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Husband gone, kids disabled, help on the way from charity



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February 04, 2014 | 03:03 PM
Dear W.C.,

I am a single mother of two children with disabilities.

My son is autistic and my daughter has been through numerous surgeries for her cleft palate. It has not been easy raising these children all on my own. Their father died in a car accident three years ago.

We were separated for more than two years at the time of his death.

He never purchased life insurance and all he left for me was his debt, since we were still legally married. My husband was self-employed for years and did not leave any benefits for our children.

I work when my children are in school. The reason I am writing you for help is we had to move in with my elderly mother.

My lease was up on my old apartment and the rent was just too high. There were days each month we did not have enough to eat and our utilities had been disconnected last fall. Moving in with my mother was supposed to be temporary until I had enough saved for a security deposit and first month’s rent.

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When my car broke down, every penny I had saved went to fix the car. Then my daughter had gotten sick and we made a trip to the emergency room — another bill I had not planned on.

My mother has been given notice that she will be evicted if we do not vacate her apartment. I have to admit we are very crowded and this situation is far from ideal.

We are all sleeping in my mother’s living room because she lives in a one bedroom senior housing complex. It is very stressful for all of us. I worry all the time. I do not want my mother evicted from her senior apartment but I also don’t want to be homeless in the cold with my two special needs children. Can you please help us find a solution to this mess?

Worried mother

Dear readers,

Situations just like this have been brought to our attention several times this year alone.

It is a real struggle for single parents with children to pay rent, utilities, food, car repairs, on top of all the other needed daily necessities. Moving in with a senior parent is sometimes their only option, even if it is not allowed or far from ideal, it is still better than living in a cold car.

When you have children with special needs it only makes the situation even harder.

I went to visit the family at the grandmothers apartment.

The apartment was just as I had seen many times before, small, crowded and not meant for that many people to live in. The mother introduced me to the grandmother and her two children.

The son with autism was very stressed and the mother told me he had taken several steps back in his progress since the trauma of the move, especially in the crowded environment.

The daughter was more easy going but struggled with some developmental difficulties along with her slight facial disfigurement. I could see they were a loving group. The grandmother had her arms around both children.

She boldly told me, “These are my grandchildren. I want them to stay with me and not be homeless.”

The grandmother broke into tears, repeating, “It’s not right, it is not right to put them out.”

The children looked at their grandmother’s distraught face with a confused look. The two angels had no understanding why anyone would throw them out.

We all spoke together as there was no other room to go to speak privately.

The mother explained the move and expenses that had put them in this position. Too many of our fellow creations are only one emergency expenditure away from financial disaster. They live pay check to pay check, without any savings.

I went over the family’s budget to see where some corrections could be made and saw it was just as the mother had said. The car repairs and medical bills had been unplanned expenses that just did not fit in their already stretched budget.

The first step was to get this mother and two children out of the grandmothers apartment so the grandmother did not lose her senior housing. We found them an affordable apartment.

We provided first month’s rent and security deposit. We also helped with their initial utility bill and a much needed car repair that the mother had put off due to her inability to afford a second repair.

This was just the new beginning this family needed. The mother could again focus on her children’s needs. After some time the autistic son began to regain some of his abilities he lost during the stressful move and the daughter could focus on her speech therapy and school.

The daughter managed to say, “Thank you Time Is Now.” The mother said it had taken some hard work and practice to say those words due to her speech impediment. Her simple words brought tears to my eyes of gratitude to God that we were able to help.

My dear friends in God,

I am so proud of all our good works we accomplish together. After the holidays there is normally a big slow down in donations. Help for those in desperate need in the winter months is rare. But this winter, we, together, are continuing in our movement of compassionate help. Please continue to care and share.

When I find children, bewildered by their plight of poverty, when I see seniors weak from hunger, when I see handicapped struggling in fear to survive, when I see our fellow creations of all ages breaking down in tears of complete distraught, shame, fear... I thank God for all of you. For coming together to give the life giving love we do, to remove their pains of poverty.

“‘Lord, when did we see you hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, and did not take care of you?’

“Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’”

— Matthew 25:44.

Health and happiness,

God bless everyone,

W.C./Sal

New year $25,000 matching grant

Fox Charities has once again graciously stepped up to match your donation dollar for dollar, doubling your help to those in need. Please take advantage of this opportunity to double your Caring and Sharing.

Fox Charities recognizes the pain and suffering of our fellow creations that struggle for daily necessities, especially now in this very harsh, cold winter.

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 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.

Upcoming event

Night of Love Wine Dinner 5 p.m. Sunday, February 23, 2014 at Geneva National Clubhouse.

Presented by local chefs from the American Culinary Federation Geneva Lakes Chapter benefiting The Time Is Now To Help and ACF-GLC Education and Programs; $60 per person or table of 10 $500 before Feb. 15, a five-course dinner with wine pairings.

Sal will be there to share the good works we are doing to make a difference. Please visit www. href='publicationreturnframe.lasso?-token.address=http://acfwisconsin.org/nol.htm' target='_top'>http://acfwisconsin.org/nol.htm to purchase tickets. For questions please call (262) 903-8162.

Thanks

Richard H. Driehaus Charitable Lead Trust, Fox Charities, Dick and Jean Honeyager, Paul Ziegler, Ziegler Charitable Foundation, The Summertime Foundation, Kunes’ Country Stateline Superstore, Unilock Chicago, Thomas and Mary Johnson, David and Jill Schaefer, Eric and Erica Lawton, AIG Matching Grants Program, Mr. and Mrs. Fred Lawton, Gregory L. and Jean Marie Dexter, Corcoran Landscaping and Construction, Dr. Robert Conlon, Martin Group, John Stensland and Family, Bonnie Glennon, Brellenthin Family, La Grange United Methodist Church, Ada Duffey, Rose Mohr, Barbara Spiegelhoff, Nancy Yaeger, Paul and Phyllis Bixler, Dr. Judith and Wayne Rolfs, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Schuberth, Kurt Brueckert, Randall and Margaret Smith, Cornerstone Store, Talmer Bank, Claws, Rita’s Wells Street Salon, Lake Geneva Country Meats, Anna Cygan, Stewart and Carol Calkins, Dale and Gail Folkers, Joy Oleston, Gerald and Joyce Byers, Dennis and Mary Olson, Edward and Kathryn Drexler, 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.

Memorials

Norma Koril in memory of aunt and inspiration Sarah Ellen Skrepek. Robert and Mary Ann Zelenski in memory of Cliff Clapp.

Furniture donations

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

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