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The Time is Now to Help


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October 19, 2011 | 07:19 AM
We have a new matching grant opportunity to announce, The Summertime Foundation Fall $10,000 Matching Grant. Every dollar you donate will be matched by another until we reach $10,000. Thank you to The Summertime Foundation for again caring and sharing for our fellow creations in need.

Dear W.C.,

I am writing to see if you can help my elderly aunt. She has always lived alone. She worked until she had to retire when she was 74. She never married or had children of her own. She helped my mother when I was young. She helped care for my grandparents when they were both dying. She has always been there for my family when they were in need. I am worried because the last time I visited I noticed she hardly had any food in her refrigerator. I offered to go to the store for her if she could not go due to her hip surgery. She seemed embarrassed and said she didn't need much to eat.

She is already so skinny and does not need to be skipping meals. I tried to insist and she finally admitted she did not have money for food. She emptied all her savings to pay for medical bills on three different surgeries. I feel terrible for her. My Mom is the only family she has left and she too has health problems and lives on a very strict fixed budget. I try to help out my Mom as much as I can but I am a single mom also financially struggling in this economy. Can you please help my aunt?

Loving Niece

Dear Readers,

I called the niece to get some more information on the situation. She did not seem to know much about the aunt's financial problems because she said she was too embarrassed to ask for more information. She did tell me she had brought over a bag of food. She told me she would meet me at the aunts apartment.

I met the niece in the parking lot of the elderly aunts apartment building. It was a two story building and the niece told me she was on the second floor. When I asked how she was able to live on the second floor after her surgeries, the niece said her aunt had lived there for a very long time and was afraid to move. She said her aunt did not get out much and that is why she offered to shop for her. I told her that was very kind of her knowing that the stairs would be a very painful obstacle for her aunt.

The niece knocked on the door and then let herself in. The aunt was sitting in the dark on her couch. I noticed how her face lit up when she saw it was her niece visiting.

She said to me, "You must be W.C. I have heard such wonderful things about The Time Is Now To Help." I told her I had heard some wonderful things about her as well. She looked at her niece and said, "You have?" I said, "I hear you are a wonderful aunt that has done some very nice things for your family." She looked at her niece again as she said, "That is because I love them and knew they needed my help." The niece then said, "Auntie we love you too and want to help you now."

With that the Aunt's eyes filled with tears and she grasped her nieces hand. She said, "I feel so embarrassed to be in this position. All the years I helped my parents and my sister, I never thought I would need help myself one day. How could I have said no to my parents when they were suffering and could not care for themselves any longer? How could I not help my sister when she was a single mother raising her child on her own? If I had to do it over again I would do it all the same." She then asked the niece if we could talk privately for a few minutes. The niece said she would come back in a few hours.

I sat down next to the aunt on the couch. We talked about her family for a while then I asked her questions about her financial problems. She told me how she had never saved enough because she had paid all her parents medical bills and household bills for all the years they were in her care. She also had helped her sister pay her bills when her husband had left her. She said the niece did not know this and she did not want to embarrass her sister by telling her now. I told her I was sure the niece would appreciate all she had done to help. The aunt said she was told at a very young age that she would never be able to have children of her own. She said she never missed them because her sister had always shared her child with her. I could see they shared a special bond.

I asked about her surgeries. She said she had hoped to continue working as long as she could but she was already past retirement age when she had her last surgery. She knew it would be a struggle to get by with only Social Security but she could no longer put off the last surgery. She had hoped more of the expenses would have been covered by Medicare but was not surprised by the bills she had received, due to the fact she had paid all the medical bills for her parents and sister. I told her she should have never used her entire savings to pay for her parents, her sisters, and her own medical bills. After working her whole life she had no savings left.

She lived as frugally as possible and still could barely afford food, utilities, and rent. I asked how her sister was getting by and she said she was struggling too. I asked where she lived and asked if the sister had room for her at her home. She said she had thought about it but was too embarrassed to ask her sister. She then said she had lived in the same apartment for more than 40 years and did not know how she would move in the condition she was in. I assured her we would have some volunteers to help and that her niece would also be willing to help. I asked if she would mind if I talked to the niece about it and after much discussion she agreed.

