The Edwards Family

Donna Edwards first came to Branches in order to purchase a vehicle through Branches’ Transportation Solutions program. However, it became clear to her Financial Coach that Donna and her family were struggling both financially and emotionally. This single mother of four had a complicated situation full of barriers that prevented her from feeling like she could achieve financial wellness. Therefore Donna’s Coach provided a complete assessment of her income and expenses, and her Coach also saw that she did not have enough income or sufficient credit to purchase a vehicle at that time.  Donna recently had her fourth child and was put on bed rest causing her to lose her job.  Before she could work with our Coach who specializes in asset-building to purchase a vehicle, she needed to work with one of our workforce development partners to obtain employment.  In the meantime, Donna’s Coach began working with her to create a road map and determine what financial wellness would look like for her family.

Donna was motivated but also concerned with making sure her children had everything they needed, so we developed short term goals and evaluated the barriers that needed to be addressed so she could reach her long term goals.  Donna’s urgent issues were that she needed employment, transportation, childcare, and support for her elderly father who has Alzheimer’s. As the holidays approached, Donna was also worried that she would not be able to purchase anything for her kids for Thanksgiving or Christmas. She shared with her coach, “My kids are working hard to stay positive, and they help with everything they can. The two older children are straight-A students and take on extra responsibilities, and help with their little sister that struggles in school. I just wish I could do much more for them!” So Branches reached out to several partners and donors, and the Edwards Family was quickly adopted for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. Donna’s family was provided with a full Thanksgiving meal, plus numerous presents.  Her children were thrilled, and Donna felt that an emotional weight was lifted and she was filled with a new sense of confidence to attend a job interview.  And she was hired!

Last but not least, in an overwhelming surprise from another one of our gracious donors, Donna and her family were gifted a car! This car would help Donna get to her new job and take her children to school and activities. Our coaches also helped Donna understand how to use her father’s Social Security supplement and with guidance from another donor, Donna was able to secure a long-term care facility for him. With a new car, a new job, childcare, and quality care for her father, Donna and her family were able to start the new year off with a whole new outlook on life!

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