credit: Phillip Black

Ever since gaining custody of my two children, Javonna, 15, and Rasheeda, 13, the three of us have come a long way. For the first time in 5 years, we spent Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years together. It hasn’t been easy, but we’ve made great strides. In October, my aunt took her house off the market and turned it over to us. Never in a million years did I think that could happen.

When we moved into the house, we had absolutely nothing, but we were so happy to move in that it didn’t matter. As long as we were together we had everything. By staying positive, and through the power of prayer, things started to work out for us. One of my customers and friends, whose name is Sparkle, gave us a washer and a dryer. She also gave us a microwave, silverware and pictures. Another customer and friend, Jessica, gave us a Dell computer. A customer named Chyerl gave us a sleeper sofa and chair. My
very good friends at Eastern Market have helped me and and the girls. Diann, who works at Eastern Market, has given my children clothes, Christmas gifts and money.

My children and I are very grateful. Javonna and Rasheed are honor roll students. They love to read books and they love their new schools. They are adjusting well since leaving Greensboro, North Carolina and are making new friends. My girls and I want to thank all of our friends at Eastern Market and 11th and F St. A very, very special thank you to Debbie and Larain. We love you so much. I know my children and I have come a long way and we still have a long way to go. Raising two teenage girls is no easy job. But through determination and my faith in God I’m going to be a great father and role model to my children. Thank you all so much!