START was able to assist a single mother of 2 who had been trying for months to catch up on past due bills that she had worked hard to pay off. She had been picking up as many extra shifts as possible at work in hopes to be in good standing again. After losing extra hours at work and spending down her life savings she knew she would not have enough money to cover the cost of rent and utilities in addition to contributing towards a payment arrangement for past debt owed to her landlord. As a single mother of 2 teenagers she had expressed her financial concerns to them and stated that they would not be able to celebrate Christmas with gifts or their favorite foods. Her youngest daughter age 16 was understanding of her mother’s priorities and offered to use money that she had saved from her part time job to help pay towards their bills owed. With still not enough money gathered to pay off a large past due balance owed, the mother contacted the START Program Director for help. After doing an extensive budget, START was confident that she would be able to pay her regular monthly bills once her past due balance was paid in full. While helping her to pay off the amount owed to her landlord she was able to pay the current’s month’s rent on her own. As a proud mother she shared that her oldest son is preparing for college with 2 scholarship opportunities, one being with the University of Wisconsin Madison. While content that she would not be celebrating Christmas with gifts and food, START was grateful to have been able to also provide her with gift cards to Walmart which were donated to our program through a Christmas donation drive. She felt overwhelmed with gratitude that she would be able to surprise her children with Christmas gifts and also said she is grateful to share with them that they would not be losing their housing before the holiday. She was excited to share the relief of having her past due rental debt paid in full while being motivated that she will now be able to get back on her feet. She thanked the START program for being a support to her when she had lost hope.