It was December 12, 2016. Cindy’s husband, Mike, worked for a signage company, and a customer had asked the company for a storefront sign. As Mike climbed the ladder to fulfill the customer’s request, reaching out to hang the sign in place, he suddenly slumped over the ladder—motionless.

A woman nearby called 911. Tragically, despite the quick medical response, the paramedics could not revive Mike. A blood clot had lodged in one of his arteries, and the doctor pronounced his death the result of coronary thrombosis.

Unable to locate Cindy at home, the police contacted her through Facebook to tell her that Mike was “not well.” When she responded, wanting to go to him immediately, they gave her the sorrowful news.

As Christmas rapidly approached, what should have been a time of joy became a time of heartache for Cindy and her two daughters, as they faced the unfolding impact of Mike’s untimely death and the loss of a husband and father—and their sole source of income.

With no life insurance, recent work experience, or savings, Cindy knew she would need to sell their home, pay off the mortgage and bills, and start over. As 2016 drew to a close, she was homeschooling her 14-year-old daughter and supporting her 18-year-old daughter who had just graduated from high school. Stopping homeschooling was never an option for her: she was determined to finish the last three years of her youngest daughter’s educational journey.

Friends from church made sure Cindy and the girls kept their heads above water, but while Cindy worked two part-time jobs and frequented the local food pantry, little was left for homeschool curriculum or any educational activities. That’s when a friend told her about HSLDA’s Compassion grants.

Because of our generous donors, Cindy received funds to help purchase curriculum and pay for co-ops that enhanced her daughter’s academic skillset and provided interaction with peers. Cindy continued applying for and receiving Compassion grants each year until her youngest daughter graduated in 2020.

“Receiving the funds and support to finish homeschooling was astounding! I am forever grateful!” Cindy shared. “Just like my oldest, my youngest also graduated with honors. My oldest is married and runs her own business, and my youngest works for a law firm and is a mother’s helper to various families on the side.”

Having finished her homeschooling years, Cindy hopes to help others in similar situations; she recently contributed to HSLDA’s Compassion fund herself.

We say a heartfelt “well done!” to Cindy and her girls—and a warm “thank you!” to those who have helped make it possible for this family to triumph over grief and loss.

If you know of a homeschooling family who could benefit from a Compassion grant, please direct them to our website page “How to Apply for a Curriculum Grant”.