for a family for a month.

-Your $50 provides new undergarments for 3 families

– Your $100 keeps the power on for a family

-$500 helps rehouse a family after a fire, or prevent an eviction