Source: Lake Geneva Regional News

Woman struggling daily

March 15, 2012

We are very happy to announce we have successfully matched the Fox Charities $25,000 Matching Grant, for a total of $50,000 to help our fellow creations in desperate need. Thank you to everyone who so generously donated to this matching grant. Thank you to the providers of this grant for their heartfelt dedication to helping the poverty stricken through The Time Is Now To Help. We are very grateful for the many blessings you enable us to provide for the poverty stricken. Sal has been extremely busy offering assistance to those in need to provide auto assistance, housing, utilities, food, toiletries, and much more. Next week we will provide a breakdown of where every penny was spent. Thank you again for making the Fox Charities $25,000 Matching Grant a success.

Dear W.C.,

I am living in pain and embarrassment. I cannot go anywhere without the stares of strangers. I have several conditions that have caused my deformity. I had skin cancer that necessitated the removal of part of my nose. But the worst thing I suffer from is the loss of my leg. I developed an infection that traveled up my leg and they had to amputate. I live in constant pain and cannot even get comfortable to rest at night. I really need to use a wheelchair to go anywhere, including the many doctor visits, but it is so hard by myself. I have not been to a dentist or eye doctor in years. I can no longer read and can barely write this letter due to my poor vision. I do not have dental or eye insurance so I do without. I have had to turn to loans at 426 percent interest. My disability does not even begin to cover my many medical expenses. Is there any way you could help me?

Suffering Alone

Dear Readers,

This letter was very moving and I could feel the woman’s desperation. There are so many who do not count their blessings. I knew this visit would have me counting mine. I have found being healthy to be one of the greatest blessings and treasurers in life. There are so many of our fellow creations struggling with disabilities and illnesses that I never knew existed. The next time you drive by blocks of houses and apartment buildings, pray for those that are suffering but not seen. This woman was in great need of our compassion and assistance.

I called the woman, even though I knew she would be home. The way she expressed her embarrassment over her appearance, her difficulty in managing a wheelchair, and her poor vision all told me she did not get out much. I wondered how she obtained food. I prayed for the obvious burden she carried with her every day of her life.

The woman answered the phone and when I asked if it would be alright for me to visit, she began to cry and told me, “I am not presentable and never will be.” I reassured her I was used to disabilities and her appearance was not a concern for me, her well being was my concern. She eventually agreed but told me she had sold most of her belongings to pay bills.

I arrived to find a small apartment almost completely empty of furniture. The woman was sitting in an old wheelchair that did not even have proper padding or fit her frame correctly. I knew the discomfort of sitting in that chair had to be adding to her pain level. I noticed the way she looked away with shame and embarrassment. I felt her loneliness and despair.

I shook her hand in greeting and told her things were going to get better for her now that The Time Is Now To Help was there to help. She still looked scared and alone. This time I got down on one knee and asked her look me in the eyes. I repeated that I was there to help. I told her hundreds of supporters of The Time Is Now To Help want to help her. I saw her face change and tears fill her eyes. She admitted I was the first person to look her in the eyes in a long, long time. After we discussed her many medical problems and medical bills we went over setting up a budget. It would be impossible for her to get by with the astronomical payments she was making on her three loans.

My dear friends these are not ordinary loans but are loans of the same type our federal justice system made illegal decades ago. Decades ago organized crime would make loans at high interest rates, the slang for these loans were “juice loans.” To force collection people would be physically and mentally terrorized to the point of financial ruin. Somehow these loans have come back, especially now during this recession, preying on the most vulnerable Americans; the elderly, handicapped, all those suffering in the desperate pains of poverty. Most of these victims are the elderly and the handicapped.

Those that give these extremely high interest loans have politicians protecting them, even to the point of passing several laws. Three years ago I received over fifteen requests about an 82 year old widow who had one f these loans at 89 percent. The loans I was looking at, with the woman needing our help, had interest of 426 percent. I am told, one of the laws put in place to compliment the torment of our elderly and disabled fellow Americans allows the loan makers to take/garnish their meager monthly income.

Ever since the recession began, I have received over 1,000 complaints regarding these loans preying on the helpless. I am told they try talking to their senator or state representative but there is a common complaint by hundreds of people, “There are a few senators who support the owners of these loans and any attempts to change things falls on deaf ears.”

I have been told complaints are going to the US Attorney’s office and beyond. Even our president passed a law to put ceilings on credit card interest. These loans are more than twelve times that ceiling. Some of these moral, social injustice loans charge 800 percent to 900 percent to those who do not have, squeezing every penny they can get, causing homelessness, hunger and extreme pains of poverty.

I have three areas of terrible by-products of poverty. With thousands of complaints over the years: 1. Alcoholics beating elderly, children and adults in their own circle of family and friends; 2. The beating and raping of women and children; and 3. these despicable loans have joined the terrible treatment of our American poor.

