July 03, 2012 | 09:10 AMThis week I thought I would share with you a few pages of a journal kept by one of my long time volunteers.
They shared it with me recently and I was moved to see how "our" The Time Is Now to Help affected them.
You always get only my view of our assistance and only a few have accompanied me on these very private visits.
Today I helped open and sort mail. I separated the letters requesting help from the donation checks and notes. This was a much larger task than I thought. I did not realize there were that many people in need of assistance. First I check the do not help list for those that either have addictions and/or are not willing to help themselves. Second I check the court records for inconsistencies in their stories or signs of repeated OWI's or abuse. I also checked to see if they were given assistance in the past and if so, to what extent. If the letter was requesting emergency help and in need of immediate assistance I moved the letters to the top of the list. I feel blessed to have my health, home, and food after reading these letters. It also was nice to read our donors' words of encouragement. It makes me feel good knowing I am part of something that people are proud of. I then presented the mail to Sal.
Today we helped a single mom with three daughters. Sal called me to pick up food for them and meet them. The mother's ex-husband was extremely abusive and caused permanent brain damage to one of the daughters from repeated abuse. The woman finally got separated from her husband and had to file a restraining order to try and protect herself and her daughters. The mother also suffers from a degenerative bone disorder making it impossible for her to work. She cannot drive a car and can barely walk. They were intelligent and I realized things like this can happen to anyone. I will never judge people again by their circumstances or appearances. It was sad to see such a smart family struggling and failing to make ends meet. Their kitchen table was a piece of plywood placed over an old table frame they had pulled out of their neighbors trash. They slept on old mattresses on the floor. At the end of Sal's time with this family they all started crying, hugging, and thanking us. It was one of the most touching moments of my life that I will never forget. Sal was very upset over the abuse and damages to the whole family. He promised to follow up with the mother and make sure they were all kept safe going forward. Sal promptly called all the authorities to bring more attention to their plight for safety.
February 27: I helped a young lady today that is going through so much. After seeing what she is going through I will never complain about my life again. She is only 33 years old and has a terminal disease. Even though she lives with recurring fevers and pain, she still continues to work. This woman's medications were extremely expensive and not covered by her insurance. I feel defeated knowing that no matter how much help we give her, it will not be enough to save her life. However, we made a huge difference in her life. We gave her a car to get to work and her medical appointments and paid her rent and utilities. Now she does not have to worry about these things along with her struggle to live. You could see the gratitude and relief in the woman's face, words and new energy.
March 4: I personally feel emotionally dedicated to all the children that I hear about here at The Time Is Now to Help. The horror stories that I sometimes read about in people's letters breaks my heart. I cannot explain the pain I feel for these people that are being abused. I want so badly to help make a change so that no child has to be scarred at such a young age by emotional trauma, alcoholics, domestic abuse, sexual and physical abuse. I am blessed to be able to be a part of something that works so hard to make a difference in our society and in how children are treated.
March 9: We received a letter from a 15-year-old girl that told us she was on the free breakfast and lunch program at her school. She went on to tell us that at home, where she lives with her mother and grandmother, they sometimes do not have enough food. She was worried because she noticed her grandmother skipping meals and she knew this was so she would have enough food. The girl was grateful for the sacrifices her grandmother was making but also worried about her because she went without food often. We immediately went shopping and filled their refrigerator and cabinets with food. We also helped them with rent and utilities to help them get caught up and back on their feet. The mother had been unemployed for several months and they had fallen behind. She was so happy to tell us she had gotten a job. She actually cried over the opportunity to work. Once again I feel good inside to be a part of The Time Is Now to Help.
March 17: Today I met a very lonely elderly woman. She told us how she did not have any family or friends left. Her husband had died many years ago. It was very cold in her trailer home. She had on a coat inside her house. We asked how long she had been living with it so cold inside and she said all winter. Realizing that this elderly woman had to wear extra layers to keep warm was very humbling and really helped me to see how blessed I am. I have never been grateful for luxuries such as heat during the winter or air-conditioning during the summer. I always took these things for granted. This elderly woman taught us all a life lesson in being thankful.
March 25: A single mother was brought to our attention by someone that worked with her. They told us how she walked four miles each way to work every day because her car was broke down. They said that no matter what the weather was like she made it to work. Sometimes co-workers offered to give her rides but most days she had to walk. It was shocking to me to think of this woman walking in blizzards, rain and sometimes in the dark on the side of the road just to keep a roof over their heads. After visiting her and her children I knew what true devotion and love was. Most people could not match this woman's sacrifices that she made for her family. I was so happy we were able to provide her with a used car and helped her with her utilities. She and her children were so grateful and deserving of our help.
April 10: Today we met a homeless man and his little boy. When I looked at the little boy in his father's arms I could see they were really hurting. Their clothes were ragged and dirty. I felt terrible when I learned they had no money for food and had not eaten a good meal in a long time. Sal helped them to get a place to stay and I went to get them food. Within a few hours they were feeling much better. Knowing that we kept another family off the streets, especially that sad little boy, makes me feel as though I accomplished something that is so great. Having this opportunity to help so many in ways that most people never get the chance to...is incredible to say the least. I am so proud to be part of The Time Is Now to Help. I thank my father Sal for sharing God's love.
Once again, together we make our world a better place. Thank you for Caring and Sharing.
Health and happiness, God Bless Everyone, W.C./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: CNN/Turner Broadcasting System, Mark and Natalie Reno, Kunes' Country Auto Group, Dick and Jean Honeyager, Craig Wiser, Distribution and Transportation Service, Whiting Law Group, East Troy Share, Gerald and Joyce Byers, Gerald and Marilyn Wilkin, Michael and Barbara Lakin, Ellen Vander Beke, Elaine Voss, Margarie Egger, Geraldine Hinton, Steve Thornton, Susan Koenen Russella, Donald and Mildred Carl, Ruth Przewoznik, Pauline Leseberg, John and Violet Hotzfeld, John and Susan Piala, Monica Hochevar, 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: Donald and Agnes Pfeiffer in memory of Gladys Keith. Lois Griffin in memory of Gerald (Bud) Griffin. Mary Borgert in memory of Marc Borgert.
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