Children who stayed there 20 years ago return with gifts to honor mother's memory and the people who helped them so long ago
Everyone who stays at Alpha House becomes a part of an extended family.
Those family ties are not diminished over time.
The children and niece of one of the Alpha House's first clients demonstrated the strength of those bonds last week they came back to Taft, returning more than 20 years after they stayed with their mother at the shelter for battered and homeless women.
They did it in honor of their mother and aunt and to return the kindness shown they two decades earlier.
Bridget Harkey's first stay was more than two decades ago, in 1993, just a year after the shelter for women escaping domestic violence or with no place to stay.
She passed away recently, and her children still remember their stay at Alpha House.
They remembered their mother with gifts for the place and people that sheltered them so many years ago.
Daughter Carolyn Kelley, son Raymond Harkey and niece Charlene Killingsworth returned with gifts for the residents young and old and a check to donate.
It was a way to remember their mother and thank Alpha House.
"We talked it over and decided we should give to Alpha House," Kelley said. "That's what mom would have wanted. "We were very blessed with so much so the first thing we though about was giving back what we were given.
Kelley and Harkey even visited the room they stayed in with their mother.
Alpha House Director Holi Stephens-Allen said everyone who stays at Alpha House forms ties that last long after they leave.
Alpha House becomes their home.
"We have some kids who say 'When are we going home to Alpha House?" she said."They just become part of the family "They are still part of the family even today."