Helping Hands:Change Lives Part Two

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"We receive when we give."

That's the mentality of a woman in this story who thought she didn't have anymore to give after life dealt her a handful of setbacks.

"One day I said 'Sit in this chair and listen to this song.' At the end of that song I'm thinking is he getting it? He said who are you trying to kid? You'd be fine without me."

Deborah Weed sat her husband down to the song, "How Do I Live Without You?," but little did she know that she'd be faced with her worst fear - the death of her husband. When Weed's husband died she never thought she'd survive without her high school sweetheart of 31 years. She lost what she thought was everything.

The Weed's livelihood depended on the construction company they started together. After her husband's death, their company no longer needed Deborah's help.

"I was competing in a man's world. In a mans' world without a degree," Weed said.

Suddenly, Weed found herself was without a job, without a husband and with a child.

Weed said her daughter was date raped at 21 years old and became pregnant with a baby girl named Leah, but was too emotionally damaged to raise her.

"We kept watching the relationship deteriorate so my husband and I took custody of her," Weed said.

For the six years before her husband's fatal heart attack, Leah's grandfather was the only positive male role model in her life, until one night on a desperate whim Weed began calling homes for children and single parents. She had no where else to go.

"They support me as far as providing my apartment and utilities for free," Weed said about Potter Children's Home.

Potter Children's Home provides a program called SPARK - Single Parents Alliance for Raising Kids. SPARK allows families like Deborah's a second chance while recovering a death, divorce or desertion. Classes and counseling are offered and parents are given time to attend college.

"We're investigating all the dysfunctional issues with family from way back," Weed said about her time spent in the classes and counseling.

During this difficult time, Weed said her husband's ashes are all she has left of the past, which she is making peace with and Leah is taking a class about the change from victim to victor.

"She feels like a victim, from being a product of date rape," Weed said.

While Leah goes to public elementary school, Weed pursues her education at Western Kentucky University.

"I am going to either get Social Work or Psychology degree." Something Weed knows she has to do to move on.

"Once in a while when I get bogged down with pressures here or whatever, I know he's there," Weed said wiping a tear from her cheek. "So, yeah we've gotten along without him."

Even through all of Weed's misfortunes she still plans on giving back to another family what Potter Children's Home gave her.

Weed said volunteers donate simple items for Potter Children's Home families. Things like food for the pantry , extra items from your household, or adopting a family or child for Christmas can change their lives. Call (270) 843-3038 for additional information