November 19, 2012 | 04:58 PMThanksgiving holds a special place in many of our hearts. It is a day for family, abundant food, joy and laughter.
For many people it is not these things.
There are families that do not have enough food on "normal" days, much less an elaborate meal.
There are senior citizens that do not have any family to share a meal with. Some people do not even have the appliances necessary to prepare a meal, much less purchase it and store it in a refrigerator.
What if you had to choose between food, utilities or shelter?
Which one would you choose?
Would you prefer your children to be homeless, but have food? Would you pay your electric bill but risk eviction? This is a much more common problem than you would think. The amount of letters I have received this year continues to increase. The needs are great in our communities.
Many children sit in sadness, shame and hunger when they hear other children talk of their holiday celebration. These children do not share their sadness, they just listen.
Television commercials, people making happy remarks about the holiday...all remind the poor of what they will do without. Our hearts have felt their pain and together we reach out and make a difference, with love and compassion.
All the food pantries have been struggling to have enough food available to feed the hungry poverty stricken. The Feeding America food bank has shortages and cannot keep up with the demand.
Their warehouse is nearly empty. This year alone, on top of a recession, there has been a drought and overwhelming storm damage. This all affects the food available to those who cannot fend for themselves. Times are truly hard in America. Our fellow Americans are suffering, out of sight, behind closed doors.
We need to do all we can to make a difference, and we do thanks to "you."
This week I am thankful for the many individuals and organizations coming forward to help where they see a need.
"You" the many volunteers, donors, and hard workers that have made The Time Is Now to Help what it is today.
"You" the many good people that care about hunger in our children, senior citizens, handicapped and working poor families.
"You", Jim and Ardith Drescher, Frank Guske Jr., and all the beloved volunteers, have taken a dream of a food pantry to a whole new level at the W.C. Food Pantry.
When they wanted to provide pet food to their clients, through the generosity of The Petco Foundation and our Lake Geneva Petco we made that happen.
When we found an overwhelming need for toiletries and diapers we all stepped forward to provide these items. There are many caring and aharing people that have touched these items as they are handed to those in need. Through prayers, donations, volunteering, through actions...we have come together to do God's good works to ease the pains of poverty for our fellow creations. God bless all of you.
When the threat of homelessness has been removed, it is all of "you" causing the tears of relief. When the utilities are restored, I can feel all of your hands flipping the switch that removes the darkness. I used to feel I had to do this work alone. Now I feel all of "you" beside me making the difference, removing hopelessness with compassion.
This past year we have provided assistance for more than 1,000 people.
Many of these fellow creations stories remain fresh in my mind. The young woman with a spinal cord injury that was determined to be able to provide for herself, and we made it possible through the specialized wheelchair we provided her. The senior citizen living alone and hungry until we stepped in.
The scared single mother that could not get to her job, due to not having reliable transportation until we provided a safe car thanks to those giving back, like Gregg Kunes. The child that had never seen a dentist and was living in pain, until "you" and devoted dentists stepped in. The hunger, pain and suffering is very hard to forget.
I try to focus on the change we bring to these people through our loving assistance. The Caring and Sharing we provide transforms their lives and their well being. The fellow Americans in need of a job and/or transportation are so thankful for the auto assistance we provide.
When you remove the fear of homelessness and hunger these people feel renewed. Children can be children again. Senior citizens seem younger. The handicapped have restored faith.
This Thanksgiving we will be providing turkey dinners for several families, thanks to the generosity of several volunteers and donors like Gregg Kunes. Frank Guske, Jr. will be cooking turkey dinners for many that would never have the luxury of such a delicious meal. Frank will make the lives of those suffering in poverty much brighter for a few days, thanks to the food that will be on their table. If we all strived to make someone else's life a little brighter each day think of what a beautiful place this world would be to live in. Frank has a Caring and Sharing heart all year long. Jim and Ardith Drescher and the many volunteers at the food pantries demonstrate this Caring and Sharing all year long.
Nov. 8, 2012 the Feeding America Mobile Pantry held a food giveaway at the Geneva Lanes parking lot. It was sponsored by Molina Healthcare from West Allis. They brought enough food for 300 people and the Health Dept. came to give 50 free flu shots. This food giveaway was to run from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. By 10 a.m. there was 230 people in line and by the time the event ended over 400 people had been provided food.
