Source: Lake Geneva Regional News

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The Time is Now to Help
Young mother reunites with parents

December 16, 2010

Dear W.C.,

I moved to this area over a year ago to get away from a difficult situation. It is very hard for me to talk about what has happened to me over the last few years. Just three years ago I was a happy college student looking forward to what life had to offer. I loved school and was looking forward to a career as a teacher one day. I also liked to have fun with my friends.

One night I went to a party off campus with several of my girlfriends. We had promised to stick together and watch out for each other. I felt uncomfortable as soon as I walked in the party. I should have left right then and there but my friends convinced me to stay. Soon my friends had found some guys to talk to and were sharing drinks with them. They brought me a drink too and I did not want to drink it. I told my friends I didn't want to drink it but they said it was OK they had watched them fill the glass. I wish I did not drink it. I don't remember much after that.

I woke up in a strange place the next day and knew I had been raped. I was so scared and horrified. My friends were nowhere to be found. I ended up pulling myself together and running back to my dorm. I could not shower enough to remove how dirty I felt. I never reported the rape because I could not even tell you who committed it. I felt it was my fault for not following my instincts and leaving immediately from the party. I knew better than to take a drink from strangers. I never went to a doctor or the police.

Several months went by and I knew I was pregnant. I had never had a relationship before so I know it was a result of the rape. How could I face my parents who had such high hopes for me? When I went home to tell them what had happened they were shocked. They thought I was lying and called me many terrible names. They are very strict. They thought I made up the story because I never told the police.

They asked me to leave and threw me out on my own. They would no longer help me with my education or any expenses. I did not know how I was going to survive. I had never been on my own before. I could not believe how heartless they were. I decided to keep the baby. A friend who lived in Wisconsin told me I could live with her for a while. I thought it would be good to get away from all the bad memories and start over.

I found a job but was laid off when I had my baby. Since I did not work that long I did not qualify for unemployment. I applied for assistance but I have not received any. My baby is now a year old and we are really struggling. I work part-time at a low paying job. Our utilities are disconnected and we are about to be evicted. I called my parents out of desperation and they hung up on me. Can you please help me?

Dear Readers,

I was very saddened to read this letter. I felt so sad for what life had brought to this young woman and child. Her innocence was stolen from her in one selfish, barbaric moment. She was left to carry the burden of the crime that was done against her, all on her own. How could I not offer this young mother and little child a helping hand?

I called the young mother but her phone number was disconnected. I went to the address found on the letter and arrived at a very run down old building. I knocked on the door and it was opened by a girl that looked like she should still be in high school. She looked tired and drained. She had a baby in her arms and at first glance I would have thought she was an older sister or baby sitter.

From the look in her eyes I could tell this was the mother of the child and the writer of the request for assistance. I introduced myself and could see the relief come into her face. She looked so hopeful and desperate, the baby was so tiny and pale, the scene almost brought tears to my eyes. I felt their fear and hopelessness so I knew I had to be strong and control my emotions.

She invited me in to her cold dark apartment. I should have noticed the layers of clothing on both the baby and mother. She said her electricity was disconnected for several months. The apartment was on the second floor and the only warmth generated was coming from the first floor apartment below them radiating heat up to theirs. I noticed she had several bags and a suitcase by the door. She explained she was going to be evicted the following day and was packing.

I asked her where she was going and she broke down in tears. She said, "I don't know. I have nowhere to go." I asked if she had any family or friends she could live with and she said, "No. They have all turned their back on me. No one believes I was raped. They all think I made up this story. They can't believe I could love this beautiful child so much if I was raped. No one wants anything to do with me." How could they judge her for what may have been a poor decision, attending a party with strangers and accepting a drink, but certainly was not her fault. How could they find fault in her raising this beautiful baby and trying to be a good mother?

We sat to talk about her options. I assured her we would make sure she was not homeless with her baby. I made arrangements for her to move into a motel. I also went over her bills and job prospects. I had to be honest with her and tell her there were truly not a lot of options for her at this time. She was too young and did not have enough education to obtain a job she could support herself and a child on.

I asked her about her parents and if they had spoken to her yet. She hung her head in shame and said they refused to speak to her. She said she had made a promise to remain innocent and not drink or do drugs at school. She felt she had failed them. She carried the weight of guilt with her that was uncalled for. The brutal man that had done this to her was the one that should be caring the guilt and suffering the life of shame she was enduring. I felt anger rising in me at the thought of the man that had so carelessly used this girl and tossed her aside. At that moment I offered to call her parents for her. She looked shocked when I suggested it and immediately said no. When I asked her if she missed them she said, "I miss them so much it hurts. Even though they kicked me out I still love them."

