Sulphur Springs woman shaping futures from her own tough past

“And God gave me a second chance,” Conliffe said. “And that second chance is for these kids.”

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Drive in to Sulphur Springs and chances are you won’t even notice.

You won’t see the parents selling drugs in the park or the runaways living in old buildings. And if you’re a kid here, you definitely won’t see a way out.

But Letitia Conliffe can see one because she lived it.

“My mom used to tell me I would never amount up to anything and I thought I would never amount up to anything,” said Conliffe.

Letitia says those words tore her apart, but it’s what her mom didn’t say that hurt the most.

“She never could tell me she loved me and it hurt. It hurt me so.”

Eventually Letitia ran away from home, started selling drugs and was pregnant at 18.

Letitia was becoming exactly who her mother said she would be, but then she lost one of her closest friends to drugs. At that moment, she vowed the cycle ended with her.

“And God gave me a second chance,” Conliffe said. “And that second chance is for these kids.”

Letitia saw too many kids headed down the same, unfortunate path. So she chose to unlock a brighter future.

Five years ago, Letitia opened Lil 4’s Kids’ Club, named for her four daughters.

At the club, kids play together, do homework and can get a hot meal.

For her efforts, Letitia was recently honored as a local hero by the website GoFundMe.com

But it has come at a cost. Letitia has spent her entire life savings caring for these kids.

It makes you wonder, how can she keep doing this?

“It’s the kids,” she said. “I love ‘em. I just wanna give ‘em a chance.”

Some of them hate to think where they’d be without Letitia.

“I’d probably be in jail,” said club member Treaveon Loving. “Or, if I wasn’t in jail, I’d probably be in foster care.”

“I’m glad that she’s doing this because it’s making people come together and see that we’re one big family and stuff,” said club member Zachariah Goodson.

So many people drive by broken communities each day waiting on someone else to make a difference, when, clearly, everyone has the potential to create change and it’s easy to see.

“I have a smile on my face, can’t you see these cheeks are getting big when I talk about ’em,” Letitia said.

 

Information Courtesy of  Author: Sean Giggy Published: 6:25 AM CDT April 5, 2018 Updated: 9:08 PM CDT April 5, 2018

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