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The Time Is Now To Help

Desperate widow never imagined asking for help

August 18, 2010 | 06:58 AM
Dear W.C.,

I've always tried to do what's right my whole life. I went to school, got a job, got married, raised two fine children, worked hard, saved and always paid my taxes. Now I am a widow trying to get by on social security and Medicare. I believed in America and I thought I would be able to retire comfortable.

My husband had a long battle with cancer right before his Medicare began. It ended up taking his life and all of our savings with it. I had to sell my house and moved into a mobile home, thinking it would be much cheaper. I sold all our belongings to try and get by. I have developed high blood pressure and heart trouble. I thought I could get a part-time job even at my age, but no one will hire me. I have not asked my children for any help because they are not doing so well right now either. One is going through a painful divorce due to always fighting over their financial problems and the other is caring for my terminally ill grandchild. I never knew life had so much pain in store for me. I never thought I would be asking a charity for help at my age. I wouldn't ask if I wasn't desperate. I am behind on my lot rent. Thank you for any consideration.

Dear Readers,

When I knocked on this widow's door, I was greeted by a frail older woman that looked very surprised to have a stranger at her door. She was very cautious. I could see fear in her eyes as she only opened the door a crack. When I introduced myself and showed her my identification she opened the door. She said, "Please, come in." I apologized for not calling but pointed out she had not included a telephone number on her letter. She apologized in return explaining she no longer had a telephone because she was not able to pay the bill. I was saddened to think this elderly frail widow was living alone without a telephone for communication and emergencies.

I noticed how hot it was in the trailer. She did not have the air conditioning or any lights on. I asked her how she was feeling in the oppressive heat and she said she often had dizzy spells during the day. This had me concerned due to her high blood pressure and heart condition she had told me about in her letter. I asked if there was anywhere she could go when it was so hot. She said she would sometimes go to the library or shopping center with her senior neighbor. Other times she would sit outside in the shade. I knew this heat was not healthy for her. I knew we would have to put in a window air conditioner that same day. I made a call to one of our supporters.

I asked, "How have you been eating?" This is when she broke down crying. She said, "I am so embarrassed to have to ask for help. I have never asked anyone for help before. I always worked hard to overcome any financial shortages." This elderly widow was trying to get a job even though her age and health status suggested she should not be working. She had worked her whole life. Medical bills quickly ate up the savings they had worked for their whole life. After her first heart attack she lost her job. She has been trying to get a new job but the competition of so many unemployed has been challenging. With tear filled eyes she said, "I have no chance. They always pick the young people." I could tell she is a very proud person from our conversation and her initial embarrassment when we met.

She kept talking about being self reliant as she continued to cry. When she started to mumble her words I reached out to her, telling her, "I can tell you are a very proud person. You have been fighting harder than people half your age without any health problems. The recession, unemployment, and our government's failures have prohibited good people from succeeding. It's not your fault." Then I asked her, "Do you believe in God?" She said, "Of course. The Lord is my only salvation." I said, "I thank God for bringing us together and I thank those who support The Time Is Now To Help with their caring and sharing." I continued, "It is an honor for us to help, to do God's desire to care for one another." She calmed down and hugged me in return.

After more conversation she understood our true desire to help. We looked over her budget and I saw little that could be cut back any further. I did suggest moving into a senior rental. The mobile home was in obvious need of work with stairs at each entrance and very narrow doorways. After going over the cost of rent for a low-income senior rental she was happy to make the switch. The Time Is now To Help assisted her with past due lot rent and paid her past due utilities. We also supplied her with a prepaid phone for emergencies and to check on her ailing grandchild. She was extremely grateful for this because she felt guilty not being able to keep in touch with the grandchild she loved so much. I showed her how the phone worked and we called the terminally ill grandchild. The grandchild was so happy to hear the grandmother's voice and loving words. As she spoke to her grandchild she held my hand tightly, and quietly said thank you with tears in her eyes.

She was able to sell the mobile home. She was on a short waiting list for senior housing and was able to move in just in time. She is very happy to be able to pay her bills on her own again. She never realized how expensive the mobile home would be to live in. She is also happy to report she turns on the air conditioning now on the hottest days. She says she likes to live frugal and make it on her own. She is still proud to call himself an American but cannot hide her disappointment in what has happened to our beloved country. She has had a lot of years to watch it slide into corruption, abuse of resources, wars, and recession. She thought America would be an even greater nation by the time her grandchildren came to be. Now she shakes her head in disbelief and sadness.

She is so grateful there is an organization like The Time Is Now To Help there to help our fellow struggling American's. She said she felt the true American spirit she had once felt living in the neighborhood she grew up in. She said when she was a child everyone helped their neighbor. If a family was out of work and didn't have food, all the neighbors would pitch in to help. She thought that caring spirit was long gone, but was happy to feel it again through our organization. Thank you for caring and sharing for our fellow American neighbors in need. Together we make a big difference in the lives of our fellow creations, easing their pain of poverty.

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. We are nearly to our goal of the $30,000 in matching funds.Thank you for caring and sharing. Together we make a big difference helping our fellow creations of God. I alone cannot help all those that come to us in desperate need. Please help.

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 Richard Hassler & Lynn Brayton-Hassler, Paper Dolls, Dennis & Christine Haak, Someplace Else Restaurant, Martin O'Brien, James & Marilynn Dyer, Jon Reavis, Kathryn Frederick, Nercy Jafari, B. Jeanne Madaus, Lisa Luedtke, William & Jean Isaacson, Martha Flury, Albert & Ellen Burnell, 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.

Memorials: The following donations were given in loving memory of Joyce Roche: Howard & Lucille Maddux, Marilyn Oetringer, William & Patricia Haubold, Don & Ira Aldrich.

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.

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