As this is Thanksgiving week and many of us are counting our blessings and thinking of the things we are most thankful for, I thought I would share some of the people we have helped this year that I am most thankful for. I also want to share with you some of the blessings being counted by the families, children, senior citizens, veterans and the handicapped thanks to being touched by the good works we do together through The Time Is Now to Help .

I am thankful for the people we have sheltered from the pains of homelessness this year. The woman I found in the Walmart parking lot that was cold, hungry and alone. The family moving from friends’ and families’ couches to basements while they tried to save enough for a security deposit and first month’s rent. The single mother with two children who had cancer and was evicted. These are just a few of the many people we have moved into warm motel rooms and eventually saw them through until they could not only be approved for an apartment but also afford the rental apartment on their own. I have seen many of them break down in tears of gratitude that they now have a place to call home. These fellow creations transformation from homeless to secure shelter is a blessing. They will be in my thoughts and prayers this week for continued success as we count our blessings.

I am thankful for the people I have seen healed and cured of many illnesses this year and the comfort our assistance brought them. I think of the child that was suffering through chemotherapy that is now healthy and in remission. Thanks to your donations we were able to help his mother pay their rent and help her with gas and food so she could be by her child’s side as they went through these difficult treatments. The woman that suffered multiple aneurysms, while caring for her severely disabled adult daughter and husband with a life-threatening illness, has healed enough to continue to lovingly care for them. I am so grateful for her recovery and the assistance your donations provided that paid their overdue utilities and rent. We were a blessing to them in their time of desperate need. The single mother that has had to take multiple days off work, in order to care for her daughter with severe diabetes, was able to pay her rent and utilities thanks to all of you. The senior citizen that cares for their mentally disabled adult child, yet can’t afford basic dental care or glasses, was crying tears of gratitude for the pain we removed from her already difficult life. These people and the strength they show when facing such adversity has shown me what courage means. To face this adversity while also living in poverty is heartbreaking and I am so grateful for your donations that have allowed us to ease their pains of poverty so they can focus their energy on healing and supporting their loved ones.

I am thankful for the many hungry people we have fed. So many faces I have seen filled with the longing for food. When you are hungry it fills your every thought. When you are a hungry child you do not do well in school or grow properly. When you are a senior citizen that skips meals to try and save enough money for basic necessities you are compromising your health. It is not good for your mind or your body. When mothers skip meals so their children have enough to eat they are often suffering in silence and shame. Your support has allowed us to remove the shame and the pain of hunger. I think of the senior woman who due to pride denied she needed food, yet when it was delivered her hands shook as she ate quickly. I remember the children that ran to the kitchen with the anticipation of having a good hot meal when their single mother had been sick and unable to work. I know we were a blessing to these people and so many more this past year when we made sure our fellow creations did not go hungry. I count it a blessing to have been there to remove that hunger thanks to you.

I am thankful for the many beds we have provided. When I remember the smiles on the faces of children as they climb into their new beds with new sheets, often times their first bed, fills me with joy. The simple comfort of waking from a restful sleep after years of sleeping on an old sagging mattress, a floor, recliner chair or couch, is renewing for people of all ages. The many aches and pains a senior citizen thought was due to old age are often due to an old mattress. We were blessed to be able to offer many, many beds this year to people living without. These people usually needed much more help than just beds. Their very old beds, or lack thereof, were an indicator of the difficult lives they have lived. The struggle to afford food, rent and utilities always comes before beds and many other basic needs. Thank you for your generosity that allowed us to provide this comfort, the gift of a restful night’s sleep. I am grateful we are able to provide this gift to the people turning to us in need.

I am thankful for the people we have saved from the pains caused by lack of dental care. The senior woman I found crying in pain and holding her mouth as she struggled to tell me about her life of suffering. I am grateful we do not have to turn our backs on this very real pain. When I notice this suffering I am grateful I can ask our fellow creations what is causing them such pain and when they say, “I have not been able to afford to go to the dentist” I am able to tell them, “Thanks to our supporters you will be able to see a dentist and have that pain removed!” Physical pain is like hunger in that when you feel it, it is all you can think about.

Our assistance means that pain is removed and they are again able to enjoy life. That enjoyment of a pain-free life is thanks to the blessings you have provided.

