Service rises to meet a need
Orlando Sanchez was struggling in mid-August to find a way home to Oklahoma City, where he hoped to build a new life for his daughters, ages 8 and 4.
The girls were living in Tallahassee with an aunt. Their mother, 39, has sickle cell anemia. The damage it was doing to her blood cells and constant need for transfusions made her too fatigued to take good care of the children.
That’s when Divine Providence stepped in, according to Donald Parks, executive director of Good News Outreach.
“I needed assistance, so I went to ECHO for help to get back to Oklahoma and that’s where I met Donald Parks, Sanchez said in an email.
Sanchez was talking with an ECHO staff member about the $617 airfare to Oklahoma City. Parks happened to walk by at the right time. Good News Outreach and ECHO share an office and collaborate whenever possible to help a client.
“I walked into the discussion and figured out there are no other nonprofits that could or would fly his family to OKC,” Parks said. A way to pay for the trip was found and Sanchez and his daughters made the trip Aug. 11 and settled into his two-bedroom apartment.
“The girls are adjusting very well. They are very happy here. It is only temporary on the two-bedroom. I'm in the process of looking for something bigger,” said Sanchez, 42, who relies on Social Security benefits for his income.
“God is good,” Parks said.
“This is a blessing to have my girls. God has put Donald Parks in my life to help me to be a better person, to give me the opportunity to be a good father. He believed in me from day one and he didn't even know me. But through the Holy Spirit, that's how he had a connection with me, so thank God for his assistance and anybody that has been helping me,” Sanchez said in an email.
Sanchez remembers the loving care his single-parent mother provided. He’s working on offering the same for Nevaeh Ann Lewis Sanchez and her older sister Heaven Anesia Lewis Sanchez.
“At first it was scary, but now I see that it's not that hard. It feels like a great blessing and a challenge to be a single father
“Without God I have nothing. God is my inspiration. He keeps me motivated, keeps me pushing, shows me love. He shows me that there's nothing in this world that can be a challenge if you have Him on your team.
You, too, can help Good News Outreach continue to serve the needs of the hungry, families in need of housing, lonely seniors and men returning to society from prison. To volunteer or donate visit our website at www.goodnewsoutreach.org or call 850-412-0016.
You’re invited …
… to Don Ruane’s Public Art Walk dress rehearsal in Tallahassee’s Railroad Square/All Saints District.
This free guided walk takes a look at the stories and people behind the murals, sculptures and historic points of interest in the area.
Don has scheduled this walk for each Saturday from Sept. 4 – Nov. 27. He hopes your honest opinions and knowledge of the area can help him provide the best possible tour.
When: 8:30 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 28
Where: Starts at 699 W. Gaines St., by the industrial-looking bus shelter, in front of Natural Kitchen.
Lasts: 2 hours, max. Help him trim this.
Wear: Hats, sunscreen and comfy shoes and clothes. Bring water.
Cost: Your time and your comments about the tour.
RSVPs: Not required, but appreciated.
Questions? Call Laura Ruane at 239-910-2251