Telling Your Story – SaPerior Patton (Season 1 Episode 2)

"Just tell me you're hungry."

There are moments that SaPerior Patton remembers as clear as a bell. Days on end without her mom. No pocket change for neighborhood snacks. An older sister who learned to sew so she could have clothes to wear to school. A pair of tennis shoes that lasted three years.

But she’s not bitter.

In fact, SaPerior is positive about life.

It was a roller coaster of addiction for a family of young girls who learned to care for each other at an early age. However, when her mom was clean, SaPerior said she was great.

It was her mom, who on her best days, took her to the Dollar Store, bought her candy, and suggested she start a little business selling candy to other kids. It turned out SaPerior was a natural. She sold candy for dimes and quarters to support the family. Then, when she was old enough, she went to work at a local restaurant.

Selling hamburgers helped put her through college. But it was a class in sociology that helped shape her worldview.

“I could help kids who grew up like me,” she said.

For SaPerior, poverty was more than a memory. Hard times were too close for comfort. That’s why SaPerior said she worked three and four jobs including opening her own boutique. She said she saw girls who missed prom because they had no money for a dress or shoes. So, she ordered dresses and partnered with other businesses to make sure local teenagers could have a high school experience.

And, then she got laid off. It was that job that really helped pay the bills.

The pandemic meant businesses were closing or limping along. After all of her hard work, the bills were piling up. And, the struggle became very real.

She wondered what was happening to the children she worked with.

With $50 in her wallet, SaPerior stretched a recipe for spaghetti as far as she could. And, then she posted on Facebook that she was making plates for anyone in the community who needed a meal. The first day she delivered 25 plates.

By the end of the pandemic, SaPerior and her now volunteer army of helpers had cooked and delivered 17,000 plates of food. Like a ripple in the water, word spread. Some people donated money. Some people donated groceries. Others, their time.

She still provides for people who need a meal. And, she said she couldn’t care less if they have money or not. SaPerior said some people had money, but not the strength to make a meal.

“Just tell me,” she said. “Just tell me you’re hungry.”

That help has expanded to providing clothing, shoes, and even temporary housing. And SaPerior Patton has bigger dreams: a home yet to be built that she calls Safe Place.

Positive. And, grateful to the community for their support.

To find out more about Safe Place Foundation, Inc., you can find them on Facebook.

Watch the full interview here:

Categories: Featured, Local News