(Published March 22, 2007, 3:20 p.m.)
Editor's Note: The following is a letter to The Time Is Now, a private charity serving Walworth County. The founder, who knew poverty as a child, now provides help for those in need. Every penny donated goes to the needy for daily necessities of life. Donors will receive a tax-deductible itemized receipt showing exactly where every penny was spent. We'll publish a letter most weeks.
D ear WC,
Ever since my husband had an accident we have been financially going downhill. Sometimes healing takes a lot longer than we anticipate. We have been cutting back wherever we can. The children have been very understanding. I have gotten a job to try and make up a little bit of our loss of income. Not being very skilled, I do not make very much money. If you could please give us some direction we would appreciate it.
A hurting family
D ear Readers,
When I looked further into this situation I discovered the father had an accident while at home, not on the job. The injuries he sustained in the accident were severe enough that he required surgery. Prior to the surgery he was a tradesperson doing skilled labor. Due to his injury and a long recuperation time after his surgery, the medical doctors told him he is not going to be able to go back to his trade or any job that requires repeated lifting.
While he was off they fell behind in their bills. They did everything they could to save a few dollars, including turning down the thermostat, stretching their meals and not going anywhere in order not to spend money on gas. They cut back on birthdays. They crafted birthday presents with a lot of love put into them. They were gifts from the heart.
After observing their frugality I knew from my many years of budget experience that this family was doing everything they possibly could to survive. Still they were having a hard time. The mother went to work at a service job even though service jobs do not pay very much. The money she earned helped, but wasnÕt enough to keep up.
The children missed their mother while she was at work and the mother missed the children. This is something our society has accepted. After further communication with the father I found out he had some hobbies he not only enjoyed but was quite good at. I asked him if he would like to apply those hobbies and interests toward work. At first he did not understand how this could make money. After more involvement he decided to pursue a career in this area in hopes of being able to support his family again. Now he is doing something he enjoys and it does not require lifting. He is earning almost as much money as he did at his previous job. It took them a few more months to get their budget in line but they now can support themselves quite well.
During this time of need we were there to help. We especially helped by reducing their stress. Stress is very detrimental to your health and to your familyÕs well being. We helped them get caught up on their rent, utilities and helped them with household necessities such as small appliances, etc. With the help we provided we enabled the father to clear his head and to apply himself toward his new vocation.
While the father was off work he made beautiful wooden toys for his children. On his sonÕs birthday his son told him, "Dad, now that you are working again, does that mean I wonÕt get any more hand-carved wooden toys? Are you going to just buy me something from the store?"
The father told me how his son was standing there looking at him with a solemn look on his face. The father knew at that moment something good came out of their financial hardships. The gift of love from his son was a true understanding. The father knelt down, looked into his sonÕs eyes and said, "You will always receive a wood carving, as long as my hands will allow me to work." The boy smiled back and they hugged each other tight. The father cried thankful tears for the love and understanding.
Together we made a difference. I want to thank all of you for your kindness, caring and sharing, and most of all for your prayers, allowing the Time Is Now to continue on. Together we make a difference.
Health and happiness,
God bless everyone,
A special thank you to: Ken Woller, owner of Lakeside Deli, Lydia Polek, Sophie Las, Roger Miller, Ken and Phyllis Weeden, John and Sally Dicmas, James and Janice Batten, Margaret and Steven Buchanan, Zachary and Tina Janssen, Lawrence and Terry Yanke, in memory of Susan Davey 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 to Help donation box in your business, please call 249-7000.
Endowments/helping others through your will: For who wish to leave an endowment for the poverty-stricken we would greatly accept any gifts. Please think of those in desperate need, good people, living in fear of poverty and consider helping them through your will.
Desperately needed cars: If anyone has a car they can donate, knowing you will be helping people get back on their feet, out of their desperate need for transportation to work, etc., please call 249-7000. We have many in desperate need of reliable transportation so they can regain their independence, retain their jobs, provide food and necessities for their families and ease their pain and suffering.