Amanda is a 27-year old single mother who was incarcerated for six months because of a series of poor decisions. After two months in prison, her son Aiden was born. During the next four months a Christian couple took care of him, sending pictures and letters, and they remain in touch.
While imprisoned, Amanda learned about Beth Shalom. The chaplain suggested it would be a good place for her to get back on her feet. Lenara, Beth Shalom’s program coordinator, met with Amanda to discuss the criteria necessary to be accepted in this Christian based program.
Amanda was excited about the possibility of living at Beth Shalom. Lenara picked her up on the day of her release, and she has been at Beth Shalom since then.
Initially Amanda felt like she didn’t deserve a second chance, and she no longer blames anyone other than herself for her personal mistakes. Today she says, “I don’t feel like I’m alone any more. I have Lenara, a support system, counselors and a close friend who lives at Beth Shalom.” She is willing to take the necessary steps to move on in her new life. She attends the Life Skills program, Bible study and church, reads her prayer and devotion books morning and night and recently started journaling.
Amanda is eager to start working when she finds day care for Aiden. In time she would like to go back to school and is hoping to work with children or the elderly. “I’ve made dumb decisions, but I’m intelligent and sensitive.”
For anyone needing help as she did, Amanda says, “Ask for help. If I knew them personally, I’d bring them to Tabor to learn how to get the help they need.”
To the donors who support Beth Shalom, she says, “Thank you. If it weren’t for you, we wouldn’t have what we have.”
Today Amanda knows what she can change, what she cannot change, and knows the difference between the two and move on from there.
The Serenity Prayer
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.” - Reinhold Niebuhr