CINCINNATI (February 21, 2022) — The year 2020 dealt unkind blows to Seante Bullock.
First, she lost her job, which put her in a financial bind. Then in November, her mother was diagnosed with COVID-19. After being hospitalized for nearly seven weeks, her mother died on the first day of 2021.
“It was very hard to try to get a job or focus during that time,” says Seante, 43, a single mother of a 16-year-old.
By spring 2021, Seante had hope that her life could get back on track. Thanks to her previous experience in the machine tool industry, she was able to land a job as a calibration technician.
But her optimism was short-lived. Seante’s car broke down, making her late her first week at work. She couldn’t afford the major repairs, couldn’t afford to buy another car. Determined to get to work, she scraped together money to rent a vehicle. Then, to make matters worse, the job did not pan out.
“At that point, I was numb,” Seante says.
She needed a lifeline to prevent her from sinking. It came in the form of United Way’s Project Lift.
Project Lift leverages both public and private dollars to remove barriers so families can achieve long-term financial stability. Project Lift’s sponsor organizations work with families to provide a flexible, family-driven approach that meets their individual needs.
“It’s very hard for me to ask for help,” Seante says. “That’s something I had to learn.”
About $1,600 in Project Lift funds were used to pay for car repairs. Such short-term assistance was crucial if Seante was to achieve long-term success.
“That was a beautiful thing,” Seante says. “They believed in me. That kept me going, too, that they put that kind of trust in me. There’s accountability there when somebody puts that much trust in you. It helps you believe in yourself again.”
Seante now drives her car each day to a specialty power tool manufacturer, where she works in quality control. She says she feels appreciated there. And confident.
“I feel like I can do more with the opportunities I have,” Seante says. Indeed, she has set her sights on another goal: becoming a certified quality engineer. That will open more doors and help ensure long-term financial stability for her and her daughter.
Learn more about Project Lift or apply for assistance at uwgc.org/ProjectLift.
United Way of Greater Cincinnati is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization [Tax ID: 31-0537502]. Contributions are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.