From Colorado Springs, CO
Story Type: People We Serve
Programs Used: Food Pantry
How We Helped: Nutritious Food
Shawn Gullixson did not grow up with much. Much of his childhood was a story of scarcity, instability, and even hunger at times. His mom had three boys under the age of 3 by 21, and was a single mom soon after. She worked hard to make ends meet, and most of the time she did.
“My mom was not one to accept help easily, and she only did so when the situation was truly beyond her control and she couldn’t provide on her own,” recalls Shawn.
And while his mom did her best to make sure those situations were as infrequent as possible, their story was not without the darker shadows of domestic violence, losing their home to a fire and being homeless overnight, and other unpredictable events that led Shawn’s mom to seek the services of organizations like Care and Share.
Whenever Shawn’s mom came home with a box of food, he says, “it taught me that total strangers could care about the meal on our table and resources to help guide my family through difficult times.”
Shawn remembers being excited when she came home with a box of food. “She would pull each item out one at a time as if it was Christmas. It was usually followed by rules and — with milk in particular — rations. We each were allowed enough milk for one bowl of cereal a day.”
They could wait days until their mom’s next paycheck.
Shawn could not have dreamed at a young age that he would grow up to have two beautiful, talented daughters, an exciting career in economic development through banking, and a chance to sit on the board of Colorado Springs’ largest school district.
“Where those possibilities all started,” he says, “was a warm meal and some milk, provided by people like you. Those meals symbolized a chance to live a different story, a chance to do something different for my daughters and their futures. “