When Sam Malouf, his daughter, and Jerry Gowen recently joined the O.U.R. Aftercare team on a recent trip to the Caribbean, there was a new 13-year-old girl at an aftercare home that they had not met on previous trips. Aftercare homes sometimes act as temporary housing for survivors in between being rescued and being placed back with a relative, so there is often some turnover.
Sam Malouf is an O.U.R. supporter and owns the bedding company Malouf Sleep. Sam Malouf also brought his daughter on this trip. After introducing themselves to this new girl, they ended up sitting down and talking with her for over an hour and a half. They were able to connect in a very powerful way – simply by showing interest in her interests and likes.
Sam and his daughter were able to show this young girl love just by being interested in who she was and what she enjoyed doing.
After the O.U.R. team left the home, they received a message from the director of that aftercare home. She wanted to pass on her gratitude for Sam Malouf and how much he made an impact on that young girl. She was recently rescued from the border of a neighboring country by Child Protective Services because her father had beat her so severely that she could not stay in the house.
The director of the aftercare home told us that she was only going to be at that home for one week before she went to live with her aunt, but she loved talking to Sam. Having a strong male figure in her life who had no pre-determined motives and was genuinely interested in her as a person was a huge step in her personal healing process. The director thanked the O.U.R. team for bringing Sam along.
These small steps in the lives of survivors of abuse are great moments of hope and joy. We are grateful for Sam Malouf and his daughter for taking the time to befriend this young girl and help her feel loved and important.
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