Real Stories

Mathew, child of I Matter Too

Meet Mathew. Here is his real story.

Joe and his wife Carol were excited after hearing about mentoring abused, neglected and orphaned children through the non-profit organization called I Matter Too. They had previously hosted 23 foreign exchange students from European countries with great families and homes. God redirected them to mentor and tutor orphans and abused children who didn’t have permanent homes.

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“Jumping out in faith, that we could actually help young people in need, can be scary. joe-carolBut with the right kind of training that came with partnering with I Matter Too, they prepared us to make a difference in the life of children and young adults one child at a time.” – Carol

Joe was matched with a 16 year old child, Mathew (name changed for confidentiality) who had failed to pass 10th grade. He was removed from his home due to abuse and languished 8 years in foster care. They met together for the first time and immediately began setting goals. They met consistently each week. Joe shared God’s love with him in practical ways through sharing God’s word and tutoring in math. He also taught him nutrition. He lost 25 pounds in several months to reach physical goals Mathew had set for himself. Over time, trust was built.

In one summer, Mathew was ready to enter 10th grade again. With Joe’s support, Mathew not only earned enough credits to pass 10th grade that year, but also 11th grade. He passed the FCAT for the first time. And because of his good grades and his perfect attendance, Mathew was one of ten recipients of hundreds nominated to receive an achievement award at his High School. The award recognizes high school students who have persevered in the wake of adversity, and have achieved greater performance in areas such as academics, attendance, attitude, and social relationships. Joe was by his side at the award dinner.

With Joe’s continued support, Mathew found his biological father. Since then, his father, who didn’t know he had a son, has made him part of his life. Mathew was hired to work with his dad, who owns his own business. It’s a beautiful end to a beautiful story. God, in his perfect ways, brought these two men together. Mathew was a teen who didn’t have a permanent home, no set direction in life, failing school, and didn’t realize that God cared enough to help him unlock his potential. This is the situation with so many others. It only takes one person willing, like Joe, to make the difference.

Carol also mentors a young girl, and has others in past. “The positive changes she has witnessed in her mentee make it all worth the time spent,” she says. Her mentee has discovered that God has a plan for her life and she is striving for greatness. Carol says, “Before, I don’t believe that she knew there was anything better to strive for… or even hope for. She was limited in what she saw in life. She didn’t know that God loved her and she now knows him and wants to do things according to His plan and His way. This is accomplished one step, one miracle at a time.”

Carol and Joe know that they are really making a difference in this world, fulfilling God’s purpose for their lives. We can be a miracle in someone’s life. It just takes a little time, commitment, and love.

Brittany, child of I Matter Too

Meet Tiffany. Here is her real story.

Tiffany was a bright eyed, enthusiastic 9 year old when we met her. She last talked to her biological parents when she was 3 years old and had been growing in foster care ever since. Like so many children at I Matter Too®, Tiffany had already lived in more than 20 homes and learned to survive the changes and lack of stability. She was hurting inside. She felt rejected.

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Tiffany had an assignment at school one day and in her own words, bravely decided to share this with her entire classroom, “Did you know 966,000 kids are put in foster care each year from abuse? I know how these kids feel. I was one of them. They have to live in someone’s home they have never met before. I wish it would stop. Kids do not need this to happen to them. Do you know how it feels? Well I do and it’s hard. Please help stop kids from being victims.”

That is what I Matter Too® is doing. Children are learning they don’t have to repeat cycles of abuse and stay victims.

One of the first things Tiffany received from her mentor was a name engraved Bible. She began reading truths about how God sees her – as pure, beautiful and made in His image. For years, the only thing she carried and was able to own and take from home to home was her new Bible. She cherished its words and the encouragement it brought to her.

Over the next few years, I Matter Too® and her mentor, Katie, became the only constant in her ever changing life. Tiffany suffered several failed adoptions. Katie was there to pick her back up and encourage her. Katie spent consistent weekly hours with her reviewing homework assignments, showing up to school events, reading devotionals and being that much needed adult role model Tiffany needed. She began to flourish in school and ended up earning all A’s and B’s. She gained confidence and learned about healthy relationships. She began learning how to handle emotions like anger and depression in new, better ways. She built her faith in God.

At 16 years old, Tiffany found her forever home. The adoption is going well and I Matter Too® remains in contact with her. She is sending Katie a huge thank you card and wants to stay in touch for all she’s done. She is excited to keep pursuing her love for music and singing, a thing she remembers learning more about and being free to express at I Matter Too®. She even wrote a song for her previous foster parents and desires to write and record more in the future. We are excited to see all God will do in and through her in the next coming years.

Joshua, child of I Matter Too

Meet Joshua.  Here is his real story.

Joshua suffered the loss of both of his parents. He had been removed from his home due to abuse and neglect and had lived in a foster home for two years. He was depressed, shy and quiet when his mentor Ryan met him for the first time. Joshua could not make eye contact and appeared emotionless.

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His mentor Ryan continued to show up week after week. They went fishing together. They prayed together. They went over his homework each week. Slowly, Joshua began to build confidence. In 10 months, Joshua asked to receive Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior, was baptized and achieved great scores in his attendance and academics in school.

Sara, child of I Matter Too

Meet Sara.  Here is her real story.

Sara was 7 years old when she met her mentor Carrie. She was behind two years academically and suffered emotional scars from having a deceased mother and unknown father. She was growing up in foster care without biological parents or a stable permanent home. In 4 months, Sara improved her reading by 63%.

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She enjoyed rewards of ice cream and meals out together with her mentor. As motivation and self-esteem improved, she started dreaming of goals to become a veterinarian. Vision boards helped her draw and create those ideas and dreams and she was able to work through it all with her mentor. Most importantly, her mentor Carrie read Bible stories to her and Sara began to see how, regardless of her circumstances, God views her as loved, adored and cherished. She memorized promises in the Bible that reminded her that God has a hope and good plans for her future. She doesn’t look back now at her circumstances, because she is certain of the hope that lies ahead.

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