Photos and Story by Chuck Seaver, SOUTH LAKE TABLET
Generosity proved to be a two-way street for Jeremy and Stephanie Carter when they decided to pull up their roots and make the move to Clermont, Florida from Colorado Springs, Colorado. The young couple and their two children soon found their paradise in a pre-owned home that met the needs of the entire family. Both had secured good jobs in the area. Their savings account was plush, and the kitchen cabinets were stocked well with their favorite foods. Unfortunately, the future held plans for the Carters that would derail them financially in a matter of months. 
Their home had a hidden secret that even the home inspector did not discover during the purchase process. It began with a jacuzzi leak that Jeremy felt confident could be easily fixed in no time.  Jeremy removed some of the drywall that separated the bath area and the jacuzzi and the opening revealed large amounts of water-related mold. The job would require an insurance claim and professional-level repairs. The Carters remained confident that this was a simple bump in the road. However, the bump would lead to yet another costly repair.
During the time of initial repairs, Stephanie made the decision to leave her job and become a stay-at-home mom to help their young daughter, Charlotte. Charlotte was experiencing some difficulties and the family remained confident in their financial abilities, so the decision was made to become a one-income family for the time being.
Repairs were continuing with the mold invasion and life continued as normal as possible for a family living in a new area with no friends or family to lean-on in person. The need for support would not be fully understood until the day that leaks were discovered in the roof of the couple’s home that they had occupied for only four months. A telephone call to their insurance company for help led instead to a quick cancellation of the couple’s homeowner insurance policy. The situation spiraled out of control and lead to the inability to provide adequate food for the family. The family realized that they were in trouble and had limited options. Home repairs and other unexpected financial hurdles left the family in financial distress.
Food insecurities lead them to The Neighborhood Center. They were warmly welcomed with sincere generosity and fresh, nutritious food. They were able to choose from a variety of fresh fruit, vegetables, meats, and other healthy options; options that included healthy snacks and hygiene care products. 
Financial education and job placement counseling provided by TNC allowed Jeremy and Stephanie to evaluate their goals and begin rebuilding their financial future. Connections thru TNC were made with the local Habitat for Humanity organization in an effort to help with the home repairs that remained unfinished and unfunded.
Self-confidence was rebuilt with the help of TNC’s counseling programs and confidence lead to ideal jobs for both Jeremy and Stephanie. Stephanie now has the ability to work from home and be a stay-at-home mom at the same time. Jeremy continues a new career path and now has the ability to complete many of the home’s needed repairs.
The family’s full-circle story of despair to repair is a reminder of what generosity and care can accomplish. Stephanie has been volunteering her time to pay back for the help provided by TNC, including financial donations to help others who have fallen on difficult times. “Life can change with little notice. Changes that require you to challenge your pride and reach out for help,” says Stephanie.
The Neighborhood Center serves the South Lake Community by assisting individuals with food, career counseling and job placement.  Visit The Neighborhood Center located at  14727 Timber Village Rd., Groveland or visit for additional details and hours of operation.
Previous articleLake County Supervisor Of Elections Responds To Vote-By-Mail Misinformation
Next articleKiwanis Club Of Clermont Enjoys A Day Of Fun At The Early Learning Coalition Annual Day In The Park