People who make Difference: LaDonna and Todd Urick
ALBANY, GA (WALB) -
An Albany couple's mission to serve turned into a non-profit organization that continues to grow. LaDonna and Todd Urick are this week's people who make a difference.
LaDonna Urick and her team at Mission Change are busy planning their next event. LaDonna and her husband Todd began Mission Change in 2008.
"People come walking in our front door not knowing where their next meal is coming from or where they're going to lay their head," LaDonna Urick said. "Even though we don't provide those resources, we know where to get them from. And that's our hope is for people to come walking through our door and have their lives changed forever."
The idea was sparked after the couple began selling necklaces in the community. "My husband and I sat down in our kitchen and we thought, hey, how can we give back to people with these necklaces? And so we adopted our first little guy, Easton Blanchard. And so those necklaces were sold and we thought, well we can do more than that."
And their mission to serve has grown. "We started off with 25 volunteers that showed up for one of first monthly missions. And from there on, it just continued to grow. We've had as many as 300 and that's with our Christmas Eve brunch."
While the need varies, it's always there. Noelle Sparks turned to mission change about two and half years ago. "When I first met Mission Change I didn't have a GED, was struggling with my kids, I was out of a job," said Sparks.
Now she has a job, a place to stay and most importantly- motivation to keep going. "Before I met them, I wanted to give up, because I was a single mom, five kids. Didn't know which way to turn, didn't have any family and when I met them, it was like a whole other family that accepts me for who I was, they didn't judge me."
LaDonna says stories like this reinforce their open door policy and their mission to serve the community.
"To be able to share that and send them to the places that we know that they're going to get help, that is just a great feeling. Because when you walk out the door with them and you're guiding them in the right direction and getting them the right resources, that's what we're here for."