Jessie’s journey as a single mother of two children (aged 11 and 8) hasn’t been easy in recent years. When the children’s father passed away, a huge hole was left in their lives. With no close or extended family nearby, Jessie began a search for the much needed support she was seeking for her children. This search saw her reaching out to Aunties and Uncles Queensland.
Her children were craving the love and sense of belonging that comes with an extended family and Aunties and Uncles Queensland filled this void for them. It’s been over 2 years since that search lead to the creation of a perfect fit for her family, and the beginning of lasting and memorable relationship for her daughter Jenna.
A link was created for Jenna and she found herself with a new Auntie and Uncle, Alda & Brian who Jessie describes as ‘a beautiful and amazing couple’. A very strong bond has developed in this time and Jenna has a real sense of being a part of a family.
She shares wonderful moments with Alda and Brian and together they enjoy activities as diverse as walking the dogs, bicycle riding, cooking, going to church, jigsaw puzzles and special trips – sharing experiences that families might typically share.
In the two short years that Jenna has known her Auntie and Uncle, they have had a life-changing impact on her life. They have loved her unconditionally and ensured that she feels special and worthy of the love and support she receives. This experience with Aunties and Uncles Queensland has enriched her life and offered so many new experiences. As a Mother, Jessie has seen her daughter’s confidence grow, her self esteem improve and her shyness almost fade away. Alda and Brian have taken the time to teach life skills to Jenna – simple things like tying shoe laces, riding a bike with no training wheels, sewing and many more experiences that might have proved difficult otherwise.
The benefits of the mentoring opportunities that are a part of this support network can also be seen at school. Her teachers report that Jenna has not only shown improvement in all areas of learning, but that her social skills and behavioural patterns are also greatly improved.
Jessie believes that her family has been blessed to be involved with the Aunties and Uncles program. She would actively encourage people to get involved and provide support to help others. “We are just one family who has had a life changing experience due to our involvement in the program. To see Jenna’s growth has been priceless.”