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Church community provides support system for single Tampa mom in need of help

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Posted at 10:12 AM, Jun 15, 2022

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. — Praying is what Sissi Rosario has been doing a lot lately.

The single mother of three has a disabled son named Yaviahn Quesada who has Angelman Syndrome and rent at her Carrollwood apartment is going up from $1,500 to 2,500 a month, which she cannot afford. With no deposit money saved for a new place, she didn’t know what to do.

"I don’t even know where to go," said Rosario.

Organizations that normally help people like Rosario are completely overwhelmed by the excessive amount of people who need due to rent increases across Florida.

Rosario was also heartbroken because, despite everything else, she couldn't afford a birthday gift for her son.

Idlewild Baptist Church missions director Yerusha Bunag said there are so many people in their church in need as well. But when she learned Rosario needed help, she thought they could at least help with a birthday gift for her son.

It just so happened that Idlewild Baptist Church partners with an organization called Celebrate Birthdays which throws birthday parties for special needs and foster kids. They were able to throw Rosario's son a birthday party full of food and gifts.

"The only thing I thought that we could do is perhaps help them with a birthday party, but it has become so much more than that," said Bunag.

So much more because it turns out Idlewild has a special needs ministry with other families who have children with Angleman Syndrome. Before now, Rosario had never met other families like hers.

"Today has actually been one of the best and happiest days of my life, to meet other kids like my son and parents who understand," said Rosario.

Now, she and her children are attending the church regularly and have found a support system for her family.

"I found a church. It’s home. I've found so much support," said Rosario.

But the blessings don’t end there. After hearing Rosario's story, an anonymous member of the church donated an undisclosed amount of deposit and rent money for the family to find a new apartment.

"I really want to thank everybody that was involved. God is always working. And if that person is watching this, thank you wouldn’t even cut it." said Rosario.