Life has been a series of challenges for Nathea Porter and her family over the past year and a half.
In February 2014, Porter’s home and many of the family’s possessions were destroyed by a fire. In December of the same year, a storage building fire destroyed the entirety of the contents of the family’s unit. Now living with family, Porter and her two children have made do. Then, two months ago, her 11-year-old daughter Janaya’s bike was stolen from the house.
It took the wind out of her daughter’s sails, Porter said.
“When her bike got stolen, she didn’t go outside and didn’t do anything,” Porter said.
Life goes on, Porter said. That’s why she and her children were at the July 29 Harvest Market at Owensboro Health Regional Hospital, braving stifling heat so they could take advantage of the Back to School Harvest Market event.
“I really did like it. The people were nice, everything was organized,” Porter said. “My kids weren’t bored, and everybody was so nice to them. They really did have a good time.”
And that was before Porter got a pretty big surprise: Her family was one of 10 selected to receive a bike as part of a special giveaway for the back to school event.
“I expected it to be packed and very hot, but I didn’t expect to win a bike,” Porter said. “I was just thankful. I’ve had so much stuff going on. This really helps us out.”
Porter said it’s a great thing to see her daughter enjoying the bike.
“My daughter is wonderful. She was so surprised and so excited,” Porter said. “God doesn’t always send you what you want, but he sends you what you need, and we needed it.”
Having a bike, Porter said, means her daughter can be more independent, but also that she has opportunities with other children her own age.
“Now she’s able to ride her bike and go out and have fun. She gets to join in (with other children her age) and she’s happier,” Porter said. “As time goes on and she grows into herself, she’s not that shy little girl. I think this will help her, and this bike will grow with her. I see her growing as a person and coming into herself. She’s growing as a person.”
And for all of that, Porter said she’s grateful to the staff at Owensboro Health.
“God is good and I’m very grateful for everything that you all did,” Porter said. “You brightened her day. Just to see my kid smile puts a smile on my face.”