FORT BEND COUNTY, Texas — For Richmond mother Caroline Bordelon, hugs express what words cannot.
The single mother of four children, including a non-verbal son who lives with autism, is finding the strength she’d been praying for in a Houston Astros third baseman.
Just before Christmas, 2017 MLB World Series Champion Alex Bregman and his foundation offered wrapped holiday gifts to families who needed help putting toys under the tree. That’s where Bregman met Bordelon. The chance encounter has changed the Zambia native’s life.
Bordelon moved to the U.S. after her parents died when she was just 11-years old. Last May, her older sister died too.
“That literally killed me, in some sense,” said Bordelon. “She literally was my everything. It was almost like losing your parents.”
Divorced and at one point working three jobs to raise her children and afford her son’s therapies, the bills began to pile up.
“I was getting calls left, right and center," Bordelon said. "You owe all these people and I’m like, what is the priority?”
The 39-year old lost her car just before Thanksgiving and was evicted from her apartment 10 days before Christmas. As her depression dug her so deeply into a trench, she said she "could not give up on God.”
“All I prayed for was strength. All I wanted was, God give me strength to get up today and be positive and go out,” she said.
Bregman, touched by Bordelon’s story and moved by her gratitude for the donated gifts, called Darla Farmer.
“All Alex asked me was, is she a good person? I said, she really is Alex,” Farmer said.
Farmer is the CEO of Hope For Three. The Fort Bend County Autism advocacy organization relies on donations to help families with Autism therapies and resources. That’s how Farmer met Bordelon. Farmer also connected Bordelon with the Bregman Foundation’s Christmas gift event.
“She’s caring. She’s kind. She’s a good mother,” said Farmer.
Within seven hours of Bregman calling Farmer about Bordelon, the Astros star and his hitting coach, Jason Columbus, worked with Gulf Coast Auto to get her a car. Columbus paid for her car insurance for six months. The third baseman paid her rent for a year.
“We hope this is just a start of good things for you. A future to come,” said Bregman. “And, hope this gets you on your feet, back on your feet. Ready to go.”
Mattress Mack and Gallery Furniture furnished the new apartment.
“To give somebody that you don’t even know a second chance, a new beginning, a fresh start, hope,” said Farmer. “It’s just remarkable.”
“Will it always be the Alex Bregman’s of the world? Maybe not. But there is a good community in this world,” said Farmer.
Bregman found a therapist to work with Bordelon’s autistic son. A hug between the therapist and Bordelon expressed what words could not.
“I never gave up hope.”