January 19, 2011 | 08:15 AMDear W.C.,
I know a family that is having a very hard time. I know they are late on their rent. They have two young children. The father lost his job last summer. The mother was hit by a hit-and-run driver and was left handicapped. They do not receive enough assistance from disability and unemployment. Due to all the medical bills and threats from the bill collectors they have been left broke. I have known this family for many years and know they are good people.
They have always lived frugally and have a devout belief in God. They do not have gas for their car. I have offered to drive them on several occasions but they have declined. I think they are too embarrassed to accept any help. They have even declined my requests to visit due to their embarrassment of not being able to afford heat. I do not know how they are feeding everyone and keeping a roof over their heads. Please help this deserving family.
A Worried Friend
I called the worried friend to find out more details. I obtained the phone number and address for the family that needed help and drove to the address.
It was a small rental home with a wheelchair ramp up to the front door. I knocked and when the father answered the door he looked surprised wondering who the stranger was on his door step. I introduced myself and told him a friend of theirs was concerned for them. The father immediately became embarrassed and said he did not need any help. I asked if he was going somewhere, since he had on his coat. He said no.
I looked past him at the dark cold interior of the house and said, "Yes your family does need help. Do not be too proud to let a neighbor reach out a helping hand to you and your family." He looked ashamed but after some more conversation he invited me inside. I could feel the chill in the air even with my coat on and noticed a very small space heater in the living room. It must have been just warm enough to keep the pipes from freezing. The wife came into the room in her wheelchair with a blanket wrapped around her and mittens on her hands. I introduced myself and explained to her I was from The Time Is Now To Help. The wife looked at me with tears in her eyes, telling her husband, "This is the organization our friend told me about. Please, we need to talk with him."
I managed to get in the house but I could see the husband was still too proud to ask for help. At that point I looked at him, and asked if I could please help his family. I assured him I was there to help them and their gifts from God, their children. With that I could see his eyes fill with tears as he struggled to keep from crying.
The mother was suffering from the lifelong injuries caused from her accident. The stress of their present financial situation, the loss of her husband's job, and constant fear of homelessness, had taken its toll on her health. The children came into the room next and it almost brought tears to my eyes to see them bundled up in winter coats and mittens inside as well. They were old enough to understand their family was struggling in poverty.
I could feel their stress for their family. The father seemed to read my mind and said he would be very grateful for any help. I could see him struggling to control his tears once again, not wanting the children to see him cry. I thanked God and stepped towards the father and gave him a hug. I looked at the children and I could see they were very concerned and at the same time very accepting of my gesture. I saw the mother smile with gratitude for our concern.
I immediately asked if their furnace was working. The mother said, "It is fine. We just cannot afford the natural gas. The bill is already six weeks late." With that I went to the thermostat and turned up the heat. Then I asked the father about his job loss. He told me he had worked for the same company for 14 years and it had closed due to the recession and all the jobs had been sent to China.
I asked to see their budget. I find that about 65 percent of families I help do have a handle on their finances, no matter how bleak they may be. I could see the bill collectors for the medical bills had scared them into giving them every penny beyond the bare minimum to survive. I redid their budget. This family had to be able to eat, stay warm, and keep themselves sheltered.
Together, thanks to all of your Caring and Sharing we brought their utilities up to date and paid some into the future. Their rent was brought up to date. Their cupboards were filled, gas gift cards were supplied, and thru our networking the father has a new job.
I followed up with the new employer and I was told he is always on time and works very hard, as if he is driven by something. I know that drive is the love for his family and the fear of poverty. I remember what it is like to live in poverty, as I watched my own mother struggle when I was a child. I know that the love for family and God's creation, and the painful memories of poverty really drives me to always work very hard.
God Bless everyone who participated in the Christmas Wish $25,000 Matching Grant and God Bless our angels who made the Christmas Wish Grant possible again this second winter season. We have been very busy assisting many worthy people in need. We will inform everyone where every penny went to help our fellow creations in the very near future. God Bless all of you for making all our good works possible. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
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.
A Very Special Thank You: Michael & Sue Borden, William H. & Lois J. McEssy Foundation, Unilock, Lake Geneva Economic Development Corporation, E2 Services, Bernard Labovitch, Kunes' Country Ford-Lincoln-Mercury, Spiegelhoff & Associates, Martin O'Brien, Eye Physicians & Surgeons staff, John Warren & Deborah Lenchard, Muriel Lake, Mary Fitzgerald, Ron & Desiree Lipowski, Phil & Mary Koss, Stephen & Melissa Thorngate II, David & Mary Ann Zaremba, Sandralee Thiele, Gregory & Denise Giovannetti, Roger Borchardt, Lisa Kelley, Robert Erickson, J.T. Marty, Ron & Kerrie Vyskocil, Next Door Pub, Cynthia Borkhuis, David & Shirley Baumeister, Rebecca Pankow, Thelen Total Construction employees — Melody Fehling, Sue Williams, Marianne Hurlburt, Jim Gage in honor of Randy Thelen's birthday, Florence Merkin in honor of her son Dr. Robert Archer, 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.
Memorials: David & Terri Kropetz in memory of Adam Januszewski. Patrick & Annaliesa Prohuska in memory of her father Warren Tupper.
We Desperately Need Cars: Please donate a used car to help our fellow Americans 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 and pick The Time Is Now To Help as your charity.
Please visit: www.timeisnowtohelp.org