Lights of Hope : Alendra’s Story, Part 1

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You can make a difference in the lives of the children and youth who live in North Omaha by partnering with Abide. Our mission is to build a positive culture to transform the inner city of North Omaha. Every year our organization hosts an Annual Lights of Hope campaign to raise money to transform the lives of youth like Alendra.

Alendra’s mom moved her family from Chicago to Omaha in search of a safer neighborhood and community in which to raise her children. In North Omaha, that can be hard to find.

Alendra pictured with mentor and lighthouse leader Linda Rozo.

Omaha is a national leader in black homicides per capita. Gang recruiting and gun violence are a weekly challenge in neighborhoods like Alendra’s.

Staying in school and keeping a positive outlook is easier now for Alendra, due to the help of her neighbor, Linda, an Abide Lighthouse Leader. A pick-up basketball game in front of Linda’s Lighthouse, lead to an invitation to join the Better Together Basketball program. “I didn’t really have anything else to do,” explains Alendra. That was 3 years ago. “I’d never been on a team before, I’d never really been on anything before, so I said yes. I really don’t know why I said yes.” This year Alendra will be a junior coach for younger players in the program. “She is an amazing leader, kids are drawn to her,” shares Rob Johnson, the program director.

Alendra volunteering for Better Together Basketball.

Alendra didn’t always live in a neighborhood with an Abide Lighthouse. “Some places are just as dangerous as Chicago. I worry about my brother. Gangs look at him and want him, they don’t know that he doesn’t do that.”

Through investment with time, resources, and money, Abide is able to establish more lighthouses – and expand our reach to more neighborhoods each year. We would love for you to be a part of the change happening in our city.

Thank you for taking the time to read about our Lights of Hope fund drive. We appreciate your considering our request. If you would like more information about this initiative, please contact me at 402-455-7807 or rosie@abidenetwork.org.

Next month: Meet Linda as this story continues.

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