Source: Lake Geneva Regional News

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Fire destroys house and home

by Sal Dimiceli

February 14, 2013

Thank you to The Summertime Foundation's $10,000 Matching Grant. We want to remind everyone for every dollar you donate, it will be matched by another. The middle of winter is here with its cold temperatures and long dark nights. This can be the most difficult time for our desperate fellow creations in need of our help. This also comes at the same time as our donations slow down after the holidays. Utility, shelter, food and auto assistance are crucial this time of year for our seniors, the disabled and the working poor families turning to us for help. God bless you for caring and sharing.

Dear W.C.,

Last month our rental home burned down. We are lucky that we were not home at the time of the fire.

My husband and I were at the hospital having our third child and my other two children were staying with their grandparents when this happened. Our house is a complete loss and we lost all our belongings.

What a nightmare to not have a home to bring your baby home to. My husband has only been working part-time for the winter due to the weather. We had very minimal savings that we went through already.

My husband's parents have been keeping the children for now but they live in a two bedroom apartment that is too far to drive the children every day for school. We ended up in a motel for now.

We did not have everything insured and will lose a lot from this. My car was in the garage and was lost, too. We only had minimal insurance on that as well since it was an older car. Now I do not have any transportation when my husband goes to work unless I drive him back and forth. That is too expensive with gas prices going up again.

Can you please help us out of this mess?

Parents needing help

Dear readers,

I went to visit the family at the motel mentioned in the letter. When I arrived at the room number, I could tell it was a full house.

When the father answered the door, I introduced myself. The father invited me in to their small motel room. The motel room was at its capacity with a newborn and crib, two young children and the parents.

The children were shy and seemed bewildered by the situation. After speaking with the parents for a while they warmed up a little. When the parents were talking about what they had lost in the fire the younger child began to cry and said they lost all their toys.

The parents did not even realize the child was paying attention to our conversation. I could see it was very distressing for the children to be listening to this. I asked if the father and I could speak in the car and he agreed it would be best.

We sat in the car and talked for quite some time. The father shared all their financial difficulties and even began to cry when he shared how responsible he felt for not having sufficient insurance.

He said they just could not afford full coverage with his wife being off work through her pregnancy due to difficulties and his reduction in hours. I asked if he had been looking for a new job that would provide sufficient hours. The father said yes, and he already found one but he would not be starting for a week. This was a blessing to find a good job in this recession.

I asked what they had spent their savings on since the fire and he said they had used it to pay their utility bill and for a car repair.

They also had already paid their rent for the month and then they had to pay for the motel for the month.

Their budget really suffered from the double rent payment. I could see they needed to get into a rental as soon as possible because the motel was less than ideal for both the children's well-being and their financial well-being. I asked the father if it would be okay for me to call his new employer. He provided me with the name and phone number.

I called to confirm the father's employment. I happened to know the employer and he confirmed the father's position. The employer is a good person and would provide this father with steady full-time employment. With this news, I knew we just needed to help them get back on their feet and they would be financially back on track.

We went back into the motel room with the rest of the family as it was after 7 p.m. I asked about their food and toiletries. He admitted to only being able to afford fast food on most days as they did not have cooking appliances.

They had a small room refrigerator and that was it. They had not even had dinner yet. I immediately called one of our loyal volunteers and asked them to bring over a hot meal for the family.

I also told them to get a few small toys for the children after asking the mother what they liked. Within an hour the family was enjoying a nice rotisserie chicken, mashed potatoes and vegetables. The way they were enjoying it was all the thanks we needed. The children even asked for seconds.

After they were done eating I pulled out the toys, just simple inexpensive crayons, coloring books, small cars and a board game. The parents said it was the happiest they had seen their children since the fire.

I promised the family to bring further help the following day. I needed to get to work putting together a plan to get this family out of a motel and into suitable shelter.

