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Hope For a Better Life Fuels One Locals "Courage to Change"

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Palm Desert, CA -

Tiffany Avery's life is on the right path.  

"I have a three bedroom apartment, I have a full time job, I'm going to C.O.D. (College of the Desert) part-time but my goal is accounting," she says.

But what you can't see by looking at her bright smile is her painful past.

She says a rough childhood led to a series of bad choices that took her on a path of self destruction, "I don't even recognize that person, I can't believe that, that was once me," says Avery.

At her lowest, she was in an abusive relationship, using drugs and homeless with two children.

"We had no electricity, we had no running water, very little food," she says.

That was her wake-up call.

 "I have two little ones and they were going to grow up just like me ... something had to change and it started with me," says Avery.

Through Olive Crest's Safe Families Program, she was set up with a volunteer, host family that could take in her children while she got her life back on track. 

"One of the hardest things, I think I've ever done in my life was to buckle my kids up in  stranger's car and watch them drive away,"  says Avery adding that it was also the best thing. This selfless act allowed her to focus on healing.

Her host mom, Leslie Seals remembers the person she met that day five years ago, "Lost, fearful, kind of hopeless," which she says makes her transformation even more special, "I love Tiffany like she's my daughter ... she has made short term goals, long term goals, she speaks on behalf of the organization, she was given a scholarship to continue her education at C.O.D. (College of the Desert), so I couldn't be more proud of her."

Avery admits the journey hasn't always been easy, "There's always a voice telling you that you're not strong enough, you can't do this, you're not going to make it, you might as well give up," but she says it's been worth it, "When I see all the accomplishments that I have in my life and my children, I'm just, I'm very proud."

She hopes her story, helps at least one person begin their transformation, "You have to be ready to leave it behind and you have to be ready to change." 

If you need help, want to become a host family or want to make a donation to help Olive Crest with their mission to keep families heal and stay together call their Safe Families Program: 1-800-500-CHILD (24453) ext. 1234.


 

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