January 31, 2016  |  Boston & Cambridge Social Capital

Elsa Flores

One morning in January 2016, I made a phone call to a family partner I referred (as I usually do when I have recommended families to FII) to ask how she was coming along with her monthly report. I asked if she had finished or needed any help from me to complete the report. When she answered the question she began to cry, and said she couldn’t complete her report. Her cries were of guilt and sadness because she didn’t have any time.

She had other priorities at that time to think about. She did not have any food in her refrigerator. She explained how her kids barely had eaten something the night before and she didn’t have milk because they had no money to buy food. She is a single mother of 6 children; 3 of whom they were living with her. At the time, she had also started caring for her 16 year old who recently had a baby. She received food stamps, but that was not enough to cover everyone for the month.

As a mother, all I could think about was the kids. It crushed my heart and with great sadness I started to cry. During the call I tried to take control of the situation. I had to do something to help. I told her I would call her back and asked if she would be home later so I could stop by.

I swiftly organized a plan. I called two of my sisters who are also part of FII and two neighbors who had recently been accepted and were very involved in the project. We made a list of food and basic cleaning materials, milk, canned goods etc. for each person to collect. We completed the list in a matter of hours to take to our friend and her family.

I thank God I called her at that very moment when she needed it the most. We fulfilled our mission to bringing everything we could together. The food stamps soon arrived and the situation of the family improved. Through mutual support in difficult situations, we exercise and demonstrate leadership as FII families.

I coordinated a group of FII members to provide help to another FII family in need.

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