If you have been following my healing journey through a stroke, you should know that anyone regardless of health conditions can have a stroke. We know that every stroke manifests differently for those who have survived a stroke, such as in my case, the effects were initially devastating. Some of us stroke survivors lost our livelihoods. We are constantly regaining our independence. In most cases, many of us were not able to return to our places of employment or return to the places of our livelihood. We have been reduced, if fortunate, to receive some sort of early retirement or social security disability from the government, or if you some sort of savings account. However, depending on what you receive from (SSI or Disability), you may have been approved for an amount slightly above the poverty economic guideline, no more than $1400 a month, $15 a month in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits a month, Medicare or Medicaid.

 In my case where I was a gatekeeper to the community and was able to provide through various types of donations, grants, and growing fresh healthy food from the community garden for the community. Now I find myself on the other end of the spectrum. Unfortunately, most community pantries do not provide fresh produce for the community members who look for healthy food in order to survive. It is imperative that stroke survivors have proper nourishing food to eat while recovering. If you look hard enough and ask questions, there are angels in our community who make it a point to help those in need and sometimes they are diamonds in the ruff. Such as Highland Avenue Baptist Church.

I was invited by one of my dear neighbors, Linda, to check out Highland Avenue Baptist Church Food Pantry in Elmwood Place on Saturday. There was a diverse line of people serving and receiving in LOVE from all walks of life. (Don’t let the evil in this world make you think we are all divided. Some of us love regardless of race, religion, or economic status). I witnessed the congregation of Highland Avenue Baptist Church serving the community, and everyone was treated with dignity and respect. I had the opportunity to meet and speak with Pastor Tony and his beautiful wife. Pastor Tony explained to me their mission and touched base on some of their future plans to expand their ministry. Highland Avenue has a Food Pantry opened every Saturday from 10 am-12pm. Pastor Tony shared with me his vision to expand the food pantry and to renovate homes to give away to families. “Everyone has something to contribute whether it is a $1 dollar or $1 million! This will come to fruition with the collective energy of the entire community.”

I have always said when churches take the communities in their hands to feed the people not only food, build schools, and provide medical care, Mother Earth would have a better place for all to live.

As I am steadily regaining my independence, I am also seeking ways in which I reestablish my continued participation and contribute to my community’s health for all everyone.  Highland Heights Avenue Baptist Church is on the right path, they understand the needs of the community. We need more community resources such as this for all who may need it, especially those who need a hand up!

Thank you Highland Ave Baptist Church for all you are doing to care for the community!

My name is Trazana A. Staples, and I had a STROKE! I AM A STROKE SURVIVOR! I AM A Phoenix Rising!

Your support is graciously needed! Thank you in advance!

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