A Brand New Woman
Pam Morgan walked the streets of Shreveport’s Allendale neighborhood, searching for drugs, seeking the next high that would deaden the open wounds in her life.
“I started partying seven days a week to escape the pain of losing my Mom. And I was in an abusive relationship and the last two years were a living hell,” Pam says.
“I had no hope at all because my Mom was my backbone. After she passed, everything went blank and I felt very helpless. I was just getting myself in more trouble, making things worse and making more pain.”
But like a flower that looks dead in the winter, only to revive again in the spring, Pam came to life out of the darkest and harshest of seasons – thanks to the outreach of Community Renewal International.
Today, the woman who had no hope gives hope to others. The woman who felt so helpless goes out of her way to help those she once ignored.
“I met a lady by the name of Jewel Mariner,” Pam says. “It turned out that Mrs. Mariner was with Community Renewal International. With her help and encouragement, I was able to achieve many things.”
Jewel, an CRI community coordinator for Allendale, says that even in her carousing, Pam still wanted the best for her four children and wanted to be a good mother for them. After she found friends in CRI, she became that – and much more.
“She looked like a dead-end hopeless case and now she’s our neighborhood ambassador. She’s been transformed,” Jewel says. “If you have a down day, just talk to Pam. She’s a great encourager.”
Pam dropped out of school after the 10th grade. She had the first of her four children at age 16. Like so many others, she could have just drifted through life until her life was no more.
But because of her connection with Jewel, Pam went to the Allendale Friendship House and enrolled her children in the Kids Club. She started attending church and signed up for classes at the CRI Adult Renewal Academy in Cedar Grove.
Pam then volunteered to serve as a Haven House leader on her block. She also gives her time helping at the Friendship Houses, delivering food to needy residents and volunteering at a local medical center.
Through CRI, Pam says, she found people who truly cared – people who took the time to nurture her and earn her trust.
“CRI showed me real love and that had a big impact on my life. I hadn’t felt that since my Mom passed. I had heard so much negative and I needed to hear the positive,” she says. “They told me, no matter how bad it gets, I can do it. And those words motivated me.”
As Allendale ambassador for CRI, one of Pam’s top goals is to strengthen families, involve parents in their children’s activities and show the same love that helped change her life.
“I love to encourage people and do for others what people have done for me. I do it every single day, even with people I don’t know. I have the heart now to help anybody.”
Pam says her neighbors are not the only ones surprised by her new attitude. She’s surprised herself, too.
“I’m amazed I am doing this. Before, I never spoke to my neighbors. This wasn’t my thing to do. I cared about me, my four and no more,” she says.
“I’ve seen myself grow in a lot of ways and I’ve overcome a lot of things. I am a brand new woman.”