Anthony Ricks and Daughter Ashley
with Nina of Extended Family®
Anthony and Ashley receiving grant award letter
from Extended Family®
Family Update ~
On Wed, Jan 7, 2015 at 3:25 PM, <Anthony Ricks> wrote:
Happy New Year! Just wanted to give you a
status of what's going on. Me & Ashley are going great. Besides her getting up
at 1am on Christmas Day to open gifts
she's a great kid :). We are still in
the same place you helped us get in.
When we moved in I really did not have
any funds for too much furniture so we
started on a couch. Today the whole
house is furnished and it looks great.
Work wise things are fine and I am
expecting a big 2015. My goal is to buy
a home in 2016. Once again thanks for
your help. I do not know where I would be
without Extended Family! Anything I can
do to help out the organization please let me know :)
June 11, 2014
For Further Information:
Nina Kessler @
DAD SPENDS EVERYTHING HE HAS ON THE ONLY THING THAT MATTERS
Woodland Hills, CALIFORNIA – June 11, 2014 – The headline read, “MANILA, Philippines - Dad ‘abducts’ daughter, flies to US.” Another headline read, “MANILA, Philippines - Fil-Am girl taken by own dad left for LA on same day of ‘abduction’.” Headlines don’t tell the whole story, and in this case they don’t give more than a hint. The sequence of events leading up to the headlines and, the story that followed is something one might expect to find in a movie. Following is a chronicle of a Father’s tale of love, loss and international kidnapping; the true story of one father’s anguish; the story of the depth of a father’s dedication. Extended Family® is proud to have played a part.
Anthony was divorced from six year old Ashley’s mother and Ashley lived with her dad, but often visited her mother. When Ashley’s mother suggested she take their daughter on a vacation to the Philippines, to visit her family, Anthony was convinced it would be a safe and happy trip for his daughter. There had never been any indication it would be anything more than a vacation and, in fact, there had been conversation that this trip could become an exciting annual tradition for Ashley.
When Ashley’s mother took her to the Philippines for a visit she had no intention of bringing her home. Immediately upon their arrival in Manila, 7,000 miles from everything Ashley knew, her mother signed over custody of Ashley to her own mother and left her daughter in the Philippines – while she went to London to attend school. Ashley was placed in a school in Manila and remained in the custody of her grandmother.
Prior to having his world turned upside down Anthony was a hard working mortgage banker, earning a comfortable living. However, in order to move the mountains necessary to get his daughter safely home from a foreign country, Anthony depleted his savings and used all of his credit. He moved out of his home into a hotel, or slept on friend’s couches. He did any and everything he could, and with the help of The Association for the Recovery of Children, worked tirelessly to reverse what had occurred in the Philippines… and bring his daughter home. He was confident everything would be fine once he was able to get Ashley safely home. Anthony would get back to work, find an apartment, and replenish his savings account. Nothing mattered but getting Ashley home.
After eighteen months of unceasing effort, Anthony boarded a plane for Manila, along with members of The Association for the Recovery of Children. Upon their arrival in Manila, and with the help of a contact in Manila with a car waiting, they arrived at Ashley’s school. Ashley came through the school gates, looked up, and ran screaming “daddy - daddy” into his outstretched arms. Anthony picked her up and ran, leaping into another pre-arranged waiting car. They were rushed to the American Embassy and waited there until the time of their flight home. Anthony and Ashley boarded a flight from Manila to Los Angeles that night. The torment they both endured over the period of eighteen months Ashley was held in Manila was finally behind them.
During Anthony’s pursuit of Ashley and her safe return home, the mortgage industry went from bad to worse. Although his job was still available there were not many loans being written. He had no home, no income, a beautiful nine year old daughter who needed to be in school, and a car in need of repair. Anthony needed help. “I’ve always been good with money management, but this time it seems I cannot get caught up”. Not knowing where to turn he searched online and found the Extended Family® website – a nonprofit charitable organization that assists single parent families. “I called and spoke to Mark Carmer. I filled out the paperwork [application for assistance] with no expectation. In a few days I spoke with Bret and told him my story.”
Mark Carmer, Founder and President of Extended Family® explained, “We reward single parents who are employed and working hard for their families, but find it’s still not enough. Our current government programs are 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 in helping those who are alone and working hard to help their family. Being a good single parent is a tough job, but being a good single parent with limited financial resources and little or no support from family or friends is almost impossible. Extended Family® is there to help make things a little easier.”
Bret and Nina, volunteers and members of the Extended Family® Board of Directors, visited with both Anthony and Ashley, as the final step in the verification process. They were impressed to see just how remarkably close the bond was between father and daughter. It gave Bret and Nina great joy to be able to present Anthony with a grant award. This award was able to cover his first month’s rent on a new apartment, complete his necessary car repairs, and provide him with some additional money to help with their move.
Shortly after receiving his award, Anthony emailed a letter of thanks to Extended Family®. “This macho guy was almost in tears that this happened. I was really speechless. I am still numb and at a loss for words at what happened yesterday. When meeting with Brett, I was under the impression that we would talk more and I would plead my case more to qualify for the grant. Imagine my surprise when he presented me with a check to cover my rent, car, and to hold me over until I move. All I can say is wow and THANK YOU! Ashley and I are excited to move. My job now is to get back on my feet and pay it forward to help other single parents. This is a great organization with great people that I am glad to be a part of. Anything I can do in the future to help Extended Family please let me know. Once again thank you.”
Extended Family® was proud to be there for Anthony and Ashley and it wouldn’t be possible without the support of others, as Extended Family is a 100% volunteer organization that is fully funded by the generosity of individual and corporate donations.
Make a donation today so you can help families like the Rick’s.
Return to the Extended Family website