Miah Anthony found out she had bad kidneys during a hospital stay last December and couldn’t work for four months. Her family of five was later evicted, and they’ve been making do with next to nothing in their new apartment. That all changed Saturday thanks to the Alma Randolph Charitable Foundation and community donors.
This time last year, Anthony was in the hospital with COVID for two weeks. She found out her kidneys were bad because of the diabetes. She came home and was on dialysis for two months.
Then around June, Anthony’s great-nieces came to stay with her and her two children.
“My nephew, who is the babies’ dad, was locked up, and their mom was going through issues with drugs and trying to keep her stability,” Anthony said.
At first, the babies’ mother also lived with Anthony, but she eventually relapsed and was no longer able to stay there.
“We’ve been back to court maybe three or four times, and it’s looking like they’re gonna stay with us forever,” Anthony said. “I just know that I didn’t want them to go to foster care.”
That means Anthony now cares for her two daughters, 17-year-old Taleaya Owen and 14-year-old Tyanna Hartsfield, along with her great-nieces, 2-year-old Kylie Cotton and 9-month-old Jazlynn Cotton.
However, Anthony was then evicted from her previous residence. Though she was able to find a different apartment and move in on Nov. 1, the few possessions they had made for tough living conditions, such as having to sleep in broken beds or on the floor.
“I was just gonna just make it happen,” Anthony said of making sure the children at least had a place to say. “Then my brother-in-law told us about the HUTS program. This is a blessing.”
Saturday morning, they essentially walked into a new home. The living room was freshly outfitted with a new furniture set. The older girls had matching beds and a hot pink-themed room. Anthony had a new bed of her own, along with a pair of cribs for the infants.
“It was overwhelming to see it all,” she said. “My heart is filled with so much love. … No more sleeping on the floor. This is just beautiful, people just blessing us that don’t even know us.”
Anthony’s was the 48th home that has been enhanced by the Foundation’s Hands Up To Succeed (HUTS) program. They also enhanced their 49th home later Saturday.
The second family is a single mother who has two children, one of which has developmental delays which causes the mother to be a work-from-home mom to care for the child.
HUTS was established in 2016 to enhance the living conditions of deserving, disadvantaged families.
Founder Alma Randolph stressed that it’s truly a “hand up” not a “handout” because there is a selection process. Each time they reveal a home, Randolp says the families must show they are working to better their situation.
The charitable foundation has been helping families through the HUTS program since 2016. They typically unveil the annual projects and help the families in December, but every now and then an emergency situation pops up.
Families are gifted a two-night stay at the Holiday Inn Owensboro Riverfront while their home gets a makeover. They are also provided transport by Limos by Knight.
Sponsors for this year’s project were the Ward and Regina Correll family, with co-sponsors Atmos Energy and Swedish Match. Other partners include Chick-fil-A and Dominos. This year, the staff at Longhorn Steakhouse also purchased Christmas gifts that were hand-delivered Saturday.