STATE OF OPPORTUNITY. Can Kids in Michigan Get Ahead?
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This special reporting project wrapped up in May 2017. Read more.

A "little nudge" from one listener's family to another

For the next few days we're featuring stories of ordinary listeners who read or heard a story on State of Opportunity and decided to give some of their resources or time as a result. We know many of you have done the same. If you've got a story to share or an idea of how people could help let us know here. If you need ideas of what you could do, check out the resources page. We'll update it with  listener suggestions as they come in.  

When Jennifer Guerra spoke with the Hood familyof Hillsdale, MI, their oldest child Emma was enrolled in preschool. But, the family was having trouble finding a spot for two-year-old Gracie in Early Head Start.

There was a lot riding on Gracie being able to start school: her mom, Amanda, was ready to finish school and bring much needed income into the family. Amanda was frustrated, "It just annoys me that we want to do something with our lives and we want to better ourselves and we want to get ahead, but we don’t have a way to."

One listener's family, who asked to remain anonymous, felt compelled to help. The family contacted Jennifer and, through her, made contact with Amanda Hood to help pay for Gracie's preschool.

He shared these thoughts with us about why this family felt the need to reach out to the Hoods. 

The story that Jennifer did on the Hood’s sparked me as a call to action, which made me approach my wife about committing to help. First, Amanda seemed to be a person working hard to advance and provide a better life for her children and needed a “little nudge” to get over what was a major hurdle for her, her husband, and children. Second, the report focused on the fact that a government program was overextended and, thus, she and her family were on the outside looking in. Our gift to Gracie and its benefits will never be something that we will be able to fully know, but if we had taken no action, I would know that my inaction could have had an adverse impact on a situation that appeared to need a little nudge to make for a better life for those involved. My wife and I are basic people who came from basic upbringings, and we got to our spot in life by hard work and accepting help along the way from family and friends.

The listener and his family wish Gracie and her family a bright future. 

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