We will never forget the day that tore our family apart.
The front door pounded loudly, I was frightened.
Policemen were shouting “OPEN THE DOOR”
They forced themselves through the door. My heart was beating fast, the kids were crying, screaming, and trembled in fear as the policemen turned over my furniture. They rumbled through drawers, cabinets, and closets... looking for a weapon that was used to shoot someone.
The children witnessed their father being handcuffed by the police, being pushed through the house until he showed them where he hid the weapon.. The children were traumatized.
I called countless social service agencies and community centers looking for help. There was no support to be found... This service gap was the catalyst for my creating,
A Vision of Change.
I am Delores Collins.
Founder, executive director, and the mother of those 4 traumatized children…
For the past 18 years we have provided services to more than 3000 traumatized children. Half of these children have had an incarcerated parent.
Ohio was fourth in the nation with 271,000 children with an incarcerated parent
One statistic indicates that these children are 6 times more likely to become incarcerated themselves.
At A Vision for Change, we Embrace children and their families where they are:
Parent’s incarceration has a negative- long term effect on a child’s development which leads to a host of challenges and difficulties such as guilt, mental health issues, sadness, post-traumatic stress, stigma from peers and adults, and anxiety disorders.
Their state of mind often acts out by withdrawing from friends and family, disruptive behavior at home and in school, and at times it could lead to delinquency or criminal behavior.
We Empower these children with strategies that strengthen their resilience, address the pain
and help them navigate through barriers and challenges they face daily such as:
- Economic hardships, poverty and Homelessness:
- Kids feel the absence when their refrigerator is bare because their family has lost income.
- They feel it when they have to move, sometimes repeatedly, because their family can’t pay the rent or mortgage.
- Delinquency: Darnell, was skipping school because his mom didn't have the money to buy his school uniform/clothes
- Criminal Behavior: Sondra started selling drugs to buy food to feed her younger sister and brother.
We Enlighten them by guiding them to set attainable goals and boundaries, practice mindfulness and self-expression, and identify their talents and gifts.
This just touches the surface of why our services are so important... and shared only a fraction of the programs we deliver. We could sure use your support. With your donation of time, money, or services we will be able to expand our services throughout Cuyahoga County, provide greater crisis relief and deliver healing care faster.
“We must teach our children to dream with their eyes open.” ― Harry Edwards
Please Join me to EMBRACE them, EMPOWER them, and, to ENLIGHTEN them.
Their future depends on it.