‘I’ll be Forever Grateful,’ Single Mom Says of Community’s Help

Flossie Bliss has a strong faith in God, but her faith in people has been renewed.

The Cedar Springs single mother of four was astonished by the generosity of community members who came to her aid after they read of her impoverished circumstances in School News Network.

The Nov. 20 story disclosed that Bliss and her four daughters were sleeping on the floor in an unheated and sparsely furnished mobile home.

Following the story’s publication, three Cedar Springs families contacted Jodi West, an advocate for Bliss with Kent School Services Network. They offered to donate a sleeper sofa, a queen-sized bed, a bunk bed, pillows and linens. Another offered to pay her heating bill so she could get her gas turned back on.

“They were surprised to hear of the poverty in Cedar Springs,” West said. “They just wanted to help out.”

West, her husband and a friend delivered the items to Bliss and her daughters, who were thrilled. The girls slept through the night on their new beds and have been sleeping better ever since, Bliss said.

Meanwhile, she managed to get her heat restored with budgeting decisions and financial assistance, and says she wants to take a budgeting class at North Kent Community Services. She also received other help such as a repaired dryer outlet and a new TV.  

“I’ll be forever grateful,” Bliss said, standing by her family’s Christmas tree. “I don’t know how I would ever be able to say thank you to the people that have helped and the miracles that have happened.”

She said the community’s generosity has put life in a new light for her.

“To know people care and are accepting makes me wants to achieve more,” she added. “I could never imagine people would do this kind of thing for us, and make our holidays extra special.”

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Charles Honey
Charles Honey is a freelance writer and former columnist for The Grand Rapids Press/ MLive.com. As a reporter for The Press from 1985 to 2009, his beats included Grand Rapids Public Schools, local colleges and education issues. Honey served as editor of The Press’ award-winning Religion section for 15 years. His freelance articles have appeared in Christianity Today magazine, Religion News Service and the Aquinas College alumni magazine. Read Charles' full bio.

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