In the midst of life’s “storms”, we often find unexpected sources to assist us in weathering the storm. Imagine a herd of buffalo, powerful and resilient creatures, charging fearlessly into a raging storm.
At the face of this, it seems odd, but buffalo charge the storm to seek safety and minimize exposure to lightning, wind, and other elements. Their determination and unity in the face of adversity are a great example to us of how to face our own “storms” in life.
Much like these buffalo; James, a military Veteran and former law enforcement officer, found himself on a turbulent journey, seeking hope and transformation.
Before discovering Volunteers of America (VOA), James had navigated a challenging path, mixed with regrettable decisions and a profound moral struggle. Reflecting on his past, he admitted, “I realized how much I had lost due to the many poor choices I made. How low I had sunk morally and in my values.” James’ military service had transitioned into a career in law enforcement, initially a source of purpose and pride. However, it was cut short after 23 years, leaving him brokenhearted and disillusioned. He confided, “I had planned to do 30 years but left after 23… brokenhearted.” In search of hope, James had been looking in all the wrong places, but his story was far from over.
Amidst the storm that had engulfed him, a glimmer of hope emerged through a close friend who recognized the potential for transformation within the VOA community. This friend introduced James to VOA’s Homeless & Veteran Services.
Overwhelmed by the support and care he received, James shared, “I am honestly floored by VOA’s incredible support system and staff.” Guided by the compassionate staff at Volunteers of America, James embarked on a journey of self-discovery and redemption while finding stable and secure housing. He revealed, “With excellent guidance from truly caring folks, I’ve re-established some degree of my self-respect and the ability to move on.”
Today, James is a testament to the transformative power of VOA’s programs. Even after transitioning out of Veteran housing, he remains active in a VOA Moral Injury class, continuing his journey of healing and self-improvement.
Deeply touched by the support he received, James has made VOA one of his primary priorities for a donation this Holiday Season. He explained his decision:
“Now that things are looking up, I’ve made VOA one of my donation priorities because I know how needed it is and personally know the difference it makes in many lives.”
James’ story beautifully embodies the theme of “Giving Hope” through VOA’s Services. It serves as a reminder of the incredible potential for renewal and redemption that lies within us all. Together with you, VOA continues to be a beacon of hope for those in need, offering a lifeline to individuals seeking to charge, like a buffalo, into the storm that life brings determined to emerge on the other side stronger than ever.