Think about what your mother provided for you that you may have taken for granted as a child: Did you have a roof over your head that didn’t leak? Were the windows intact in your home? Did the kitchen appliances and plumbing work most of the time?
There are countless children worldwide out there who cannot answer “Yes” to these questions, and the mothers of those children worry every day about their child’s growth and development. That is why, every day, the Fuller Center’s partners all over the world are working to help mothers (and fathers) in need by building and repairing simple, decent housing that enables them to raise their children in a safe and healthy environment.
For Mother’s Day, we are featuring three moms who The Fuller Center is helping. These stories are a stark reminder that there are many more mothers out there who need our help, and with your help, we can ensure that the caring, supportive environment mothers provide for their children is also safe and healthy. Please continue reading for inspiring stories of courageous mothers and how they are being helped by The Fuller Center. Then, in honor of your own mother, whether it is Mother’s Day or Tuesday or any other day, give today.
Julia Tyner – Americus, Georgia
Several years ago, Julia Tyner and her husband purchased a fixer-upper in Americus, Ga., with dreams of the house becoming a nice place for them and their three sons. Unfortunately, Julia’s husband left before any work was done on the house. Suddenly a single mother with a minimal income, Julia found it impossible to acquire a loan for home improvements. During the winter, Julia and her sons, ages 15, 12 and 10, slept together in one bedroom to stay warm because their drafty house was too expensive to heat.
Julia takes classes at a local college and is working toward a degree in business administration, which she hopes to put to use helping other families pull themselves out of poverty and into homeownership. Julia is also training to adopt a local foster-care child who she says gets along with her sons and is in desperate need of a positive environment. As Julia extends a mother’s love to a child currently without it, the local Fuller Center covenant partner is doing about $10,000 – $15,000 worth of renovations to fix the roof, ceiling and windows and to install insulation as part of the Greater Blessing program. Julia will repay the no-interest loan with a monthly donation to The Fuller Center. The amount will be worked out based on her available income and will go toward helping another family have safe housing.
Celina Portillo – San Luis Talpa, El Salvador
Single motherhood is no different in another country, where strong mothers strive to raise their children in safe environments, often on salaries much smaller than the American minimum wage and with no opportunities for higher education.
At Villa Millard and Linda Fuller in San Luis Talpa, El Salvador, a woman named Celina Anzora Portillo is just one of these inspiring mothers. Celina manages the local warehouse, controlling materials and equipment. She does this while single-handedly raising two boys, ages two and nine, after her husband lost his job and then left the family, a common occurrence locally. She also does the work despite a childhood bout with polio that left her with a limp.
Celina’s home was one of the many constructed in November 2008 as part of the Millard and Linda Fuller Blitz Build. Local project manager Mike Bonderer said the volunteers quickly came to appreciate her during the build as she worked to accrue her sweat equity hours. Celina mixed concrete, dug holes and did whatever else was asked of her, always with a smile, and despite her constant struggle to put one foot in front of the other.
Mrs. Mallory – Tallahassee, Florida
A mother in Tallahassee, Fla., recently celebrated her 83rd birthday and the Fuller Center renovation of her home, which not only improved her life, but her life as a mom. Three years ago, Mrs. Mallory took up the mantle of motherly duties once again when her 59-year-old son was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. But Mrs. Mallory’s house did not make caring for her son easy. Both the toilet and stove were not working, so food had to be delivered by volunteers. The house had broken windows, a leaking roof and an overgrown yard. Fuller Center volunteers, including Florida State University students, were able to restore her home to a simple, decent living space. “No matter what, God can reach down further than we can reach up,” said Mrs. Mallory at her house dedication. Now she cooks for her son every day in a home where she can comfortably live out the rest of her life.
Give in honor of someone special
If you’d like to donate in honor of your mother or another special person, click here.