Every staff member at Upward Transitions, read the short letter, saw the check and smiled.  A donation and a simple, handwritten note expressing gratitude are enough to make any nonprofit employee’s day.  But this donation and this note were different.  They represented the final step in a journey that began nearly five years ago.

Kristen*, an over-50 unemployed chemist, was on the verge of bankruptcy and living in a local shelter.  Things became worse when her purse was stolen along with all her identification.

“I didn’t know where to start to prove who I was,” said Kristen.  She couldn’t apply for an Oklahoma ID without a birth certificate, and she couldn’t obtain her Kansas birth certificate without a photo ID or Social Security card, which were both stolen.

Kristen looked online for help getting new IDs and found Upward Transitions.

“I was scared and kind of discouraged, but Upward Transitions said they’d find a way,” said Kristen.

It took a few weeks to retrieve her birth certificate and secure her new Oklahoma ID, but Upward Transitions came through with their commitment to find a way.  In the meantime, Kristen participated in educational programs offered by the shelter and learned the basics of Microsoft Word and keyboarding.

“I felt like a baby starting over again. It wasn’t an easy road back,” explained Kristen. “But with Upward Transitions’ help, I’m now out of debt, my credit is restored, and I’m working full-time for another nonprofit.  I refer people frequently to Upward Transitions for help.”

Today, Kristen is showing her appreciation by donating to the nonprofits that helped her when she needed it.

*Note: Kristen asked that we not use her image and only use her first name for this story to maintain her anonymity. 


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