Source: Lake Geneva Regional News

The Time is Now to Help
Senior worried for the future

March 31, 2011

Dear W.C.,

I am very distressed by what I see going on in our great country. I am a senior woman who has raised four children on my own after my husband died. I have always considered myself a working middle class citizen. I am very proud that all my children worked their way through high school and then college. Three graduated with degrees and student loans, and one has served his country proudly in the military.

Now I watch them struggle to keep or get employment. They are all good, smart, hard working adults, yet I see their future will be very hard. My daughter is a teacher and will be lucky if she still has a job next year. My son is in the military as his family struggles financially. My oldest son lost his job at the beginning of the recession and is now working a low paying job that he is lucky to have. My other daughter serves tables just making it week to week. Her four-year college degree does not mean anything without any jobs.

I feel sad their future is so insecure and they are all struggling so hard. Gas prices are taking income away that we would be spending in our local communities. Food prices are so high we canít even afford to eat properly any longer. My children canít afford to buy good food and clothing for their children. They canít afford to repair their cars. Many of my senior friends are stretching every penny. I canít afford to help them.

I am encouraged by your weekly column and assistance you offer to the many in need. If you watch the news you see the world is in such a mess. It is hard to take in all the tragedy, wars, disasters, and crime. The Time Is Now To Help makes me feel there are people who care, even when our government seems to be looking the other way and spending billions on wars over oil outside of our country.

Worried for the Future

Dear Readers,

I called the woman that wrote this letter even though she did not ask for any assistance. Often there is more to learn by a conversation in person. I could not help but agree with her assessment of our countryís current condition. If the government gets its way, the proposed budget cuts will cost our nation even more jobs and further poverty. There will be less assistance available to those that rely on it, including the disabled, veterans, and senior citizens. Schools will lose funding for improvements and programs.

Community health centers will be closed, meaning even less health care available to those in need. Already overwhelmed housing assistance programs will be eliminated. Many senior centers will be closed. What are our most vulnerable citizens going to do? How will they survive on even less, when they are struggling now? Why is our government spending billions of dollars a year all over the world instead of using our tax dollars here in our America?

If our citizens are not able to afford the most basic needs, purchased in our own local communities, we will see even more local businesses shut down. Have you not already noticed the many local businesses unable to afford to stay open? That is happening all over our great country. Our government leaders have sold us to foreign countries for cheap imports, produced in substandard facilities, with horrible working conditions putting American-run businesses out of business. Why? We have been sold out to oil companies that forever raise the cost of gas for our cars, to the point millions of Americans cannot afford to even pay for food and health care.

The Time Is Now To Help has been struggling to keep up with the already overwhelming amount of requests for assistance we receive. The pains of poverty are causing our neighbors to reach out for desperate help. Even those with great pride have a breaking point, when children and the elderly are suffering from the lack of food and the fear of homelessness. Every time a government program is cut or reduced the referrals to us increases. It is wonderful we have such a caring and sharing base of supporters to help those that we do, but many are waiting for help. Every time we answer a call for help we feel you there with us, helping to ease the pain and suffering of poverty together.

After I called the writer of this letter she invited me over, ďJust to chat,Ē as she put it. I arrived at her apartment and we sat to talk. Her apartment was a small efficiency. She was struggling to get by. I asked about her children as she pointed out each of their pictures. They looked like many other American families. They were struggling just like many other American families. They did all the right things. They went to school, worked hard, and expected that to keep them safe. They looked forward to jobs in their chosen field, with health care and retirement plans. Now they all were facing the reality of what our government had done when they opened up free trade and foreign military aid.

Our government does not seem to care that our people will not be able to earn enough to support local industries. Our government does not seem to care that fellow Americans may end up losing their homes and living out of a car or in a shelter. If they become sick and do not have health care it is a disaster. Who will work for them and pay the bills? Who will be able to pay the huge health care bills? These are all things our government needs to be thinking about as they draw up budgets that exclude health care, education, senior services, housing assistance, and other social assistance programs all while sending our taxes overseas. Our country, the United States of America, should be our governmentís number one concern.

After I spoke with this very intelligent senior woman for some time I asked her about her own financial state. She was unwilling to ask for assistance for herself but I persisted anyway. She finally confessed to unpaid bills and walking everywhere because she could not afford gas. While walking is very good exercise for everyone, this was a woman with a knee replacement walking on icy sidewalks to get what meager groceries she could afford. Together we supplied her with gas vouchers for her car that she tried to refuse.

I insisted and could see tears in her eyes as she said, ďIím so ashamed.Ē I told her to not be ashamed. I told her about the many God loving individuals who want a better life for our fellow Americans struggling in poverty. We also helped her with food and utility bills. We talked about some of the other programs that she may qualify for that she was unaware of.

When I was preparing to leave after my second visit, she gave me a big hug and I held her as she cried. I could see how overwhelming this had been for her. Life is very tough for our poverty stricken fellow creations. The financial and emotional stress can be hard to live with every day. We have helped to alleviate that stress for this deserving senior woman.

Thank you for your caring and sharing. You have helped to ease the pain and stress of poverty from another one of Godís creations.

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: Summertime Foundation, Ziegler Charitable Foundation, Rhoades Foundation, Michael & Sue Borden, Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin, Geneva Ridge Joint Venture, Dick & Jean Honeyager, Tom & Sue Stelling, Bemis Company Foundation, Martin OíBrien, James & Marilynn Dyer, Kenneth & Teresa Klein, Sue Storms, Ellyn Kehoe, Mark & Patricia Solheim, Michael Burke, Jeanne Ludwig, Berneal & Carolyn Deady, Lee & Betty Hayles, Gerald & Marilyn Wilkin, Kathleen Gallagher, Patricia Parsons, Fredric Wolden, 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 Americanís 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