When Jim and Ardith Drescher of the W.C. Food Pantry saw there would not be enough food to provide everyone, they knew they could not turn anyone away. They filled their own truck from the pantry with food and gave this food when Feeding America ran out. When a man from Feeding America got there and saw the line he told them they would have to close early. Jim told him, "That is never going to happen on my watch." The Feeding America representative was shocked by Jim and Ardith's desire to help our fellow creations as no one has ever offered to provide their food pantry resources at a Feeding America food giveaway. That is the kind of giving spirit we have at The Time Is Now to Help. Sometimes it won't be easy, or pleasant, and may even break our heart. But we dust ourselves off and do it again and again.
We would like to give credit to Jim and Ardith Drescher, the Guske Family, Molina Healthcare, Feeding America and to Pastor John and his crew at the Mt. Zion House. Without their hard work this could not have been accomplished. Also a big Thank You to Frank Guske, Jr. for all his hard work that day and for organizing a group of 25 volunteers that picked 4,500 lbs of organic potatoes on November 4th for the food pantry. What an amazing group of hardworking, God loving people.
Here at The Time Is Now to Help, we have the opportunity to give the gifts of shelter, food, utility assistance, transportation, toiletries, household necessities, etc. every day. We see how much this means to the poverty stricken, what a gift it is to share these blessings "you" have helped us to share.
We love to give from the heart all year round, not just on holidays. This same spirit is shared with the many wonderful people, organizations, donors and friends we surround ourselves with. We are thankful for all of "you" every day!
Today I will count my blessings of health, family, food and good supportive friends I have in all of "you". I wish all of you the same blessings. God Bless all of you. Together, we make our world a better place doing God's good works.
Health and happiness,
God bless everyone,
Make checks payable to:
The Time Is Now to Help
P.O. Box 70
Pell Lake, WI 53157
The Time Is Now to Help is a federally recognized 501(c)3 charitable organization licensed in the states of Wisconsin and Illinois. You will receive a tax deductible, itemized thank you receipt showing exactly what every penny of your donation provided for the poverty stricken.
A very special thank you:
Matt and Meghan Norton and Family, Madison Dearborn Partners, Paul Ziegler/Ziegler Charitable Foundation , The Petco Foundation, Mark and Natalie Reno, Dick and Jean Honeyager, Kunes' Country Auto Group, Martin Business Group, JL Hut Solutions, James and Marilyn Dyer, American Legion Post No. 24, Ronald and Carolyn Bloch, John and Marilyn Lloyd, Charles and Barbara Luoma, Michael and Sally Anne Chier, Victoria Wertz, Larry and Verna Lee Magee, Edward and Kathryn Drexler, Randall and Margaret Smith, Joseph and Karen Cerniglia, Beth Rendall, John and Colette Kuhlmann, James and Karen Goodrick, George and Lauretta Clettenberg, Landon Petrie, Jr. and Nancy Schwab, W.C. Family Resource Center/Food Pantry volunteers, and all the God loving volunteers of all our caring food pantries, ALL of you who support The Time Is Now to Help donation boxes, and the businesses that allow our donation boxes. Anyone who would like a Time Is Now donation box in your business, please call (262)249-7000.
Laina and Mark Papenfus in honor of their parents 47th Wedding Anniversary. Terry and Roxanne Krohn in thanks to God for blessing their life with Susan Montes Russell.
Marvin Hersko and Audrey Wunderlin-Hersko in memory of Barbara Hersko and Donald Wunderlin. J.B and Jodie Roth in memory of John Peterson.
Chris Ann's Resale Shop:
I will continue to ask Chris Ann's Resale shop for furniture and household necessities to help our poverty stricken fellow Americans. If you have anything you would like to donate please call (262)348-9088. They are located at 406 Hwy. 120 North, Lake Geneva, in the old Floor Store building across from the Shell gas station and Next Door Pub. "Look for the American Flags."
Please donate a used car to help our fellow American's get to work and other daily necessities.
Goodsearch for The Time Is Now: Search the web with www.goodsearch.com and help to raise funds for The Time Is Now to Help. Just make www.goodsearch.com your homepage and pick The Time Is Now to Help as your charity.
Please visit: www.timeisnowtohelp.org