RJ looked down the pew at his mom, dad and two sisters. He remembered sitting in this same church as a child, holding his mom's hand. He reached over to hold his mom's hand now. In May, he graduated from college - the first in his family to do so. He now works for an accounting firm in Austin and is so happy to be able to spend Christmas with his family. During RJ's early childhood, he remembered his family struggling to make ends meet. Lots of his friends lived the same way. Church and MAM were always there to help. When RJ's friend got sick and MAM gave him medicine, RJ made a promise to himself that he would start giving money to MAM when he had a real job so others could be helped too. Well, that time had come.
Before coming to church, RJ and his sisters sat in front of the Christmas tree. His parents, Rudy and Katherine had a very special Christmas tradition. Each child must make a promise that would benefit others. That was their gift to mom and dad. RJ mowed a lot of lawns and ran many errands for neighbors to fulfill his childhood promises. This year, RJ's promise was already made. When it was his turn to share, RJ pulled out an envelope from MAM and withdrew a letter. It was a thank you letter for RJ's gift to MAM of $25 and promise to do so every month. He told his family about his childhood secret promise to himself. Who would have thought RJ would remember something from so long ago?
At the end of the Pastor's Christmas Service, Rudy's eyes welled up with tears as he glanced down the pew toward his son - now a man. Rudy's prayers had been answered tenfold and he was so grateful for his family and God.
Read this family full story on the MAM Stories page.
When RJ first enrolled in MAM's Monthly Giving Program one year ago, I called to find out what motivated him to make a gift. The story he shared was inspiring and humbling. We learned that the caring compassionate volunteer named Katherine was RJ's mother and immediately recognized the true depth of her person. RJ visited MAM on a Saturday last June, bringing his parents. The pride and love in RJ's eyes when he looked at his mother and father was a testament to their beautiful relationship and the lessons and love bestowed upon him throughout his lifetime.
This year, RJ's sister presented Rudy and Katherine with their first grandchild. Katherine still comes to MAM two days per week. Rudy manages a fleet of 50 delivery trucks. RJ is in the process of transferring within his accounting firm to Houston and has doubled his monthly gift to MAM. This family not only survived, but thrived, due to a community that cared for one another and invested in MAM to secure the future of our neighbors.
MAM has been a part of the west Houston community for 33 years. Life has come full circle at MAM and we meet many volunteers and donors whose family or friends were helped at MAM when they were children. Our relationships with churches, businesses, foundations and neighbors keep our circle of life moving forward. Thanks to you, we continue to build a caring community together.
Vice President of Fund Development