A Father’s Love

Post Armando Recio

My name is Armando and I am a Hearing Officer at the San Bernardino Driver Safety office. I have been a Hearing Officer for over 2 years, and have been a state employee for close to 10 years.

I am also proud to say that I was the Our Promise Southern Region Vice-Chairperson for the 2007 campaign, a key campaigner in 2008, and a State Loaned Executive for Arrowhead United Way in 2009.

By being involved with Our Promise and United Way, I have seen first hand how our fellow citizens have been helped by various charities.

Our Promise is by far the most efficient way to donate money to charities and to know that your hard earned money is going to respectable organizations. What I want to share with all of you is the story of four people who have been, in one way or another, helped by charities.

The first person I would like to talk about is regarding an 8-year-old girl. She was abused and neglected for the first 2+ years of her life. She was constantly left alone. Her mother was a drug addict. She was finally taken out of that environment and put into the foster system. She was diagnosed with epilepsy while in foster care. She kept to herself and would not socialize. Help for Angie was found in the form of counseling and medication for her epilepsy. She receives help from the Inland Regional Center, which by the way gets some of its funding from Arrowhead United Way, which in turn gets some of its funding through Our Promise donations. She is now very active. She looks and behaves just like any other girl her age. She now smiles at everyone. The counseling has helped her tremendously.

The second person I would like to talk about is a 7-year-old boy. He too was abused and neglected by his drug-addicted mother. He too was placed in foster care. He had visible scars. He was diagnosed borderline Autistic. The only words he knew how to say were curse words. He now attends a special education school and receives help from the Inland Regional Center. Since then he has demonstrated that he is a really bright boy. He is now a happy boy, whom you would never know is borderline Autistic or that he goes to a special education school.

The third person I would like to talk about is a 6-year-old girl. Although she was put in foster care at only 5 months old, she had lived a terrible life. Her mom was also a drug addict. Actually, she had used drugs all through the pregnancy. When you think of a baby, you think of a smiling face, drooling and laughing. Not her. She had the saddest face I had ever seen on a baby. She now has to take medication, more than likely for life, to control her mood swings. For the first year of her life, she would not crawl and when she tried to, she would drag her right leg. These were results of the drugs her mom used while pregnant. She was given the medical attention she needed. A therapist was found to help with her behavior and with walking. Although some doctors had said she may not walk soon or maybe never walk, she has proved them wrong. She now not only walks, but runs! She is now a very happy child.

The fourth and last person I would like to talk about is me. You see, the three people I talked about are part of my family. These 3 children are my adopted children, and were my foster children prior to that. I have seen first hand how privately funded organizations help people in need. Whether it’s through counseling or tutoring, through after-school programs or therapy, these programs help and really need your donations to keep helping others in need. You know, we state employees really have it made. We have good salaries, notice I didn’t say great salaries, but most important we have medical insurance. A lot of us say “I don’t think I’ll ever need any charity’s help”. Well you know what – I’m a state employee, I have medical insurance, but without these charities and their programs, I could not afford to help these three children. They are happy kids just like any other kids.

Believe me when I say $5 goes a long way. Please find it in your hearts to help someone in need. You never know, it might be the person next to you right now that may need the help. If you can’t give a donation, please keep the Our Promise book and use it as a reference in case someone you know needs the help. And please volunteer! Thank you all.