Meet Eman, a stay-at-home mother of three young boys: Magdy, age 5; Eyad, age 3; and Zayn, age 2. She and her husband recently immigrated from Egypt to New Jersey. Eman’s roots are in the U.S., but most her family is in Ohio, so they don’t have much local support. The couple has been working hard to build a life for themselves and their boys in their Hackettstown home – but it hasn’t been easy. Eman’s husband had a successful family business in Egypt, but he has had difficulty finding gainful work in New Jersey, and the family often struggles to make ends meet.
While it was hard for Eman to admit she needed a helping hand, she eventually reached out to Norwescap’s WIC program for assistance. She got so much more than nutritional aid for her children – she found the caring, supportive community she had been looking for. As our staff worked with Eman to assess her needs, they also talked with her about other Norwescap services that might benefit her family. That led to Eyad and Zayn enrolling in Norwescap’s Early Head Start program, which offers at-home services for young children to help them meet important educational and social milestones. This programs was especially beneficial to Eyad, who had a speech delay. With the help of Norwescap’s Early Head Start staff, he began to flourish. And, Eman found the supportive community she had been looking for in Norwescap.
As the holidays approached, Eman and her husband worried about how they could manage to make the season special for their children. Not only could they not afford toys, they were struggling to even afford good pillows for their children’s beds. But through Norwescap’s Partners in Joy holiday program, Eman’s family was “adopted” by a donor who carefully selected toys and games for each of the boys – and also made beautiful personalized pillows for each one.
Eman’s family observes Ramadan, and she and her husband were excited to have a few small items to give their boys to celebrate Eid. When one of our Norwescap Elves stopped by the family’s home last week to drop off the holiday gifts, Eman sent the boys to wait patiently in their rooms so the surprises wouldn’t be spoiled. As Eman gratefully accepted the bag of toys and gifts – far more than she had expected – she spotted the pillows and immediately teared up. “I couldn’t have asked for more than this,” she said.
We are grateful to all our 2020 Partners in Joy, who helped bring the magic of the holidays to nearly 800 families like Eman’s this year; and we look forward to watching Eman, her husband, and their three boys continue to grow and thrive as part of our Norwescap community.