HomeAid Orange County

ESSENTIALS DIAPER DRIVE: Lina Lumme's story

A young homeless mother and her baby's life are changed, thanks to diaper donations

July 18, 2019

The year is 2003. It’s the year that Lance Armstrong wins his fifth Tour De France. It’s the year that Saddam Hussein is captured. It’s the year that the Human Genome Project is finished. And in the coastal city of Los Alamitos, California, 2003 is the year that Lina Lumme changes her life.

Eight months pregnant and completely alone, Lina is terrified. She checks her wallet to see what money she has to survive on and finds only $100. At this point, she doesn’t know what do, where to go, or who to turn to.

“This isn’t the life I want for my daughter,” she thinks to herself.

At that moment, Lina makes a choice to seek out help from local resources she finds in the Yellow Pages. She spends the little money she has left on two things: a calling card and a place to sleep for herself and her unborn daughter.

The next morning, Lina wakes up on a mission to find a way out- a way for her future child to have a better life than the one Lina is currently living. She calls 911 for help. They tell her there’s nothing they can do and advise her to call a homeless shelter for help. Lina then calls 30 different places and on the other end of each of those 30 calls all she gets is the answering machine. Finally, on call number 31, no answering machine. Instead, it’s a woman who tells Lina she should reach out to Precious Life Shelter in Los Alamitos. So, Lina calls Precious Life and the rest is history.

16 years later, Lina’s life is something she could’ve never imagined. Not only does she have her first born-a 15-year-old named Cassandra- she also has a son named Daniel, who’s 6 years old, and she’s married. On top of all of that, Lina chose to serve her community. She’s the Executive Director of The Youth Center, a non-profit in Los Alamitos that seeks to change the lives of families through collaborative social, educational and recreational programs.

Thanks to her time in Precious Life Shelter, Lina was able to completely change the course she was on. Having safe housing, programming to help her get on her feet, and access to the necessary supplies she needed as the mother of a baby, allowed Lina to create a better life for herself and her daughter Cassandra.

The goal of the HomeAid Orange County Essentials Diaper Drive is to help families like Lina’s that are experiencing homelessness. Because of the over 1 million essential items collected during the annual drive- things like diapers, blankets, and baby formula- the burden of trying to afford those items is lifted off of the backs of homeless families. Instead, they can focus on finding work and establishing a more stable lifestyle for themselves and their children while also being able to access those essential resources for their kids at HomeAid Orange County’s partner organizations, one of which is Precious Life Shelter.

Thanks to people like YOU who have taken the time out of their busy lives to participate in HomeAid Orange County’s annual Essentials Diaper Drive, people like Lina Lumme will have the supplies they need for their young children. Your time spent on the Essentials Diaper Drive helps families in our community that are experiencing homelessness not only to survive but to thrive.