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November 19, 2013 | 02:08 PMThis week’s column will be our Thanksgiving a week early.
There are so many people, businesses, foundations, groups, supporters and volunteers we are thankful for, we could not wait another week.
This past Friday, Nov. 15, we were overwhelmed with gratitude to The Geneva Inn on Geneva Lake for their hard work in hosting a wonderful benefit dinner for The Time Is Now to Help. Sharing the burden of poverty,
The Geneva Inn’s owners, management and staff went out of their way to collect donations, sell raffle tickets and make this evening a success. You, our supporters, were there to purchase raffle tickets, bid on the wonderful silent auction items and eat a delicious dinner in the Grandview Restaurant, knowing, together, we are easing the pains of poverty. If you were there you saw the many wonderful items donated by the following stores and businesses:
Abbey Springs, American Classic Rides, Bruno’s Liquors, Chinawest Jewelers, Clay Connection Studio, Constant Cravings, Cornerstone Shoppe, Create My Time, Dancing Horse’s Theatre, Delaney Street Merchantile, Diane Lewis Pianist and Vocalist, Element Massage, Famous Face’s, Galena Garlic, Geneva Gifts, Geneva Inn, Geneva Lake Brewing, Geneva Lake’s Carpet Cleaning, Geneva National, Gilbertson’s Stained Glass, Green With Envy, Harley Davidson Lake Geneva, Hawk’s View Golf Club, Iced Out Chicks, Karly’s Window and Gutter Cleaning, Kilwin’s, Kune’s Country Auto Group, Lake Geneva Cruise Line/Gage Marine, Lake Geneva Ultimate Car Wash, Lakeside Painting, Leather Accents, Lilypots, Lola’s, Martin Group, Morgans and Co. Fine Framing/Kelly Hayes, Overland Sheepskin, Paper Dolls Home Furnishings, Pesche’s Floral, Pop More Corks, Saza’s Accessories, Strawberry Fields, Studio Winery, The Bootery, The Tattered Butterfly, Treasure Hut Florist, Tuscan, Verve Art Gallery and Wags 2 Whiskers Pet Sitting.
Thanks to all of your support we have also met The Summertime Foundation $10,000 Matching Grant. This is the seventh matching grant in the last five years so generously offered by The Summertime Foundation to help our fellow creations in desperate need.
The Summertime Foundation’s support means so much to our charity and the many people touched by your generosity. We are busy bringing assistance to the many that have been painfully waiting for rent, utilities, auto repairs, food, toiletries and household necessities. We will be sharing with you soon where every penny of this matching grant was spent to remove the pains of poverty.
We have also been blessed by another matching grant opportunity. Fox Charities has offered a $25,000 matching grant to begin immediately. Fox Charities also has been so very faithful and generous with their support to help our fellow creations in desperate need. This will be our ninth matching grant given by Fox Charities in the past five years.
We feel so blessed to have all of you, and our matching grant providers, together, to bring hope to those that are feeling so hopeless. When we began our work we never dreamed we would have all of you standing beside us in our fight against poverty. We feel energized and motivated to do all we can to bring poverty relief to our fellow creations, thanks to all of you for your love, support and prayers.
One other fundraising event you can participate in will be Friday, Nov. 22 at Lake Geneva Country Meats. They are hosting a Holiday Wine Tasting between 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
When you purchase your tickets at www.lakegenevacountrymeats.com/events you can choose The Time Is Now to Help, and we will receive half your ticket price as a donation to our cause. Please see the end of this column for more information.
Could you please help a woman that is about to become homeless? She is a dear friend and used to work with me, but lost her job when they decided to downsize due to the new health insurance laws. She just took a job working in a store for the holidays. She said it will not pay all her bills and confessed she is behind in her rent and utilities. She is a good woman in her late 50s. She only has one son that lives out of state and is struggling himself. After weeks of requesting she gave me permission to write this letter to you to ask for help but she was too proud to write one herself.
I called this woman to set up a time to talk. She apologized for asking for help. I told her apologies were not necessary. This is what The Time Is Now to Help is all about. As our mission statement says, “The Time Is Now to Help exists solely for the purpose of alleviating the suffering of those who find themselves facing economic hardship.” Unfortunately, suffering is all too appropriate a description for most people we help.
I went to meet this woman later that day. I could see the distress and worry on her face when she answered my knock at the door.
She burst into tears almost immediately upon my introduction. She again apologized for needing our help saying, “I know there are children and disabled people you could help instead of me. I feel so guilty.” I reassured her we were there to help. She told me how she had worked hard ever since her husband died in his 40s and left her in debt. She stressed how she had always paid her own way, never asking for assistance.
I could see she lived very frugally, with few belongings, in a small apartment. She only had a few family pictures decorating the walls. We spoke for awhile about her husband who had passed away years ago, her son who lived in Detroit and the loss of the job she had worked at for over 15 years. She was very upset over the loss of the job she had loved and been devoted to for so long.
