L.A. Unified School Teacher and Single Father of Four Receives Much-Needed Grant from Extended Family
Woodland Hills, CA, January 13, 2012 --(PR.com
)-- The Yablon family was a thriving middle class family living in the West San Fernando Valley, but that was three years ago. That was before the mother of four children left the country leaving, her then husband, Brian Yablon, to raise their four children alone. That was before Mr. Yablon’s teaching salary was dramatically cut. The result, three years later, is a family struggling every single day. A family who did everything right – the kids are great kids and Brian has worked two jobs for twelve years to support them, but it’s still not enough.
A humble and proud man who really wasn’t looking or asking for assistance finally had just a simple request – all he wanted was new clothes and shoes for his children. Extended Family, a small charity that assists single parent families in financial need, felt Brian Yablon and his family deserved much more than just clothes and shoes for his children. Extended Family rewarded the Yablon family with a grant totaling over $20,000.00 (On January 11, 2012 a new iMac and printer valued at over $1,400.00 was given to the Yablon family, along with $7,800.00. Additionally, they will receive $1,000 per month from Extended Family for the next 11 months).
Brian Yablon has been a single father of four children for the past three years: Danielle (15), Hannah (13), Benjamin (10), and Samuel (8). Three of his kids have IEPs and have been/are enrolled in special education programs. One of his sons is autistic and the other has been diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS). PDD-NOS can be thought of as “subthreshold autism.” Neither of his sons can be left alone to fend for themselves - childcare is a must!
During the day Mr. Yablon works for L.A. Unified School District as a teacher at Woodland Hills Academy. During winter and summer sessions he also works in the evenings for L.A. Community Colleges as a teacher at L.A. Valley College. The money he makes at L.A. Valley College has been reduced by about 40% over the past three years and the well documented cuts throughout LAUSD have caused a reduction in this salary as well. Over the past three years this has resulted in Mr. Yablon having to deplete all of his savings and borrow money from parents and relatives (that he has been unable to repay). He continues to do whatever he can for his kids, but it seems to get tougher every day.
In addition to managing work, housework, daycare and his kid’s activities, Brian Yablon is forced to juggle bills every month because he is never able to pay them all. Several times a year one or more of his utilities is turned off. Creditors call him all the time, so his kids have learned to never answer the phone. Brian said, “The entire experience has been an emotional and psychological problem for my kids. They have gone from being really secure kids to feeling really insecure all the time. I try to keep a smile on my face, especially for my children, but frankly I’m rather depressed. It’s hard living under such stress for such a long period of time. Not making enough money, not being able to clothe my children or even feed them is really, really difficult.”
In his own words, Brian Yablon described himself as always being stubbornly self-sufficient his entire life. He said, “up until three years ago, we were the ones who always gave money and stuff to charity.” Mr. Yablon has always worked and continues to work hard for what he has and doesn’t expect or ask for hand outs. In fact, if it weren’t for Rabbi Dan at Temple Judea Extended Family would have never known about the Yablon family. Mark Carmer, founder and president of Extended Family is a member of Temple Judea in Tarzana, California. With a lot of assistance, the Yablon family is also members. Over the past holiday season Mark Carmer called Temple Judea and spoke with Rabbi Dan about the charitable organization Extended Family and asked if he knew of any single parent families within the congregation that were in financial need. Rabbi Dan said, "As far as I know, Temple Judea does not have any family in significant need, but let me call one family..." The holidays were an especially tough time and Mr. Yablon said okay.
That’s when Extended Family stepped in to help. Mr. Carmer said, “After speaking with Mr. Yablon on several occasions and meeting with his family at their home, we knew this was a perfect match for Extended Family. It was inspiring to see and hear how this family works together as a unit to get through the days. It was great to see how happy and well adjusted everyone was after everything they have been through over the past few years. If it weren’t for the facts, you honestly wouldn’t know this family had any troubles at all. The Yablon’s are a wonderful family who has made the best of a bad situation and they don’t deserve all this mishegas – they deserve to be rewarded. It is an honor for Extended Family to be able to lend a helping hand to them. Brian Yablon is truly a hero.”
According to Mark Carmer, “Extended Family assists those single parents who are employed and working hard for their families, but find it’s still not enough. Unfortunately, our system is not designed to provide aid to those who are trying to better themselves. Single parents, who are employed in an effort to improve the lives of their children, often fail to qualify for government or charitable assistance because they are earning an income. Extended Family believes these are the people who should be supported the most. We believe in helping those who are alone and working hard to help their family. Being a good single parent is tough enough, but being a good single parent with limited financial resources and little or no support from family or friends is almost impossible. Extended Family tries to make it a little easier."
For more information about Extended Family and/or to make a donation so the 501(c)(3) organization can help other families like the Yablon’s go to www.ExtendedFamily.org
or contact Mark Carmer at 818-936-2614 or at