I am thankful for the women, children, veterans and senior citizens we have saved from living in darkness. When your utilities are disconnected it doesn’t just affect your ability to turn on your lights. It also affects your ability to store food, prepare meals, have hot water for bathing and dishes, do homework, have heat and being able to do your laundry. Even with the moratorium of utilities not being disconnected in winter, if you go into winter with them already disconnected you will be without the basic comfort of utilities all winter. For some it is life threatening. I have several senior citizens I visited this year that had their heat set so low they were living inside with winter coats on due to the fear of not being able to afford their utility bill. We took away that fear and helped them to live in their apartment or home without the necessity of winter coats. I think of the homes with children that were dark and cold before we arrived and thanks to you were warm and light after our assistance. I am so grateful for the comfort and life-saving help we have provided with our utility assistance.

I am thankful for the gift of transportation we together have provided. The gift of getting in a car that starts each morning, brings your children safely to school or medical care and delivers you to your job on time so you do not lose your employment is the most requested area of assistance. If you cannot keep your job due to lack of transportation, all areas of your life are affected. If you can’t get to work you don’t get paid. When you don’t get paid you can’t pay for any of the areas of assistance we provide. If you are caring for someone that needs continuous medical care you need reliable transportation to get you to the many appointments and procedures. The transportation assistance we provide, whether it be car repairs, a donated vehicle, providing a handicap-accessible vehicle, new tires, gas gift cards, is a lifeline for many. I am filled with gratitude for the transportation assistance we have been able to provide this year thanks to you.

As I count my blessings I often am brought back to thinking of our supporters and how you make this all possible. Without you these people would never have felt the caring support we provided. Thank you for your donations that make all this possible. When I sit down to my Thanksgiving dinner, often late in the evening as I spend the day in service, I will pray for you and the many people we helped this year. May God bless you with continued health, caring family and good food, as I find these to be the blessings so many wish for but do not have. Thanks to all of us caring and sharing together we can at least help ease the pain and suffering of poverty and let our fellow creations know we care.

Please remember every penny of your donation is used to remove the pains of poverty. Not one cent of your donation is used for our overhead. Please continue to donate knowing every dollar you give will be matched by the Barnabas $67,000 Matching Grant, doubling your donation, removing twice as much pain, sorrow and fear of poverty. As we continue to work very hard verifying the genuine need of good people, we need your continued support. Together we need to carry on our good works that make our mission for God a success. Together we make a big difference removing the pains of poverty for our fellow creations.

To see the November/December issue of Realtor Magazine where Sal and The Time Is Now to Help is featured please go to the following link: realtormagdigital.com

Health and happiness, love and God bless everyone, Sal

Please help: There are many coming to us in desperation. Our good fellow creations need our compassion. Together we make a big difference. 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©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: Barnabas Matching Grant donors, National Association of Realtors, Kune’s Family Foundation, Martin Business, John Stensland and Family, Elkcast Aluminum, Jerry and Cheryl Kuhn, The Dan and Donna Casey Family Foundation, Joseph and Barbara Moos, David and Connie Zyer, Lake Geneva Area Realty, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Schuberth, Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin, Grunow Family Fund, Stonegate Construction, Margaret Downing, Michael Glass, Joan Murphy, Marvin and Audrey Hersko, Rita’s Wells Street Salon, Al and Rosemarie Reiherzer, Peter and Helene Wenson, Judy Dishneau, Anna Kiel, Church of Jesus Christ LDS, Robert and Louise Johnson, Walter and Florence Strumpf, Tim and Laura Kolnik, Patricia Jankowski, Russo Drywall, Beth and Jody Rendall, Shari and James Loback, Michael and Kathe Beach, David and Shirley Heigl, our anonymous donors and 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: Margaret Mooney in loving memory of her son Michael. Mary Ellen Bayley in memory of her son Matthew.

Honoraries: Kristine Andersen in honor of her sister Liz Boss’ Birthday.

Prayer chain: The power of prayer and positive thoughts comes from the true healer, our Lord answering our prayers. Please pray for healing for the following people: Mike, Caroline, Susan, Vince, Sylvia, Richard, Jennifer, Jayden, Santina, Alex, Lily, Kaitlyn, Kynesha, Sheila, Adrian and Marilyn.

Please visit: www.timeisnowtohelp.org