It was hard to keep from crying as I stood in front of 280 supporters of Keystone Opportunity Center. There was a lump in my throat. Tears quivered in the corners of my eyes. All 280 of us had just watched a powerful and moving video: the story of Willy, his wife Nathalie, and their daughter Rosee, as they faced numerous traumas as well as inspiring successes on their road to self-sufficiency.

I was supposed to introduce Willy and talk to the gathering about his story, but I was at a loss for words after viewing the video.

“I felt like this country didn’t like me,” said Willy.

Willy and his family received food from Keystone’s food pantry. They received assistance in locating housing from Keystone’s housing staff. They were taught by Keystone’s instructors. They were counseled on budgeting by Keystone’s case manager. And Keystone staff walked beside them to comfort and guide them as they were struck with one tragedy after another.

“I’m very thankful for those Keystone people. All those kind people, they were my family. They were with me. They mourned with me. It was a lot—all the help and support we got.”

Willy and his family received a standing ovation that night–not because of the number of tragedies they endured, but because of their grit. Because they fought to get out of the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo. Because they worked to move through poverty and insecurity when they got to the US. And because the programs of Keystone Opportunity Center work. This family was lifted up by the love of a community they barely knew but through Keystone gave them the help they so desperately needed.

Your help is needed! The more you give to programs at Keystone, the more families like Willy’s we can help. Please make a year end gift today.

Research proves that when families have stable food and housing, as well as the education they need to succeed professionally, they remain independent. Willy’s video is testament to this.

Willy and his family recently purchased their own home. The English classes Willy took enabled him to get a high level research job. What’s more, Willy is now a member of Keystone’s Board of Directors.

While the video is impactful, I must report that the community need is ever greater this year.

We ask for your support to provide shelter, food, and education that our community members so desperately need.

Thank you for your dedication to impacting our neighbors’ lives with help and hope. We assure you that your gift will be put to its best use, helping us to help others.

Please give generously.

Warmest regards to you and your family in this holiday season,