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My grandkids are what keeps me going

Jessie is raising her two grandchildren on her own and she says the kids are the start of her new life at the age of 60.

“My grandkids are my heart. They are my sunshine, what keeps me going,” she says.

Jessie lost both her parents three years ago within months of each other and she’s recently gone through a divorce. In spite of her losses, she says she still tries to be happy about everything.

“Even when the storm came and damaged my house I was still in here smiling, cooking, and grinning even with no lights,” she says.

She had a good career working at Alderman Elementary School for 17 years starting out as a teaching assistant, then a teacher, and eventually became a behavioral specialist. But an accident at the school left her disabled and unable to work.

Jessie has had full custody of her grandchildren since they were babies and they are now six and nine. She wants a safer living space for her family but says it’s been hard after going through Covid and living on a fixed income. A neighbor told her about WARM NC so she filled out an application and hoped for the best. Not only did WARM come in to fix her flooring, kitchen, and front steps, Jessie also had a new heat pump installed in time for the hot Wilmington summer.

“Oh my gosh, I have air,” she says excitedly. “To have my kitchen back, when the sink went in I was just tickled! You guys made me feel like I was the most important person in y’all’s lives. I’m just so happy.”

Jessie says she is now where she wants to be in her life, raising her grandchildren and going back to school.

“With the cost of living now, it is so hard to be able to afford anything. With a house, if you are able to upkeep it, it will be here forever.”

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