Written by Theresa Monforte-Caraballo • October 28, 2021
Theresa Monforte-Caraballo is a child advocate and educator who is committed to combating childhood hunger and promoting literacy for low-income/at-risk children in New York City. She works to bring awareness to local communities by speaking with various groups in communities and engaging local community members, business and organizations to help ensure that no child worries about their next meal. She also makes sure that every child she works with is nourished intellectually by making sure they receive new and used books to promote literacy and open their minds to new adventures.
As a child, we often dream of what life will be like when we finally are old enough to be an adult. But really when do we become an adult? I thought I was an adult when I moved out, got married, and had children. I soon found out I was not.
Life turned upside down after the honeymoon phase was over, discussions turned into arguments, arguments turned into fights, and fights progressively turned for the worst. I became a single parent of three children trying to figure out how to keep them clothed and fed.
I was lucky. I had people on my side to keep me going in one way or another. After years of struggle and heartache, my passion and the funny thing was that I followed my passion throughout life yet did not realize it.
In 2012 I felt like my world crashed: no job, no unemployment, almost nowhere to live. Then came a caption on TV: “Blessings in a Backpack,” which stopped me in my tracks. I was extremely curious and needed to know more. So, I made the phone call and said I wanted to help.
This Midwest organization got me the finances I needed to start my very first Backpack Food Program in two schools. I felt I had a purpose, and I gained the confidence to fight my way out of my situation. I was helping others. And the ones I was helping were just like me.
I returned to college, learned how to improve what I was doing, and gained the strength to begin my own nonprofit organization, go after funding, and find children who needed my program.
Grandma’s Love, Inc. was born in 2015 and has had its ups and downs. Through it all, I have become stronger, more knowledgeable, and have grown in wisdom. Running this organization, I have learned many things, and possibly most importantly, I have learned how to ask for help and how to delegate effectively.
It has been a long road of failure, denial, and wrongs, but I have now come so far there is no stopping me. There is much on the horizon for Grandma’s Love, Inc. and me. My programs are strong, expanding, our name is reaching foreign territory, and I have learned to trust and have someone in my life again.
I wear a bracelet that reads: “WATCH ME”, because NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS NEXT, I AM READY TO CONQUER THE TASK.
Life is hard and very often dangerous for us, but when you look deep inside and surround yourself with those who believe in you - anything is possible with work and a great deal of faith.
~Theresa, Grandma's Love, Inc.
Visit her site and please consider donating at www.grandmasloveinc.org
Grandma’s Love, Inc. strives to mobilize communities, individuals and resources to provide food on the weekends for elementary school children and their families who might otherwise go hungry. We ensure children at-risk of hunger are provided with enough food and books to grow into healthy, happy and active children emotionally, physically and educationally.
Get more of Theresa Monforte-Caraballo at www.grandmasloveinc.org