(Published May 20, 2007, 3:15 p.m.)
This time we helped someone who was not brought to our attention by a letter from a concerned neighbor, friend or family member. The person themselves did not write in requesting help. This time I noticed a need for assistance when a casual, everyday greeting, “Hello. How are you?” was answered with, “Fine.”
I happened to be curious enough to inquire further into how they were really doing. After all these years I can tell when someone is attempting to maintain a sense of pride. I can tell when I look into their face, look into their eyes and notice their body language as they turn their head away if indeed they are not “Fine.”
As I continued I knew I needed to establish an honest approach of communication.
“You know, I would never lie to you,” I said.
“I would not lie to you either,” they quickly said.
I feel to get to really know someone and to create a relationship, openness and honesty is very important. Two people can relate and communicate much better when they can ask and answer questions with nothing but pure honesty.
I began telling this person a little about myself. I was silent for a few moments before I asked, “How are you doing financially?”
I asked in this manner because maybe my first question was not as direct. There was a hesitation. I reminded this person that we were creating a friendship and truth was very important.
“Not so good,” they said.
“Why? Where are you falling short financially?”
“Just about everywhere. My rent is past due. I lost my roommate, but the roommate never really helped me. My roommate was just sponging off me.”
“How is that?” I asked.
“My disability check does not amount to much but it did allow for a roof over our heads. The other person was not contributing though. We had a falling out and now that person has left. I was tired of being used. It hurts me, in my condition, for someone to take advantage of me. Over the past several months I have had extra medical expenses so the rent fell behind and the utilities are going to be shut off.”
We reached out and helped. We brought the rent and utilities up to date. I was asked, “If there are any jobs you know of for a handicapped person, please keep me informed.”
I have seen this person several more times since and they are doing much better. This person is much happier thanks to all of us caring and sharing.
Health and happiness,
Thanks to the Stinebrink’s of Pick ‘n Save, the volunteers and Frank Guske. It was another successful day bringing food to many of the food pantries the last Saturday of April. The date for the next food delivery at the Lake Geneva Pick ‘n Save is Saturday, May 26. For any of you who have a truck, van, jeep, or some way to transport food, please volunteer with your friends, relatives and neighbors. Please plan on arriving at 1 p.m. at the Lake Geneva Pick ‘n Save. For two hours of your help many will be fed.
A special thank you to: Eli Warzynski, Desiree and Ron Lipowski, Jackie and George Leedle, Brenda and Greg Wisniewski. MA Johnson, MJ Seeber, RB Seeber, Complete Fence of Elburn, Denise and Gregory Giovannetti, Steven and Susan Woodcock, Marjorie Gahart, Delilah Flaum, Judith Stipp in memory of Leo Grace and Dawn Schwemm in memory of Gordon and Rose Schwemm.
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