August 5 at 8:00am

Once helped, now she gives back.

When life got difficult for Emma and her young son, Interfaith Community Services was there to provide support. When things got a little better, she decided to return the favor.

Emma (not her real name) came over from India with practically nothing in 2007. She sought and received asylum and her green card in 2009, but without a car or the ability to drive, struggled to find work.

The vast culture differences between her native land and the U.S. added to the difficulty.

“When I moved to Escondido, I did not have a job and it was difficult to survive and find resources,” Emma said. “Someone told me about Interfaith, that I should come there and they would help me.”

Interfaith provided Emma with some badly needed food during the Christmas season. Her son received some holiday treats as well, much appreciated by Emma, who said, “I was trying to save every penny and dime I could.”

Ultimately, Emma found a job at Palomar Medical Center. She is now an administrative assistant at a manufacturing company. In February, she became a U.S. citizen.

The day after becoming a citizen, Emma passed the Interfaith office on her way home. She stopped in, visited with Larry Christiansen in the development department, and made a donation of $100.

“I really felt that I owed them. I had to give back something for the help they gave me at a tough time,” she said.

Emma’s son, now 13, is in 8th grade, loves school and has lots of friends, said a grateful Emma, who pledges to “continue to help Interfaith as much and whenever I can.”