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Elvira's Restoration: A Story You Made Possible

"I never thought there were caring people who would help women like me."

ElviraMy name is Elvira. When I was a young mother, I struggled to provide for my kids. I was going to nursing school and working in a restaurant to make ends meet. But it was hard.

Then a man offered me an "office job" that would pay me an incredible $10,000 a week! I knew something was not right, but I took it, because I had children to care for. The business? Drug trafficking and money laundering. Before long, I got caught and spent 17 years in prison. 

While I was serving my sentence, I found out I had late-stage breast cancer and had a radical mastectomy. Many women don't survive this cancer. Yet I believe without a doubt that God intervened and miraculously saved my life.

When I got out of prison, I looked for a program that could help me rebuild my life. I found The Bowery Mission Women's Center, which provides women like me with the structure, training and encouragement to go back into society on a solid foundation.

Over the next seven months, I took nutrition and art classes. I received nice clothes and shoes. They offered me spiritual guidance. I learned how to present myself and write my résumé. And they showed me how to dress and prepare for job interviews. I never thought there were caring people who would help women like me.

Today, I'm working as a customer service representative for a credit card company on behalf of Spanish-speaking clients, and I'm studying to become an account manager. Eventually, I want to write a book and get a degree in social work so I can help other women fighting with cancer.

I'm no longer a young, struggling mother. Now I'm a mature woman with a bright future. I thank God for The Bowery Mission and for the help they provided me to rebuild my life.

Your gift will make a difference

Every day, The Bowery Mission's programs for men, women and children are making a life-transforming difference for people experiencing homelessness, poverty, addiction, unemployment and other crises. Your online gift today will go to work immediately providing meals, shelter, medical care and long-term recovery for adults; or mentoring and enrichment opportunities for youth.

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