The loans do not have to be for a large sum of money, usually $500 to $1,500. The perpetual payments, never end due to the extreme interest rates and fees that keep compounding. The loan lenders go to any length to keep them from paying them off to $0. They even tell the often bewildered poverty stricken fellow Americans, “Do not pay the loan off, it will improve your credit if you keep a balance open.” These are poor people that will never obtain better credit by paying exorbitant interest fees. Our American government has created over 50 million poverty stricken that barely eat every day, including the working poor that earn such low wages they go from day to day to barely survive. Add to that a loan with a devastating 400 percent to 900 percent interest rate and now they no longer eat because their already meager earnings are legally taken by the loan lender.

I have been telling people who know these terrible loans and know victims for years why tell me tell law enforcement. They tell me, “The laws protect the loan sharks. We need people in politics representing the American people who are at our level who understand our problems not only these abusive, life threatening laws, causing joblessness, inflation of everything not just gas, the ripping apart of the American dream, the demeaning of working groups who educate, police, manufacture in the US...we do not need people representing us who have millions of dollars for campaigns all while we pay their wages and provide them great health insurance and no worries. We shoulder and have all the problems while we the American people suffer. Also, there are millions of Americans who are not suffering but have a heart, a love for our fellow Americans who have fallen on hard times, WC we come to you because no on is listening, America is getting into trouble all while our politicians fight and ignore us.”

My dear readers, I am sorry for such a long letter but I have kept all the above from all the letters I receive bottled up inside and after helping the poor, handicapped woman who needed a pair of glasses for two years since hers broke, but could not buy glasses to see due to the loans taking her last penny, every month for years. Also living with little food due to the loans taking her last penny, the pain and psychological suffering I found her in due to these terrible loans, given by heartless greedy people, was total torment.

Together we paid off her menial loans at an outrageous 400% and 426% interest, we bought her new glasses, we provided her with a wheel chair, we restored her life with dignity, a balanced budget, giving her, her monthly checks back, we cared and shared this handicapped woman back to life. She cried in disbelief over our overwhelming assistance to help put her life back together.

Thirty-seven states have passed some sort of protection years ago. Wisconsin government needs to act now. The following are just a few lines from the volumes of letters and calls I receive.

“Wisconsin and Illinois allow these social injustice loans to exist. Why? When other states passed laws and big fines.”

“Iowa has very strict laws protecting their American citizens. Why not Wisconsin? Do our law makers think less of our people?”

“Arkansas passes laws of protection in 2001. Why not Wisconsin law makers? Yes, there are some attempts to pass a bill but the % rates on that bill are still much higher than other state laws that were passed decade ago.”

“WC I have been informed by the US Justice Department the lag is due to: To put an end to these loan companies nationwide by setting a federal example of the loan makers, their government supporters. By charging them with the federal crime of the RICO Act. Also there is a movement to spring a class action suit to shed great light on all those that are involved, the politicians and their strong bribing, lobbying will finally be put in their place. Any political representative not voting to pass strong laws now to protect the innocent, need to be sent to jail.”

God bless all of you for helping. Please call, write, email your state senators and representatives. Tell them to put a cap on all these terrible loans of a 10 percent maximum annual interest rate and remove the threats that take/garnish these peoples meager monthly checks. Tell them to pass laws to stop the social injustices of predator loans now.

Our many fellow Americans in need are thankful for your generosity, Caring and Sharing. Together we make a big difference in the lives of many. God Bless all of you for making all our good works possible.

Health & 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: Turner Broadcasting System, Bill & Lois McEssy/McDonald’s, Fox Charities, Kunes’ Country Auto Group, Greater Milwaukee Foundation Shapiro Family Fund, Clarence & Marilyn Schawk Family Foundation, Paul Ziegler & the Ziegler Charitable Foundation, Petco Foundation, Lake Geneva Petco, Interstate Insurance, Kagan Publishing, Fair Oaks Foundation, Russo Drywall, GFWC-Womens Club of East Troy, Our Redeemer Lutheran Ladies Aid, St. Patrick’s Congregation, Marvin Hersko & Audrey Wunderlin-Hersko, Dick & Jean Honeyager, Martin O’Brien, David Klapstein, Margarie Egger, Lisa Urban, Dan Mehring, Lillian Rudolf, Thomas & Sandra Beinert, Carolyn May Essel, John & Violet Hotzfeld, Robert Dooley, Jerrold Myers, John & Lisa Gomoll, Phyllis Timons, Elaine Kunde, Charles & Nancy Castelein, Victoria Wertz, Bonnie Cowans, Sidney Johnson, Michael & Sally Anne Chier, Patricia Jankowski, Pauline Leseberg, Joan Ritter, Michael Burke, Amy Desrosier, Sandy Chang, Vinay Gidla, Cameron & Cindy Cagle, Connie Cagle, 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: Richard & Elizabeth Czaja in memory of Thomas J. Leahy. Nancy Odom in memory of Harvey Peck. Slumberland Furniture in memory of Bob Kuhn. Audrey Wunderlin-Hersko in memory of Don Wunderlin. Marvin Hersko in memory of Barbara Hersko.

We Desperately Need Cars: Please donate a used car to help our fellow American’s get to work and other daily necessities.

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