A Mother’s Grief: A Helping Hand

A Mother's Grief: A Helping Hand (Image 1)

Nicole Battle's teenage daughter died a hero, saving her own baby's life while risking hers.

It was April when the Battle family's home caught fire after a grease fire on the stove spread. Nicole and one of her daughters jumped to safety, but her 16-year old daughter, Acaria, did not. Acaria found an open window on the second floor and put her 5-week-old baby outside where firefighters could reach her. She went back into the house to help another friend, and collapsed.

Nicole lost her daughter, her possessions, and was left to raise both her surviving 11-year-old and now her young granddaughter. Heartbroken, she had to quit her job in order to survive.

She had no idea where to turn for help when a Columbus Division of Fire lieutenant gave her the phone number to HandsOn Central Ohio, or 211.

“It was like bricks on my shoulders and they removed my bricks. It was like, OK I'm not in this myself. I don't have to do it by myself,” Nicole said.

A HandsOn information and referral specialist worked with Nicole to figure out her needs and decide where she would get the most support. Nicole received help paying her rent, her daughter got school supplies and clothes, and Nicole got baby items like diapers and formula for her granddaughter.

With HandsOn Central Ohio, Nicole finally found the hope and help she so desperately needed. With support from United Way of Central Ohio, HandsOn Central Ohio operates a 24/7 call center that links Franklin County residents with more than 3,500 different programs and services in the area.

Nicole said wants to let other people who find themselves in tough circumstances to know, “There are people and organizations out there like HandsOn who will help you step by step until your family finds the help they need. I am so grateful.”

  • In Ohio, nearly 40 percent of single-parent families live below the poverty line.
  • In Franklin County, a single adult with one infant, working a minimum wage job, needs to work 102.3 hours/week just to meet basic living expenses — the equivalent of 2.5 full-time jobs.

To learn more about United Way of Central Ohio, visit liveunitedcentralohio.org.

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