Tags: Time Is Now
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February 19, 2013 | 11:10 AMDear W.C.,
I was in a serious car accident several months ago. I had multiple broken bones and a severe concussion.
I was in the hospital for several weeks. I was on strict doctor ordered bed rest when I got home for three weeks. My husband missed so much work that he was laid off. They used another excuse, but we all know the real reason why he was let go.
I only worked part-time doing housekeeping, but what I earned definitely helped our budget. I will not be able to return to work until my headaches stop and I regain my strength. My husband has been searching for another job and applying for assistance, all while caring for me and our 2-year-old son. I am still very weak and suffer from headaches daily. Our rent is overdue.
We did not have much in the way of savings, and we went through what we had in a few weeks for medications and utility bills. My husband went to the food pantry for the first time last week so we could have food. What a blessing that was. Can you please help our family during this extremely difficult time?
Living in pain and fear
Accidents and illness are always unexpected and unplanned for. I see, hear and read the stories from many of our fellow creations suffering the same fate as this family.
One accident took them from living paycheck to paycheck, but paying their bills on time, to nearing eviction and hunger. Such a large amount of our fellow Americans are living this close to poverty that it is no wonder so many have lost their homes to eviction or foreclosure.
I called the family to see if they were up for a visit. Knowing the mother was suffering from severe headaches I did not want to arrive to find her in too much pain to talk. The father said she was having a fairly good afternoon and asked if I could come right then. After getting the directions I was on my way.
The family lived in a clean older apartment building. They were on the second floor with no elevator. I knocked on the door and it was answered almost immediately by a man holding a toddler in his arms. The man shook my hand and introduced himself and his son. The boy was too shy to say hello and hid his face in his father's shoulder. The father explained they do not get any visitors and have not been out much since the mother's accident, except for doctors visits.
The mother was sitting on a recliner in the small living room. She had a cane by her chair so I knew she was still struggling with her mobility and weakness. She had a scar on her forehead I assumed was from the cause of her concussion.
She noticed me looking at it and with a smile said, "If you think I look bad now you should have seen me a month ago." I knew she was trying to make light of her appearance. I assured her she looked just fine, and I was glad she was not suffering from one of her headaches. She said, "I am glad I do not have a headache, too. If I was I would not even be able to talk to you right now."
I sat in a chair next to her to talk and listened while she shared the details of her accident and injuries. The father then shared the loss of his job along with the health insurance it provided.
There was no way they could afford to purchase health insurance and they were applying for state health insurance. We went over their expenses and budget. Like so many other fellow Americans that are just getting by, their car that was totaled had only liability insurance. The person that hit her was driving drunk and did not have any insurance.
At this time they were not in need of another vehicle anyway due to the mother's inability to drive or work. I asked about the remaining car and they said they were still making payments on it but again were a month behind. All their expenses kept piling up even though their income had come to a screeching halt. The father's unemployment benfits had just begun but were less than he had been earning before. They were so far behind on their bills that now it would be very hard to catch up.
I asked if they had any family or friends that would be able to help. They said the only family they had was the wife's mother, but she lived out of state. She wanted to come help them but did not have the funds to move until she sold her mobile home. I asked where she would live in their small apartment and the wife said her mother had already offered to live in their sons room until their lease was up and then she would help to pay rent on a larger apartment.
I could see they needed the help from the grandmother now if the father was to find a job. If the wife had a headache and was still immobile how could she care for their active toddler? I saw many areas that needed assistance with this family and not all of them required financial help.
I asked the father about his job search. He said he had applied for several jobs but had not heard back yet. I asked if he had any proof of these job applications and he provided them.
I took a brief walk around their apartment and it was evident they were not living beyond their means. Their television was older and they did not have any other electronics to speak of. The furniture was well worn. The refrigerator was nearly empty. Their sons room was not full of toys. The mother said they had been cleaning it out a little at a time to make room for the grandmother's twin bed when she finally was able to move in. They had given all the baby toys and clothes he had outgrown to another needy family in their building.
We talked more about the mother moving in. They asked me if I would talk to her mother. I asked for the grandmother's phone number. The wife and father were both happy to provide it. When I began to dial my phone they both looked surprised and asked, "You are calling her right now?" I answered, "Don't you both need her help right now?" They both answered in desperation, "Yes!"
After having the wife introduce us on the phone the grandmother willingly talked to me for quite some time. She was very anxious to help her only family. She was not in any way able to afford a move until she sold her mobile home.
She told me she had already sold most of her furniture but it was for very little money. I asked what else she had to move and how she would get it to their apartment. She said she planned on using her money to pay for a small moving company to send just a bed, nightstand and small dresser.
After telling her we could provide these things for her and explaining how she did not have to spend that money to move just a few things, she was happy to agree to moving even before her trailer sold. The only thing she would need was money for gas and she would pack the remainder of her belongings in her car.
With just a small amount of planning the grandmother was able to move into their apartment within two weeks. We provided the grandmother with gas vouchers for her trip so she could use what little funds she had left for food and other expenses on her road trip. This also happened to be perfect timing as the father had just gotten a job and they would need the grandmother's help immediately.
The Time Is Now to Help provided this family with food, we paid their overdue rent and utilities. This was just the help they needed to get caught up on their bills. There even were a few toys provided by one of our volunteers. We gave them a bed from Verlo, and Chris Ann supplied a nightstand and small dresser for the grandmother.
I gave them a few weeks to settle in to their new arrangement before visiting again. This time I did not plan it ahead. I wanted to see how they were doing on a spontaneous visit.
I was pleasantly surprised to find the mother doing much better. The grandmother had their apartment spotless and the grandson well cared for. Their refrigerator had food and everyone was much happier. The mother said her husband was at work and enjoying his new job. She was feeling much better, having less headaches with each passing week and her strength was returning since the grandmother insisted on being so helpful. She was well enough to start making house cleaning appointments again.
Together, we will continue to replace the fear, pain and suffering of poverty, with compassion, healing, caring and sharing with our hearts to change lives. God bless you and thank you for helping us achieve good works for those in desperate need.
We are nearly to our matching grant goal for the Summertime Foundation's $10,000 Matching Grant. We want to remind everyone for every dollar you donate, it will be matched by another. God bless you for caring and sharing.
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 how your donation provided assistance for the poverty stricken.
A very special thank you:
Fox Charities, the Summertime Foundation, Unilock, Kunes' Country Auto Group, Budget Blinds, Dick and Jean Honeyager, Vegter Masonry, E2 Services, Christ Lutheran Church, Katie Alder, Debra Guzman, John Gunyon, Denise Sifuentes, Margaret Plevak, Hope Harle-Mould, Richard and Christine Costa, B.J. Williams, Gregory Swanson, Marvin Hersko and Audrey Wunderlin-Hersko, James and Marilynn Dyer, John and Violet Hotzfeld, Florence Merkin, Joan Couture, Michael and Kathe Beach, Rosemarie Reiherzer, Carol Hanke, William and Dorothy Tookey, Beth Rendall, James and Eileen Dempsey, Jackie Hennerley, Anthony and Mary Hauet, Albert and Ellen Burnell, William and Jean Isaacson, Jennifer Olomon, John Poiron, Philip and Helen Joyce, 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.
Paula Harris in memory of Elizabeth Wallace. Eleanor Thoms in memory of Brian Fraser. Clarence and Marilyn Schawk in memory of Maria Bonitz. James and Mary Johnson in memory of Glen Lemon. Richard and Elizabeth Czaja in memory of Barbara Asplund.
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.
Desperately need cars:
Please donate a used car to help our fellow Americans get to work and other daily necessities.