Nonprofit helps mothers with life’s unexpected problems

Bonnie Knoll, Farrah
Bonnie Knoll and Farrah. (April 20, 2017)

BYRON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Life doesn’t always turn out how we expect it to. A local nonprofit organization is stepping up with support which is both spiritual and tangible.

“I definitely didn’t expect to be in a situation being a single mom,” said Racheal Ojczenasz.

A few years ago Ojczenasz was stuck. She was in a toxic relationship with an abusive addict who also happened to be the father of her daughter.

“I tried to make it work. I tried to stay as a family unit. Back and forth just trying and failing, trying and failing, trying and failing,” Ojczenasz said.

When breaking that cycle, Ojczenasz was connected with Hope Unexpected — an organization started by a group in Byron Center looking to help single and expecting mothers.

“I view it as more of a friendship than a mentor-mentee (relationship), because age is just a number,” said Bonnie Knoll.

Knoll provides guidance as Ojczenasz travels the journey of parenthood alone.

A mother with time to give, Knoll is there for Ojczenasz in the form of a listening ear on the phone, advice that comes from experience and a helping hand with Ojczenasz’s 5-year-old daughter Farrah.

“We want to be able to offer concrete, tangible things that are actually going to help them reach their goals,” said Susan Lickley, the executive director of Hope Unexpected.

Lickley says the organization not only offers mentors, licensed counselors and prayer support but also a car care program. It’s designed to make sure the women aren’t grounded by an unexpected car repair.

“Hope Unexpected, it’s just what gets you through the day. Not just unexpected situations, but the unexpected blessing. What they’re doing to help me through it, it’s huge. I’m very thankful,” said Ojczenasz.

The women of Hope Unexpected meet for fellowship on Monday nights at a Byron Center church where they are able to earn points toward the car care program.



Hope Unexpected