A Thriving HOUSE OF PEACE
I am so happy to share this update from Julia Sierks and Denise Murphy about LIFE AT THE HOUSE OF PEACE.
Make It Better is very proud to support this effort to provide housing and comprehensive support for battered women (primarily hispanic) in Lake County.. Read our original article here:
What follows is a recent message from Julia. Feel free to contact the House Of Peace to support them too:
THE HOUSE OF PEACE IS EVERY BIT AS AMAZING AS WE HAD HOPED!!!
The feeling at the House is one of Hope, Energy and Healing. Christmas featured a tree (donated by a local family) decorated with ornaments made by the shelter families. Volunteers organized an intimate evening of caroling at the House. The moms and kids constructed whimsical gingerbread houses which they lovingly displayed alongside the shelter Crèche. On Christmas morning, the families awoke
to individual gifts under the tree(donated by the employees of a local LF business). The gift of the digital camera has allowed Aida to capture special moments which she will gather into an album for the families when they depart.
Our visits in January find the kids happy, trusting and enjoying each other like one big, extended family!!! (10 kids total…all under 9yrs…2 infants, a boy and a girl..Wow is she cute!!). The oldest child, Lupita, told one volunteer “It’s so nice here..You should come and live with us!” I can think of no better line that illustrates, so sweetly…that the House provides a secure and nurturing environment that allows the families a chance to breathe again!!
The 2 oldest girls attend school all day. Generous scholarships allow 2 of our little ones to attend all-day preschool at the Academy of Our Lady in Waukegan!!!!( We seek to fund the tuition for one more preschooler at AOL). Younger children are cared for by their moms at the House.
The 6 women participate in group and individual counseling. Trained volunteers and pro bono lawyers support the women with legal issues . Rosa and Aida strive to nurture the self esteem of the ladies and empower them to ‘take charge’. The ladies keep the House as neat as a pin and share daily cooking
responsibilities. Yummy aromas are always in the air and we have been treated to some amazing food and beverages!!
The women participate in art therapy and a knitting ministry. ESL classes are attended. Moms and kids are involved in an In–House reading program 2 evenings a week.
There is a palpable feeling of community among the women. Several of them have begun to make “post-House” plans together. These families have indeed been strengthened by the love and support of people who have come to their aid in time of upheaval.