I asked if I could have their number to call them and she finally gave in. She said she did not want to hear the conversation so I stepped outside. I called the number and it was answered by who I believe was the young woman's mother. When I explained who I was and why I was calling, the mother immediately began to say, "I want nothing to do with my daughter. She is a liar and a sinner." I countered this with, "Your daughter loves you and misses you very much. You have a granddaughter who would like to meet you as well." I could hear the mother sniffle on the other end and knew she was listening. "I have come to help your daughter during a very hard time in her life.

She says you are a good Christian woman and I know this in my heart to be true. She needs you more now than ever before in her life. She needs her mother and father." The mother then began to cry. "I have missed her so much and I have regretted what was said and done. I should have believed my daughter. She was always honest and God loving." She then went on to tell me how several young women had come forward at the college her daughter had attended and spoke about similar incidents that had happened to them, and others, as well. She knew when she heard this that her daughter had not been telling a lie. The mother said, "Tell my girl I want to come see her. Her father and I will drive there tomorrow to talk to her."

That night I moved the young woman and baby to the motel. I could not leave them in a cold dark apartment any longer. I also provided her with diapers and food that a volunteer had picked up for her. I promised to be there the following day when her parents came to visit. The next day I met the parents at the motel where the young woman and baby were staying. I talked to them outside for a few minutes to be sure they were there with forgiving, loving hearts. They truly seemed sorry for the way they had treated their daughter in the past. I walked them to the door and watched as they saw their granddaughter for the first time.

Even though this innocent child was brought to their family in such a violent way, the fragile little baby and mother, were greeted with hugs and tears. The parents tearfully wrapped their arms around their daughter and granddaughter and asked her for forgiveness. The daughter immediately told them, "No, no I am the one that needs to be forgiven. I was careless and let this happen to myself." The parents looked her in the eyes and said, "No. This was not your fault. We were wrong. When you decided to keep this child and love her you were being much more Christian than we were. How could we be so judgmental and harsh with you? We love you and want you to come home with us."

Hearing those words of acceptance and love, the daughter began to shake and cry. Both parents cried as they hugged their daughter and granddaughter. I could see this young woman's family love had been restored. With her parents help she could provide her child with food and a loving family environment. We intervened to help create this reunion. God bless all of you for your support of our Time Is Now To Help.

It has been a while since we provided this young woman with one night's emergency shelter, food, diapers, and a special phone call home. She says her life is once again what she had dreamed about, living at home, full of love, caring, and no more fear. The parents said they feel so blessed that they are able to offer their daughter and granddaughter their help and love. They thanked The Time Is Now To Help for helping their daughter and granddaughter when they had nowhere else to turn. They even provided The Time Is Now To Help with a donation to help other single mother's in need. I explained about all of you and your caring and sharing support to make all of our good works possible. The parents and daughter send a big thank you for helping them and said, "God bless all of you."

I thank all of you for your kindness in Caring & Sharing what you have been blessed with to help our fellow creations. I alone cannot help all those who have reached out to us for help. 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.

A Very Special Thank You: Mark & Natalie Reno, John & Madeleine Engerman, Joan Scialabba, Michael & Sue Borden, Brookmead Trust, Wendy Calhoun, Andrew Fritz, Delavan Service League, Skip's Restaurant, Lakeland Trash Service, Paper Dolls, Martin O'Brien, Ron & Kerrie Vyskocil, Chad & Shae McLafferty, Tammy Cobb, Karen Gueldenzopf, Mark Pesh, Daniel Pett, James Clarke, Debra Guzman, Sylvester & Virginina Seick, Gerald & Marilyn Wilkin, Gwen Quincannon, Marie Kerkman, Michol Ann Ford, Albert & Ellen Burnell, Frank Huml Jr., Jeanne Maclean, Larry Rygielski, James & Carolyn Miles, Rudolph & Donna Zwolfer, Rita Yadon, Charles Koerner, James & Janice Batten, William & Jean Isaacson, Pam Maynard, Lake Geneva Lioness Club, Mary Lynn Payne, Belinda Harris, Pauline Malsch, Anna Guske, Arlene Weyrough, Nancy Hayes, 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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