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Hand in Hand

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June 05, 2018 | By Village of FPC


He was finally home.  After a tour of duty in Afghanistan, Mike was ready to return to civilian life.  However, the time apart had been difficult on his family.  Instead of the happy reunion of his dreams, Mike’s hopes were dashed when he was presented with divorce papers.

Now, precious time with his two young children would be even more limited.  Yet, Mike knew that finishing college was the best way to provide a better life for them.  So, he enrolled in California University of Pennsylvania on the GI Bill.

Although his service benefit would allow him to pursue his degree, Mike was going to need care for his children while he attended class.

Almost apologetically, Mike, who was used to being self-reliant, made inquiries about childcare for a veteran attending school. Thankfully, he found the solution he needed.

The Village of FPC has a program to provide free child care in return for parents attending class, studying, and maintaining a grade point average of 2.5 or higher.  Additionally, participants must dedicate four hours to helping with tasks at the facility.

One day, Mike brought his power tools and fixed a door. On another occasion, he helped to mop the bathrooms.  No matter the job, he was always gracious and willing to lend a hand.

Not only was Mike benefitting from the arrangement, but his children were thriving as part of the Village family.  The stability and structure at the center helped them to navigate the significant changes in their lives.

It was not long before Mike graduated. Afterwards, he immediately found a job.  He fell in love and married a woman who adores his children.  The couple was then blessed with their own child.  In addition to building a happy home life, Mike experienced professional success, earning a position of greater responsibility and compensation.    In appreciation of the hand up he received, Mike and his wife now support the Village in hopes of providing other single-parent, full-time students with an opportunity to succeed.