Eslene Richmond-Shockley is truly an example of faith, perseverance, obedience, and strength. A native of Guyana, South America, she grew up with her grandmother in the Nabaclis Village on the East Coast. Eslene’s parents and grandparents instilled in her a strong Christian faith. While she recalls growing up poor, memories of her childhood are rich with endless words of encouragement she received from her grandmother. Eslene set out at an early age to be her best in spite of their financial situation. She attended Hindu College until her mother could no longer afford to send her to high school. Eslene decided to go to the Ministry of Education in Georgetown to ask them if they would allow her to attend North Georgetown Government Secondary School. She met an education officer who thought it strange for a child to come to the Ministry alone to plead her case, and with his support, she was accepted into the free Government high school and completed her studies there in 1973.
Soon after, devastation and heartache followed when she lost her mother and grandmother in the same year and her father two years later. In an effort to seize better opportunities and support her brother and sister, Eslene decided to leave Guyana for the United States to study dentistry. She was accepted to a dental school in Long Beach, California and soon after her arrival, she realized that she did not have enough money to study dentistry. She relocated to Washington D.C. where she would eventually study International Economics and Finance at Southeastern University. Soon thereafter, Eslene would meet the man who would become her life partner and biggest supporter, Ray Shockley. They were married in June of 1985 and moved to Ray’s hometown of Atlanta, Ga.
By November of 1999, Eslene had achieved many successes, gained wealth and traveled the world in corporate America. Although these things were great, they weren’t fulfilling. She knew that God required more from her and she was not doing it. She and some friends began planning a joint program with Dodd-Sterling United Methodist Church to organize the first Community Holiday Giving event. It was deemed a great success for the community as it provided over 300 low-income individuals with new children’s clothing, food, and toys. And it was this event coupled with a dream that she had in which God told her to “feed my sheep,” that gave birth to the development of the infrastructure for Caring For Others, Inc. in September 2001. Caring For Others Inc. is now one of the largest Human Services Organizations in Atlanta, “Giving A Voice to the Faces of Poverty.”