Acts 435 Giving to anyone who has need

At Acts 435 we see how a small gift can make a big difference. Here are a few stories of people helped through Acts 435 and the difference it has made.

More Than Just a Carpet

23rd July 2021

More Than Just a Carpet
This lady has had to move to a safe house after several difficult situations. She has felt very lonely and isolated, as she is not able to contact friends of family. The support and hope brought about by the carpet given by Acts 435 donors has enabled her to feel more settled and valued. Here is what she said to the donors who gave towards her request:

"I have just cried. I don't know who you are but you have made me feel like my life could be about to start going right. I know that's stupid to think that about some carpet but every day I look at the concrete floor and have to wear my shoes with my pyjamas to get in and out of bed and it makes me feel so dirty and useless. When my support worker told me what you had done and took me for a surprise to go and choose some carpet and get the man to come over to measure my room, it was like my birthday and Christmas and winning something good all together. I'm so excited about it coming and I'm looking forward to living here. It's been tough because I can't have any contact with anyone in my family or friends and I don't know anything about this place I'm living in now. It's for my safety but it's hard. Having a comfy home is going to really help me settle in more and you have made that possible for me. I have dyslexia so I can't write this properly but I've asked my support worker to type it for me and I hope you know you are like angels. Thank you."

A Garden to Improve Mental Health

23rd June 2021

A Garden to Improve Mental Health
At Acts 435 we often say that a small gift can make a big difference, and this is definitely true for this this wheelchair-bound lady from Cambridge. She is currently undergoing treatment for cancer and really wanted to enjoy her garden once again as a place of respite and calmness between hospital stays.

However, her garden was a mess and needed weeding and new plants putting in. The woodwork and stonework were also in need of treating. A group of volunteers from her church were willing to carry out the work but needed the materials to bring the garden back to a place of calm and relaxation.

Our wonderful donors helped to make this possible, helping to make a big difference to this lady's quality of life. Here is what she had to say once the work was done:

"Thank you so much for your kind donation that has helped the my church to be able to come and transform my front and back garden. I am a full time wheelchair user also going through some other health issues. My front garden was just weeds and not something I could manage myself. With your donation my church have removed all the weeds and laid down stones and placed some beautiful pots on it. This has made it easier to maintain and also such a welcoming lovely thing to see when I come home from the hospital. In the back garden they were able to paint the fence, jet wash the patio and do some weeding. I now have a garden with beautiful pots. They make me get up each day, get dressed so I can water them and look after them. This helps my mental health. I also have a lovely relaxing space to chill in between treatments and have had a huge burden removed from my shoulders about getting these things done. Thank you so so much for your donation because without it I wouldn't have the beautiful garden I now have to relax in, or the beautiful pots that I can look after. Thank you from the bottom of my heart."

School Uniform to Ease a Burden

16th June 2021

School Uniform to Ease a Burden
Miss S was referred to her local food bank for help with a food parcel and, through conversation, they realised her struggles were exacerbated by funding new school shoes and uniform for her three children. She has been furloughed and is on a reduced income and is struggling with poor mental health due to escaping a recent abusive relationship. The food bank were able to post an Acts 435 request for school uniform, and help to ease a burden for her and her children.

After donors generously gave to this lady's request, she sent this message to convey her thanks:

"The food bank helped me and my children massively, providing my children with essential school items they needed when times were so tough I couldn’t do it myself. My son who’s 13 got some trainers for PE which has helped his performance in lessons as well as boosting his confidence with not having the correct kit. My eldest son who is 14 got a coat and he loves it. His old one was sewn back together about 6 times and was getting too small as they grew so much over lockdown. Again not getting in trouble at school for wearing hoodies etc has just boosted him massively. My little girl who’s 10 got tights and some P.E. kit. As they have to go in on PE days in kit the warm hoodie etc is keeping her warm and we are very grateful. They all got new school shirts which was such a big weight off my mind and saves on washing the same ones every night. I know Covid has been hard for everyone. It has been hard for us to try and settle and the items we received eased the burden massively. It even restored my faith in people again as I had started to just give up. Thank you to all who donated."

