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After 22 Christmases apart, Karen and her daughters reunite, thanks to your gifts

Karen’s been waiting 22 years for this. After battling drug addiction for more than two decades — which kept her
away from her kids — Karen and her family are going to be celebrating this Christmas together. Thanks to generous friends like you, both Karen and her daughter Amber have come to the Rescue Mission in the past
year and have found healing. Now they are making the most of the chance to make a fresh start. “Christmas is going to be a blessing this year,” Karen says, “because my family is going to be with me again.” Karen still remembers her favorite Christmas — back when her kids were still young. Neither she nor her husband was working. There was no tree, and no gifts. But somehow, they still pulled off an unforgettable Christmas.
Her husband and a friend went out in the middle of the night and chopped down a  straggly pine tree. Karen did the decorating. And a caring aunt sent a big package full of presents and stockings for everyone. “It was an amazing, meaningful Charlie Brown Christmas,” one of Karen’s other daughters remembers. Shortly after that, the family just sort of unraveled. Karen left because of her drug addiction, leaving four kids — including Amber — with their dad because “he was a little more stable than I was.” It was, she says, “the hardest thing I ever did.” As the kids grew up, Amber forgave her mom but never forgot her. At one point, she racked up almost $300 in phone bills calling everyone who knew her mom, inquiring if they knew where Karen was. A couple times, the two chatted, but there was no attempt at a reunion — until Amber suggested her mom go to the Rescue Mission. Several months later, Amber followed her Mom to the Rescue Mission to get help for her own drug addiction. “I heard how well Mom was doing, and it made me want to come to here,” Amber recalls. “I haven’t seen my mom this happy in a long, long time,” Amber says. “I feel blessed to be with her this Christmas.” “I thought I would never have a normal life,” Karen says, looking back at all those wasted years. But the stability of living at the Rescue Mission, the counseling she received here (PLUS help finding a job) has given her a whole new outlook. “I’m learning to put God first in my life,” she says. When you give to the Rescue Mission, you make amazing Christmases possible. Please send another gift this holiday season, and help other families like Karen’s rebuild their lives.

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