Source: Lake Geneva Regional News

Single mom cares for niece

by Sal Dimiceli

June 20, 2013

Dear W.C.,

My brother and his wife have struggled with alcohol for a long time. They live several hours away from me. They have one daughter that is four years old. Over the last two years I have taken in my niece again and again because my brother was not capable of caring for her. Child protective services removed her again this week due to neglect and their addiction. I am a single mother with two of my own children to care for, yet I always take the time to drive to get my niece whenever I can. This time I hope child services and the court let my niece stay with me permanently. I would love to have custody of my niece. My niece has developmental delays that I know I could help her with.

I am asking The Time Is Now to help me with my rent and utilities this month. I am very frugal with what little funds I have but the extra expense of driving to get my niece, food, clothing (she came to me with literally the rags on her back and a pair of flip flops), and a medical bill because she was very sick when I picked her up, has strained my budget. My budget will be fine once I receive the state aid provided for the care of my niece. How can I say no when I feel I am her only hope of ever having a normal life? Please help us through this emotionally and financially difficult time.

Aunt Wanting to Help

Dear Readers,

I have seen many children removed and returned to abusive/neglectful homes over and over again. The need to protect our children is great. The decision to return children to a questionable environment is a hard one to make. Have the parents changed enough, recovered from addictions, changed possibly violent behavior, are the children truly at risk? How does the behavior of these parents affect the children for the rest of their lives? While I struggle with all these questions I am glad we can be there to step in and offer a helping hand. Children are a gift from God, and we have to do our part to compassionately protect them.

From what I observed of the aunt she was certainly capable of providing a stable loving environment for the niece. Her own two children were happy, clean and well mannered. The aunt said she was horrified by what she had seen of the household her niece was living in. The piles of filth, the stench of rotting food and other waste, the lack of clothing and other basic necessities. She said she had gone to the house to try and find some clothing and shoes for her niece but did not want to even take the few belongings she found due to the state of filth and decay. The aunt said, “I cried when I saw how my niece was forced to live.”

I asked about her brother and sister-in-law. She said she had fought with them both over their alcohol addiction for years. She had offered many times to take her niece when she knew they were in no shape to care for a child. They had declined many times. They then moved up north over a year ago to get away from her watching over them.

There was nothing she could do to prevent it. She herself had called child services the first time she could not reach any of them. She knew they must be on a binge. Child services found the niece locked in her room, crying in filthy soiled clothing, no food, no water and malnourished. She was able to keep her niece for several months after that, but soon found she legally had to hand her back to the alcoholic parents.

It was a constant expense for her to drive back and forth as often as she could with her own job and two children to worry about. The cost of gas and caring for her own two children kept her from being able to make the trip more often. The aunt said she would move to be closer but knew they would only move away again, and she did not want to lose her job or move her children.

The Time Is Now to Help stepped in to help the aunt with her immediate budget shortcomings. The rent and utilities were brought up to date. We provided some assistance with the basic necessities, a new bed, clothing, an eye exam and of course some toys.

As of our last visit there was no permanent resolution for the custody of the niece. The aunt continued to have temporary custody. Both the aunt and I were moved to tears when the niece said, “Thank you. Bye.” when I left. I had never heard her speak before. The aunt said, “See, that is why I need to keep her here with me. She will lose all we have gained. She is laughing, playing and even talking now.” Our prayers are needed so this child, and others, are loved, protected and nurtured.

Thank you for reading our column and sharing the message of hope. Please network, share our message of love with all your family, friends and business associates.

Please visit our website at www.timeisnowtohelp.org and like us on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/thetimeisnowtohelp. The more who hear about our mission, the more pain and suffering we can relieve.

Health & Happiness,

God Bless Everyone,

W.C./Sal

Please help

We have almost met the Fox Charities $25,000 matching grant. Every dollar you donate will be matched by another, doubling your help to those in desperate need, removing their pains of poverty. Please help me to share our compassion and remove the pains of poverty. Please help our fellow creations.

New mailing address

Make checks payable to:

The Time Is Now to Help

P.O. Box 1, Lake Geneva, WI 53147

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, Pentair Foundation, The Summertime Foundation, Dick & Jean Honeyager, Mark & Natalie Reno, Paul Ziegler/Ziegler Charitable Trust, Lake Geneva Area Realty, Rick & Juanita Coleman, Beth Rendall, James & Karen Goodrick, Steve Thornton, Ralph & Gloria Moehrke, Barbara Kufalk, Lauren Grady, Joanne Zeasman, Michael & Kathe Beach, Leon & Lou Jane Koldeway, Gerald & Marilyn Wilkin, Dallas & Henrietta Briggs, Sylvester & Virginina Seick, Geri Hinton, Caleb & Bridget Christen, JT Marty, 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

John & Susan Holmes, Brent & Scott in memory of Jean Watts. Kathleen Rohleder-Griebel in memory of James Lee Picknell. Lake Geneva Manor Association in memory of John Martino.

Upcoming event

Please join us Tuesday, July 2, 2013 at 5 p.m. as we celebrate Lake Geneva School of Cooking’s 5th year in Lake Geneva. We will be enjoying champagne, appetizers and delightful grilled bites from Chef John’s Demonstration Table while listening to the musical talents of Dave Sarkis. The event will be $50 per person with half of all sales going to The Time Is Now to Help. We hope to see you there. For more information please visit www.lakegenevaschoolofcooking.com or call 262-248-3933.

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 Highway 120 North, Lake Geneva, in the old Floor Store building across from the Next Door Pub. Look for the American flags.

We desperately need cars

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

Please visit

www.timeisnowtohelp.org.