"More than just moving stuff"

15th June 2021

K, a young lady, had escaped an abusive relationship, and needed to move home. After receiving help from a local charity they offered to request help from Acts 435 donors to lift the burden of moving her possessions.

Here is what K had to say after being able to move:

"I just want to say how overwhelmed I am that someone cared enough about me to help me pay for my moving costs. After everything I've been through I'll be honest I feel rubbish about myself and was just stressing about moving so much I couldn't stop crying. When my support worker told me they would ask for some help to make it all possible I just thought they were joking because why would anyone bother to help me when they don't even know me, and even if they did I'm not exactly important. When she said someone has come forward to pay for the removals, I just burst into tears. It's strange not to know who you are or be able to just give you a hug but it meant the world to me. The men who came to move my furniture were lovely - they helped with much more than just moving stuff. It all went quite stress free and by the evening I was in a new home which feels safe and like I can start my life again. Thank you for everything you do for people like me. I'm determined I can pay it forward and I'm going to volunteer with the charity who put me forward for the help from Acts 435. I don't know what I can say because it doesn't feel enough to say thank you. You are like angels."

Choosing Between Food and Warmth

13th May 2021

Choosing Between Food and Warmth
As a charity we are seeing more and more stories of those being made redundant and losing their jobs due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Here is just one story of a single mother in Cornwall:

This single mother has two older children living with her. She lost her job during the first lockdown and although she had found employment afterwards, she lost it again during the second lockdown. Her Universal Credit is being reviewed and she has very little money. One of her children cannot work due to mental ill health and the other has epilepsy and anxiety. This means she is the only one able to work. They have been surviving by using food banks recently, but when they spoke to the Advocate they had no way to pay for electricity to cook the food, or heat their home.

Acts 435 donors were able to pay for food and electricity for this family, and release this mum from the burden that she had been carrying. Here is what she had to say:

"I really am so grateful, thank you ever so much. I feel a great weight has been lifted off me, thanks to you. It has been a nightmare trying so hard to feed everyone and keep us warm. I never, never want to be like this again. As I have been struggling to cope, my children have become more anxious and it seemed there was no way out of the situation. Thank you for caring enough to help us. This will get us through the month. My children are just amazed by how kind you are. You have not only given us fresh food and electric, you have given us hope for the future. Thank you."

Help Next Door

18th March 2021

Help Next Door
After a request for help was made from a referring organisation, one of our local Advocates helped to post a request on behalf of a gentleman and his family. Here is the request:

"This man has a wife and new-born child with severe allergy problems and is living in a flat with damp problems. The council has a house lined up for them but they need kitchen/bathroom flooring that can be cleaned easily to keep down the allergens. Although he is working he has no spare cash. We will try to get off-cuts so the money goes as far as it can. It will be a great help to give this family a fresh start in their new home."

The Advocate has recently gone onto say to our Head Office Team that he was very grateful for the referral:

"I’m so glad we could help with this. It turns out the dad works in the newsagent next door to our church office and I had had a heart for them for some time, but had no idea of their situation. It’s such a great opportunity and I really pray that we can get to know the family well. His wife has suffered for 15 years with allergies and his 6-month old baby was in hospital for ages with allergies taking all sorts of medicine. We pray that we can help."

It is wonderful to hear stories where those that need help from Acts 435 are just next door to an Advocate that can help.

The Tools to Keep Working

22nd February 2021

The Tools to Keep Working
This message came directly from the local Acts 435 Advocate in the North-West, who has been supporting a gentleman in a desperate situation:

"Thank you so much for your help to buy tools for this man. We discovered him depressed and at rock bottom financially. His work as a handyman had dried up due to lockdown and then his mum died so he sold his tools to pay for her funeral. But with your help he has bought tools and can start working again, with his self-esteem restored.

