2011 will be a wonderful year for Avalon because you, our customers, make it so. We are blessed to have the most loyal customers in the world. We also have warm homes , good food and circles of support (family, friends, work, etc) to call on when things get tough.
But for many Detroiters, 2011 is not looking good. When I read Giselle’s story, below, chills ran up my spine. Alternatives for Girls helped Giselle and many other girls and young women get off the streets and on a track to health and wholeness. Their work over the past 20 years is nothing short of amazing.
Giselle: Singing a Song of Success
When I was 14, my mother decided to terminate her parental rights. I was placed in the custody of my father, who was living with his current wife. She didn’t want me living with him. So he would take me to stay with other people. But time after time, they wouldn’t have enough money to keep me for long, or they wouldn’t hear from my dad for a long time—so I’d move on to the next place.
Eventually, I was staying on the streets, in Palmer Park. I went to the police station and told them I had nowhere to go. They told me about Alternatives For Girls, and they brought me to their shelter. I’ve been here now for a year.
When I first got here, I was kind of scared because it was all girls, and I was thinking about the future. But I soon realized that I could stay as long as I needed, and I was able to relax and feel comfortable.
Once I had a stable place to stay, I was able to embrace the things I always wanted to go for in life. Like music. I joined Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit, and I got the chance to tour and do shows with them.
I also really focused on school. When I started out the year, I had a 2.6 grade point average. By the time I graduated on June 10th, I had a 3.7 GPA.
On August 18th, I leave for college at Kentucky State University. I’m feeling really confident about going off to school by myself, because I think I can use what I’ve been through. I’ve become stronger and more independent.
Even in the midst of storms and rain, you need to realize that your trials are only temporary. You’re going to come out of it, but it’s up to you to make yourself a better person, because you hold your own power.” And that is just one girls’ story. There are many others who have benefited from AFG, including a beloved former Avalon employee, referred by AFG.
AFG has 3 programs:
Prevention, Outreach, and Shelter.
Prevention provides after-school programming, mentoring, a summer camp, and more for girls and young women ages 5-18. Outreach works with women on the streets and in the community who are engaged in risky behaviors, ranging from drug and alcohol abuse to commercial sex work, and helps them to make safer choices. Shelter provides a home and life skills training to homeless young women and their children ages 15-21.
There are countless ways that you can can support their work: male and female mentors, monetary donations, street outreach volunteers, winter coats, hats, gloves and scarves.
To donate or for more information, link towww.alternativesforgirls.org/Donate.html mail in a check to 903 W. Grand Blvd. Detroit, MI 48208 or contact Lindsey MacDonald, Fund Development Manager at (313) 361-4000 ext. 230. There are countless ways that you can support their work, including male and female mentors, monetary donations, street outreach volunteers, winter coats, hats, gloves and scarves.
We wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous 2011 and thank you for sharing your blessings with others. Your generosity makes the future brighter for many Detroiters.