PamBonnerCroppedWhile working at VCU, Pam Bonner heard about the Partnership for Families (PFF) the high quality childcare center operated by the Partnership’s partner, VCU Health Systems. Up until then, her son had been cared for by his father and his grandmother – a loving environment for sure, but without the level of academic and social skills development that a toddler’s growing brain needs to get ready for school. Pam was able to secure a spot for him in the VCU-HS Childcare Center. Later, she learned that financial help through the Partnership might be available. Before long, Pam’s son was attending the Childcare Center on a full-boat Gilpin Court Scholarship.

Later, Pam hit a rough patch. She fell behind on her bills, and allowed a voluntary repossession of her car. After juggling a toddler, a job and bus schedules, Pam realized that reliable transportation was a must if her family was to ever thrive. Pam turned to Ways To Work, another PFF partner.

Ways To Work (WTW) is a character-based loan program helping struggling families obtain low-cost loans to purchase a reliable vehicle. WTW staff guided her through their auto loan process, and a few months later, Ms. Bonner was able to get a reliable, safe vehicle. And just in time too… Pam had just welcomed a second child into her family.

Then, another set-back. Pam lost her job. As circumstances grew dire for her family, Pam once again was able to draw on the support of PFF staff, who quickly put her in touch with another partner, Goodwill Employment Services. Pam and Goodwill worked together to polish up her resume and improve her self-presentation skills, and Pam soon found a new job. And now she is also attending school to become a Certified Nursing Assistant.

Today, Pam’s son attends preschool through the Virginia Preschool Initiative, and his little sister is now attending the VCU-HS Childcare Center on the Partnership’s Gilpin Court Scholarship. Pam says, "I'm not where I want to be, yet, but I’m stable, and that’s such an improvement."

We couldn’t agree more!

To find out how you can help people just like Pam and her family, call Veronica Fleming, Executive Director, at 804-353-4264, ext. 101.