He says “I'm kind of speechless. Many people have promised to help but so many have not. But you have helped and given me such a boost to my self-esteem and cheered me up. I've been so down recently and it's good for me to be feeling happy for a change and that's thanks to you. So I thank you and really do appreciate you even listening to me let alone helping. Thank you so much.”

The Gift of Freedom

15th February 2021

The Gift of Freedom
The request for this lady was for a second-hand mobility scooter, to give her the freedom to go outside again. She was so overwhelmed by the generosity of donors, she wrote this heart-warming message:

"I would like to send a heartfelt thank you to all the people involved in the work in raising funds to enable me to buy a mobility scooter. I can't tell you enough how thankful I am. I feel I must give you a little bit of the background for you to fully appreciate what I'm saying:

I have been in isolation since February 2020 following a major operation and my extreme complex health issues, plus of course Covid-19. On 1st December, I then had to step in and help my ex-husband following the total collapse of his hip. Having no one else to call for help, he turned to me. After his hospital stay and a new hip, I found myself a full-time carer with no support from anywhere. He has late stage cancer and is very poorly. We have been locked down together since.

I must tell you what a difference this scooter is going to make. It is a lifesaver, I think for both of us. He will get some peace, and I will get some much needed rest and freedom, even for a little while. To be able to pop to the shops, to see some other faces and get some fresh air.

My poor dogs, while all this has been going on they have been pushed right to the back. They haven't been able to go out for months. So I would also like to send a big heartfelt thank you, on their behalf. They will be extremely grateful. Maybe even lose a little bit of the fat they gained due to the lack of exercising. I don't know where I would have been this year without them.

To be able to go to the shops, take the dogs over to the park. More than everything else to have my independence. I know this will affect my physical and mental wellbeing. It will give me the incentive to go out, have a purpose to get dressed and maybe put on a little bit of lippy. It will help me to get out of these four walls and the stress of the environment, to be able to spend some time just for me and the dogs. It will help me to put things in perspective and just relax.

This is huge. I am truly looking forward to the day that it arrives, which should be very soon. Once again I would like to say a huge thank you, from the bottom of my heart. I am extremely, and will be forever, grateful for everything you have done for me."

The Gift of Worthiness

10th February 2021

The Gift of Worthiness
T is 16 and until recently was homeless. She has now been given temporary accommodation, but until her Universal Credit income came through she had no money to live on. The charity supporting her in Halifax were able to give her food, but with nothing else they sought the help of Acts 435 donors for her bills and other living costs.

The request was quickly met, and this is what the Acts 435 Advocate had to say:

"On behalf of T, words fail us - getting this money will give her the stability and support we as care workers couldn't possibly offer. T's start in life has been awful and she has felt very alone. Your donation, from a total stranger with nothing to gain, made our client cry with thankfulness and the knowledge that she was worthy! Words aren't enough but thank you - you really have given T a gift, not just of money but the reminder that she is worthy."

An extra helping hand when needed most

7th January 2021

An extra helping hand when needed most
We've recently received an email from one Advocate who was overwhelmed by the extra help given to his recipient from a local carpet company. The Advocate had posted two requests for a lady desperately needing carpet. Here is just one of them:

"A landing carpet is required for this young family that have finally found a forever home after years of fleeing one refuge after another over 2 counties. This woman has been severely abused and raped, and was left with life threatening injuries. As she recovers with her four children she is seeking your help to carpet the landing so her children are safe. Their new home is unfurnished and uncarpeted so she is in a dire situation. Can you help her this Christmas and give her new year a good start? Thank you."

After receiving the money for both carpets the Advocate contacted the carpet company to arrange fitting. He said:

"When the carpet company heard the situation regarding this order, and where the money was coming from, he advised the Case Officer he would personally give them a better quality of carpet for the same price, so it would last longer. It's news like this that makes me want to believe that there is hope for the less fortunate than ourselves, and for the humane side of us to shine through."

What a fantastic story of those going that extra mile, especially at this challenging time for businesses.