After she explained to me her job skills I knew she normally would be able to find another job, if it wasn’t for her age and the economic conditions. The company had reduced the number of their employees below 50 to not be required to provide health insurance. And that company is not the only one taking these steps to avoid providing health insurance.
The woman had spent what little she had in her retirement savings to pay her rent, car repair, utilities and food for the last six months she was unemployed. She had fallen behind when her unemployment did not cover all her expenses. She also had car repairs and an emergency dentist visit she had to pay depleting the last of her savings. The poor woman was praying she would not get sick or need more dental work.
We, together, brought her rent up to date and paid one month ahead to help her budget, we paid her overdue utilities and her car repairs. The relief on her face was immediately evident. She again burst into tears and again began to apologize. This time I stopped her and told her, “You are important to all of us at The Time Is Now to Help. We will make sure you get the help you need to get back on your feet. Please, do not apologize.”
I heard of a job that this woman would be suitable for. It had benefits and there would be no age discrimination. I immediately called the woman and told her where to apply. I put in a referral for her and was so happy when she called to say, “I got the job!”
A few weeks later I checked on her. This proud woman was so happy to go to work and be self sufficient again. She wrote us all a letter, telling us about her sleepless nights, her overwhelming fear of struggling all alone to survive, with no hope in sight. Then all of us came into her life. Together, we gave her hope, direction, help, a job so she can provide for herself, and restored her self confidence. When the woman handed me her letter she smiled and cried with relief. This time there were no apologies, just a very heartfelt, “God bless all of you for doing what you do.”
I share her thank you with all of you for your caring and sharing that allows us to provide what we, together, give best, help to our fellow creations.
Health and Happiness,
God Bless Everyone,
Make checks payable to: The Time Is Now to Help, P.O. Box 1, Lake Geneva, WI 53147. The Time Is Now to Help is a federally recognized 501(c)3 charitable organization licensed in Wisconsin and Illinois. You will receive a tax deductible, itemized thank you receipt showing how your donation provided assistance for the poverty stricken.
Holiday wine tasting
Bring your friends and come join us at Lake Geneva Country Meats for a Holiday Wine Tasting on Friday, Nov. 22, 2013 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. This is a fun evening of sampling wines, snacking on light hors d’oeuvres, and discovering holiday entertaining tips from LGCM. There will be a wide selection of wines open for you to sample and all are available to purchase at discounted prices. Enjoy scheduled live entertainment by the Badger High School Jazz Combo.
Tickets are $15, and half of the ticket price will be donated to The Time Is Now to Help if you choose our charity when you purchase your ticket at www.lakegenevacountrymeats.com/events. LGCM is located at 5907 Route 50 East, Lake Geneva, WI 53147. Please call (262) 248-3339 for more information.
A special thank you
The Summertime Foundation, Fox Charities, Clarence and Marilyn Schawk, The Geneva Inn, Susan Lorr, Maia Wilson, Rick Bialk, Jen Danna, Carrie Hill, Jackie Davis, Christine Rathbone, Matt Stracner, Lake Geneva Area Realty, Meridian Group, Inc., Martin Group, John Stensland and Family, Mark and Julia Kiehl, Dorothy Heffernan, Mary Kay Ring, Joy Oleston, Patricia Jankowski, William and Jean Isaacson, Leon and Lou Jane Koldeway, Elaine Voss, James and Marilynn Dyer, Sid and Patty Johnson, Lauren Grady, Russo Drywall, Thomas and Deanna Ventura, Visiting Angels, Albert and Ellen Burnell, Yinan Wang, Steve Scadden, Todd Stuchiner, Holly Schneider Brown, Larry Jones, Karin Collamore, James and Karen Goodrick, Charles and Carolyn Carlson, Ruby Recknagel, Marian Clary, Mike and Kim Olsen, Steven and Carol Young, Helen Radloff, Megan Frank, Richard Jarosz, Robert Lawler, Marvin Hersko and Audrey Wunderlin-Hersko, Thomas and Kristin Goettsch, Jody Junk, John Urlakis, Peter Goodman, Michael and Jean Brogan, Jody Cook, W.C. Family Resource Center/Food Pantry volunteers, and all the God loving volunteers of all our caring 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 Papenfus in honor of their parents 48th wedding anniversary. Kristine Andersen in honor of sister Liz Boss’ Birthday. Lizabeth Boss in honor of sister Kris Andersen’s Birthday.
Joshua Kinsella in memory of Pat Chapman. Geraldine Hinton in memory of parents Lorraine and George Kurland. Dolores Piotrowski in memory of beloved best friend Martha “Dee” Valentine and beloved parents Eugene and Lottie Piotrowski. Patrick Watts and Family in loving memory of Jean Watts.
Please contact Love, Inc. for all your furniture, clothing and household item donations. Call (262) 763-2743 or (262) 763-6226 to schedule pick-up. We are no longer affiliated with Chris Ann’s Resale Shop.Please visit www.timeisnowtohelp.org