I called the niece to tell her to come back to talk with us. When I suggested that her mother and aunt live together she said, "I think it's a wonderful idea. I have been trying to get my aunt to move out of these old apartments ever since she started having her surgeries." With that we set up a time to talk to the sister and get her approval. I also wanted to check the sisters housing situation and make sure it was an improvement over the limited accessibility the aunt was living with at the apartment, that the sister had enough room, and to confirm the enthusiasm of the other sister.

After seeing the sister's small, but very adequate, one story house, and a very enthusiastic positive conversation with the sister, everyone seemed very happy about the move. The two sisters could share expenses and will be good company to one another. The niece could check on them regularly and offer assistance if necessary. The Time Is Now To Help assisted them with the move and with one month's rent and utilities. This gave them enough funds to have a successful combined budget. We also referred them to the Aging & Disability Resource Center of Walworth County for further direction.

I went to visit the sisters after the move to see how they were getting along. I saw two completely different women. The aunt was much more mobile since she was now able to get out and walk daily without the strain of going up and down stairs. The women were much better financially and also said they made an effort to cook a healthy dinner each night since they had each other to care for. The niece visited often to check on them and help with anything that was needed. The women both thanked The Time Is Now To Help for not only our financial assistance but also our assistance in improving their overall lives. They said they were much happier than they had been in years. Thank you and God bless all of you for making this possible.

Don't forget to vote for your choice of CNN Hero 2011. All top 10 CNN Heroes are doing wonderful things to make our world a better place. We have received many questions about the voting process. Fans may vote through confirmed email addresses, Facebook accounts, or both. There is a limit of 10 votes per day per email address or Facebook account. Voting closes Wednesday, Dec. 7 at 12 midnight (PT).

The first time you vote using an email address, you will receive a confirmation e-mail, in which you must "confirm" that address. From then on, you may vote up to 10 times each day, by:

a) first, "selecting" your Top 10 CNN Hero;

b) entering your email address;

c) filling in the security code;

d) clicking on the 'VOTE' button.

Since Facebook accounts already have a confirmed email address, a person who has logged into Facebook, using their password, can vote without entering the security code, via 'Facebook Connect.' The top voted CNN Hero will be announced live on CNN Dec. 11, and receive $250,000 for their charity. Thank you CNN for such a wonderful opportunity to be able to help the waiting list of fellow American's needing our assistance. Thank you for caring and sharing.

Health and Happiness, God Bless Everyone, WC/Sal

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: August Blessings Donors, Clarence & Marilyn Schawk, Mark & Natalie Reno, Dick & Jean Honeyager, Mary Kay Ring, Illinois Tool Works, Cathy Erikson, Eye Glass Gallery, Stinebrink Family, Piggly Wiggly,William & Kimberly Basford, Michael Glass, Kenneth & Tara Trent, James & Janice Batten, Martin O'Brien, Sid & Patty Johnson, Walter Myalls, Geraldine Hinton, Gerald & Joyce Byers, William & Jean Isaacson, Lillian Rudolf, Jennifer Olomon, Albert & Ellen Burnell, John Barron, Michael Butler, Sr., Artric & Lorraine Robinson, James & Marilynn Dyer, Aon Foundation, Daniel Pupel, Jr., Deborah Topacio, Marvin Hersko & Audrey Wunderlin-Hersko, Diane Preston in honor of her mother's birthday, Nancy & Kent Castelein in honor of Erik Petersen & Jim O'Brien, Steve & Betty Thornton, Margarie Egger, Sally Harper, Laura Rosol-Hibbler, Lance Zuelzke, Sue Miller, Jennifer Noll, Ashley Wynn, Kevin Dowd, Denise Sifuentes, 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.

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 and pick The Time Is Now To Help as your charity.

Please visit: www.timeisnowtohelp.org.

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