I know several landlords so I gave one of them a call and asked if he had anything reasonable for this family. He said he had just purchased a small hom,e but it needed some work which should take about a week. He said he would be willing to pay the husband to complete the repairs if he was capable or give them a reduction on their first few months rent. I went to see the property with the father.

The repairs required were not dangerous for the children and the father said he could easily complete them in a week prior to the start of his new job. I loved his enthusiasm. Helping people who really want to help themselves, are those we want to give a hand up.

The following day the family was moving in to their new rental. Due to the time delay of the fathers paycheck from his new job we paid for first month's rent. The security deposit was covered by the work the father had already started. This would put their budget on track.

We had some very nice donated furniture that they were extremely grateful to receive. There also were some donated toys and clothing for the whole family.

We provided mattresses, household necessities, food and toiletries. I could see happy smiles on the children at my next visit. They showed off the toys and showed me their new room. The father also had a smile on his face as he said he had been hired to do repair work on the landlords other rentals as well. The extra income would make a big difference.

During this entire time the mother was caring for her new baby. Now and then she would look at me with tear filled eyes. Then she said, "I never knew anyone that just fixes lives."

She continued on as she broke into tears of relief, "I just had a baby. We lost all our belongings and no one would give us a break. To think we were that close to being homeless..." She could not talk anymore as she was overcome with emotion from keeping it in for so long. I explained how all of "you" who care and share, that support all the good works of The Time Is Now to Help, how we, together, want to remove the pain and suffering of poverty. Both the mother and the father listened intently. Then they both gave several heartfelt, "Thank you, God Bless all of you."

Together, we will continue to replace the fear, pain and suffering of poverty, with compassion, healing, caring and sharing with our hearts to change lives. God Bless you and thank you for helping us achieve good works for those in desperate need.

Health and 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 how your donation provided assistance for the poverty stricken.

A very special thank you:

Fox Charities, The Summertime Foundation, Unilock, Kunes' Country Auto Group, Unilock, Dick and Jean Honeyager, Vegter Masonry, E2 Services, Delavan Lioness Club, Excel Family Chiropractic and Wellness, Copper Horse, Leroy and Kathy Smiley, Aurora Health Care Employee Partnership Campaign, Gene Krauklis, Diana Michalek, Melody Friedewald, Judith Mackessy, Mary Cucchi, Heidi Hall, Jeanne McDonald, Margaret Guidarelli, Michael and Kim Soeth, Randall and Margaret Smith, Sid and Patty Johnson, Michael Burke, James and Kathleen Smith, Dan Mehring, Mark and Gretchen Kitzman, 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.


Sue Schlick in memory of Lois Binder.

The following donations are in memory of Dr. Edward W. Ruzga D.C.: Dennis and Judene Speckman and Tim and Christine Drewry.

My dear friends:

The W.C. Food Pantry needs your help. Due to the drought food supplies have been scarce. Our communities have been very blessed by the dedication and hard work of Jim and Ardith Drescher, and the many volunteers that help to feed the hungry. At the end of this month the W.C. Food Pantry will lose its food storage at the Trostel warehouse. The Trostel storage facility was graciously donated by Trostel for many months, but now they are reopening their business. Jim Drescher has asked me to ask all of you to please network together to find a storage facility for the food. Presently the W.C. Food Pantry location has outgrown its facility. This is due to the great amount of people that are in need of food. If you know of any buildings that you think would be suitable please contact us. Thank you for your caring and sharing.

Chris Ann's Resale Shop:

I will continue to ask Chris Ann's Resale shop for furniture and household necessities to help our poverty stricken fellow Americans. If you have anything you would like to donate please call (262) 348-9088. They are located at 406 Hwy. 120 North, Lake Geneva, WI, in the old Floor Store building across from the Shell gas station and Next Door Pub. Look for the American flags.

Desperately need cars:

Please donate a used car to help our fellow Americans get to work and other daily necessities.

Please visit: