Meet beautiful Loletta – a proud single Mother of two teenagers she describes as her ‘heroes and biggest blessings.’ Loletta willingly shares her story with raw emotions in hopes that she is an encouragement to everyone she encounters. The not-so-long-ago realities of leaving her 45-minute lunch break to pack-up her belongings out of the hotel room and throw them in her truck because she couldn’t afford another night or remembering the door knocking at night with hotel management saying she couldn’t stay and having to make pallets in her truck is painfully real. While she is forever grateful that her children never asked ‘why us’ or complained, they did have moments when they would say they were tired and hungry as Loletta tearfully describes those “very dark days.”
Loletta had always worked and been a single mom most every day of her children’s life. “We were making it. It wasn’t easy and there wasn’t enough, but we were surviving. And then it just got dark. I couldn’t make ends meet however hard I tried.” The kid’s school, Lanier High, recognized the struggles helping in ways they could and then recommended going to the North Gwinnett Co-Op, which Loletta says “began the change in her direction.” Loletta remembers walking in the Co-Op and meeting Executive Director Kim Phillips who helped with some immediate needs like paying a hotel bill and giving food & clothing for her and the children. Additionally, Kim reached out to one of the Co-Op’s partner churches, Sugar Hill Church, and they were able to arrange a place for the family to stay for six months. The Co-Op continued a relationship with Loletta providing school book-bags & supplies, needed food & clothing, and holiday meals & gifts. Loletta teared up remembering “the Co-Op provided blankets and clothing for Christmas and each of my children got a gift that they had wanted.”
During this time Loletta lost her job and began attending resume/interview workshops offered by the Co-Op. She had landed a warehouse job by the third week and was not going back for the fourth and final week’s workshop when her daughter said “Mom, you are my inspiration. You need to finish what you started” and with that Loletta begrudgingly said she would go. Her daughter then interjected “And be interview ready!”, so Loletta changed clothes and headed off to an unknowing opportunity.
The Co-Op offers immediate services such as food, clothing, medicines, and help with qualified bills; however, one of their additional services are resume/ interview classes that bring in local Human Resource Managers and CEOs to do mock interviews for their clients–fully preparing them for successful interviews. That last night Loletta unknowingly sat in front of People’s Bank & Trust Executive Vice President Jan Wells for a mock interview. At the end of the interview Jan asked for her resume and later told Kim Phillips she would love to hire her. Through several details that were unquestionably God-designed, Jan hired Loletta as a teller. Loletta laughs saying “I was not sure at all that I had the skills to do the job, but when God gives you the opportunity, He provides the way to make it all right!” She claims she cried the first few weeks of the job, trying to make it all work, but gratefully three years later Loletta proudly states “He had to break me to prepare me to where he called me……it is not a job….it is my passion and I love my customers!!”
Fast forward three years from her darkest days and Loletta is grateful to share where she and her children are now:
The future is bright for Loletta and her children 😊