“I Felt Like Superman Again!”

Jade Paden describes himself as a hardworking, behind the scenes kind of guy who feels a deep responsibility to his faith and his family. He wasn’t always like that.

“I had an anger problem as a child and didn’t always apply myself,” he remembers. “As I grew older, I taught myself car repair. As a teenager, I was repairing and rebuilding my neighbors’ cars!”

Jade worried, though, that he would never work professionally as a mechanic because he lacked the education, certification and formal experience in car repair. Instead, as an adult, he took easy jobs that didn’t challenge him and he began a cycle of losing those jobs through

“I wanted to look like Superman to my wife and kids, and I couldn’t be that,” Jade struggles to say now. “I lost hope, I felt despair, and I wanted to end my life.” Deeply in debt at the time, he reached out to several social service agencies for help, when a case worker at Sts. Joachim and Ann Care Service met with him and said, “Jade, it’s going to be okay. But you have a responsibility.” Those words changed his life.

Donna Tobin, Development Manager at Sts. Joachim and Ann Care Service and a parishioner at Sts. Joachim and Ann parish, describes the services at Sts. Joachim and Ann Care Service: “As Christ served, we are called to serve. We are the largest social service agency in St. Charles, Lincoln and Warren counties, with a focus on those in crisis facing homelessness and hunger. The key piece is when we get someone into our programs, we aren’t just helping them make a security deposit for a place to live, for example. We also help provide support through the transition. When we do that, we change not only families but entire communities.”

For Jade, the turning point came at Christmas. Unable to afford Christmas presents for his family, and feeling unworthy of the love of Jesus during that time, volunteers at Sts. Joachim and Ann provided him, his wife, and their children with presents, and one life-changing gift: “I felt like Superman again,” Jade smiles.

All Things New encourages us to become better stewards of our resources, which could help expand social service outreach across the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

Over the next several years, Jade returned to the jobs he loves, working with his hands, and now owns an HVAC company, as well as two other businesses. His family is still intact and instead of receiving, Jade beams that he is now in a position to give.

“Sts. Joachim and Ann Care Service freed my family. My daughter is in college because a case worker told me it would be okay. I am a walking testimony of the good that comes when we help one another.”

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