The Time is Now to Help
Couple falling farther behind
February 01, 2011 | 12:50 PMDear W.C.,
We find ourselves falling farther and farther behind. My husband had a stroke last year leaving him paralyzed on one side and impairing his speech. He is on disability but that does not cover our bills. I used to be able to work overtime hours at my job to help make ends meet but my employer had to cut back on everyone's hours. Now I am not even able to get in enough hours a week necessary to be eligible for health insurance benefits. We cannot afford to pay insurance on our own. We can't even afford to pay our car insurance which is required. I got pulled over last week for an expired registration and received a ticket for both the expired registration and lack of insurance. How can I drive to work if I am not allowed to drive my car? I also have to drive my husband to physical therapy. We have a thirteen year old daughter. She is such a good girl. Last week she insisted on giving me her baby sitting money to help out. She has caught me crying several times over our situation and has asked me what she can do to help. There seem to be no opportunities in this recession. For the first time in our life we are lost.
Life can change quickly. An accident, illness, or tragedy can change everything in the blink of an eye. In this case a serious health condition and the recession descended this good American family into poverty. I have seen this many times.
I called the mother and we talked for quite a while. She invited me to come by to speak to her and her husband. I drove over right away. When the woman opened the door I could see her husband sitting in a wheel chair with his left arm in a sling. After we spoke for awhile the daughter arrived home from school. She came in and hugged both her parents hello and extended her hand in greeting. She was a very smart, polite girl. She was very interested in the situation and how we were going to improve things for her family. The mother spoke highly about her school work, how she helped around the house, as well as helped with her father. The father reached up with his good arm and hugged his daughter. He leaned his head into her side and mumbled, "This is our angel." The daughter kissed the top of his head as her eyes welled with tears.
I asked to look around the kitchen. I always check for food because many people over the years have been too proud to admit they do not have enough food. Now I always make it a point to check for food. When I first began doing this I always felt uneasy looking through people's refrigerators and cabinets. After finding so many nearly empty, I cannot leave with a clear conscience without being assured they have enough food. After we supply the desperately hungry with food I cannot explain their overwhelming gratitude for the gift of food. The number one fear is always homelessness; food is even secondary to that. This family was going to bed hungry every night, along with 50 million other American's according to the 2009 USDA report. While our government continues to send billions of dollars of aid overseas, our fellow American's continue to go hungry, and be jobless due to outsourced imports.
We went over the family's budget. The father's paycheck had been a large contributor to their household budget and his disability did not even come close. With the wife's pay cut as well they took a large financial hit just as many medical bills were coming in. I asked about their utilities and found they were behind. The wife said they had been eating and living as frugally as possible. She said they had turned up the thermostat on the house just before I arrived to make it a little more comfortable. It still was quite chilly as it was an older drafty house. The utility money often came out of their food money. They were truly struggling financially as well as physically.
I assured them The Time Is Now would be able to help make their situation better. Their rent was month to month. I advised them they needed to move to a more affordable rental. The utilities would cost much less. With the help of several Time Is Now volunteers we made the move within a week. We paid to renew the registration on their car. We provided them with gas and food gift certificates and information on the food pantry. We brought the utilities up to date and a little into the future. This assistance made it possible for the wife to renew their necessary car insurance. Their reduction in rent, utilities, and minimal payments on their medical bills allowed their budget to be successful and provide for food and utilities for the family.
After they had settled into their new rental and budget I did one last visit. The family met me at the door. The father's speech had greatly improved. He was happy and the mother said the doctor told them it was due to living in a less stressful environment. As the mother praised The Time Is Now to Help continuously I explained again how all of you who care and share make all this help available. Then I was brought to tears. The daughter once again hugged both her parents, looked me in the eyes, she started to cry happy tears, saying "God bless, all of you for helping my parents. I love them so much."
God Bless all of you for making all our good works possible.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Health & Happiness, God Bless Everyone,
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: Dean & Leeanne Wolanyk in honor of Dr. Mark Brower, Michael & Sue Borden, William H. & Lois J. McEssy Foundation, Bernard Labovitch, Kunes' Country Ford-Lincoln-Mercury, Reed's Marine, Tom & Mary Johnson, Martin O'Brien, Joseph Fusinato, Immanuel United Church of Christ, United Methodist Women at St. James United Methodist Church, Gerald & Marilyn Wilkin, Patricia Lessman, Jack & Mary Lou McKinney, Peter Pappa, Donald & Anne Ogne, Victoria Hahn, Matt & Ellen Strall, Virgil & Sharon Wuttke, Barry & Geraldine Lutz, Jacque & Joseph Moser, Gary & Carol Rhines, Charles & Lucille Coates, Joseph & Lois Haas, Donald & Kim Parker, Marvin Hersko & Audrey Wunderlin Hersko, Frank & Terri Guske in honor of Jo Anne Koch's Birthday, 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.
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