The Time is Now to Help
Family struggling, out of food
July 21, 2010 | 07:35 AM
I have a loving family. We are all struggling during this recession. We are trying to move into a rental with my elderly parents, in their late 70s, to help care for them and save money on expenses. We cannot make this move to consolidate because we are short on funds. We have four children from age 9 to 17. Our older children are working part time to help support our family as well.
One day when we were eating dinner, my two oldest children noticed I was portioning out our food. They saw me take the smallest portion and were very upset. They both asked if they could get jobs to help out. I could not deny their loving intentions to help share our burden. I remember my own mother telling me how she did the same thing when she was young. This recession seems to have our country going backwards. Both my husband and I work full time but have had to take pay cuts and lost all overtime.
We now have been coming up short in our budget. Both my parents have had major health problems the last few years and have been struggling to pay for medications and co pays, leaving them struggling. I drive to their place twice daily to check on them and make sure they are OK and have some food. These trips use a lot of my time and gas that would be saved if they lived with us. Finding them in disorder and in need of help breaks my heart. Once my Mom had fallen and my Dad could not get her up. She laid on the floor crying for hours until I got there to help. My Mom and Dad felt so ashamed and helpless. That day we all agreed to move in together, but we are not financially able to make the move. My youngest child has a condition that requires special assistance and medical care. We have repeatedly applied for assistance but there is none to be had. The whole system seems to be over burdened. Meanwhile we are behind in our rent. Could you please help a hard working American family that just wants to take care of their own?
I could feel the helplessness and frustration coming from the woman that wrote this letter. Her American dream of a home and family was becoming impossible to keep. She is like so many other people who have worked hard their whole lives at a career they thought would be able to support them until their retirement. Now everything is changing, jobs are being outsourced, or eliminated all together. Pay cuts, loss of benefits, loss of overtime, and loss of retirement funds, has left families unable to pay their bills. If you are a senior or someone with a medical condition that requires medication or assistance, you may be overwhelmed with expenses.
I spoke to this family first on the phone to set up a time when all could be present. We agreed to meet the following evening. When I arrived I was greeted by a family that seemed to have a few more people than the letter stated. The mother introduced me to all the children and it turned out she also had taken in her young niece and nephew recently. She explained they were her sister's children and her sister was unable to care for them. She was a widow and had recently lost her job. She took me aside and said, "How could I turn them away? They are our family and they need us. I do not want them to think they are a burden to us." I understood she did not want to talk about the financial worries in front of the children.
After speaking briefly with all the children, and the grandparents, we excused ourselves to the kitchen to talk in private. The mother and father both sat down wearily. I could see the strain and fatigue on their faces. The mother said she was a care giver for seniors and her husband worked in construction, both physically taxing jobs. Their medical needs of their youngest child were also demanding. He had a physical handicap that required their assistance as well. The mother was quick to say he was very independent and tried to do as much as he could on his own. There were just some medical procedures that needed to be done daily that required their help.
When we spoke of their budget I could see how the loss of income, extra children, and caring for senior parents had affected them. They were working as hard as they physically could, yet ends did not meet. The mother had a plan to rent a large home with her parents. They would all be paying less rent than they presently were. They also would save on care givers for their son during the day and gas driving back and forth to her parents home twice daily. The parents rented a small, older home that needed repairs.
After seeing how hard this family was working to be self sufficient I could not leave without offering them some help to get on their feet again. After reviewing their budget and seeing the new rental The Time Is Now To Help provided them with a security deposit and first month's rent for the new rental. It also had new appliances, a new furnace, and good insulation so their utility bills should actually be much lower in the future. We also provided them with some grocery store and gas vouchers. They were really straining to feed everyone, especially now that the children were home from school for the summer and missing their meals at school. The old home they were in had stairs at every entrance, making it nearly impossible for the parents to visit or their son to get in and out unassisted. The new rental had no stairs and was much more handicap accessible. This helped everyone's independence.
My last visit was a much happier one. The mother and father were both still working hard full time, yet they did not seem to sound as tired or stressed. The parents moving in had been a big improvement to their home life. No more driving back and forth or worrying if they had eaten or fallen ill. The grandparents also were able to help with the youngest child and relieve some of the care giving duties. They were excited about their loving help. I could hear and see their renewed energy. The Grandparents told me they had found a purpose to help every day, and they loved it.
The niece and nephew were able to move back with their mother. She had gotten a full time job and was able to support them again. She also moved closer to her sister in order to help with her parents and be closer to her new job. Even though things were still tough with this family, they were much improved. Everyone seemed to be benefitting from the new living arrangements and in a much lighter mood. They are a tight knit, loving family. I pray this family, and the many other good fellow American's turning to The Time Is Now To Help for assistance, can survive this recession and thrive once again. This family is lucky to have each other to lean on, as many that come to us for help, are all alone, with no one else to turn to. Thank you for your Caring & Sharing hearts. While our country tries to heal may we show our strength to help our fellow American's. As you drive, or walk through your neighborhoods, pray for one another. We never know what silent pain and suffering is hidden behind closed doors. May God Bless all of you.
Please consider donating at this time as every dollar you donate will be matched by another, doubling your donation by the Richard Driehaus Matching Grant. Thank you for caring and sharing. Together we make a big difference helping our fellow creations of God.
Health & Happiness, God Bless Everyone, W.C.
Please Help: 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.
Gage Lake Geneva Cruise Line Helps: We have been offered another wonderful fundraising opportunity by Gage Lake Geneva Cruise Line. They are offering every Thursday evening a Cocktail Cruise to benefit The Time Is Now To Help. This cruise is available every Thursday boarding at 6:15 p.m. and returning at 8 p.m. The cruise features a highlight tour of the lake shore estates, entertainment, and a complimentary boarding beverage. When calling for reservations you need to mention code: TIN for Time Is Now and we will receive $10 of each ticket sale. Individuals, groups, or your organization will be honored for caring and sharing. What a great way to enjoy the beauty of Lake Geneva and give back to those less fortunate in our area. Call (262) 248-6206 for reservations.
A Very Special Thank You: Paul Ziegler, Dick & Jean Honeyager, Dorothy Heffernan, Martin O'Brien, Daniel & Donna Casey, DJ Flitcroft, Jung's Trucking, Phillip & Mary Koss, Leon & Mary Sterken, William & Kimberly Basford, Albert & Ellen Burnell, Shari Ellertson, William & Jean Isaacson, John & Joyce Kirkwood, David & Mary Riesland, Frank & Ann Huml, W.C. Family Resource Center/Food Pantry volunteers, 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.
We Desperately Need Cars: 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, pick The Time Is Now as your charity and the rest is simple.
Please visit: www.timeisnowtohelp.org