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Worked hard all his life, yet still on the brink of homelessness

(Published July 19, 2007, 1:55 p.m.)

Send your donation to: The Time Is Now to Help, PO Box 70, Pell Lake, WI 53157

Dear WC:

There is an elderly widowed gentleman who needs some help. He never had any children and he never had a high-paying job. He is like many Americans who are just able to pay their bills as they work, but never able to save up for retirement. Now he finds himself in his late 60s and behind in his utility bills, rent and on the verge of being evicted.

It is sad to see a hardworking senior neighbor having such a difficult time. I'm a single mother and I am just making ends meet but we are getting along. There is not much I can do to help him anymore except to write this letter.


A concerned neighbor

Dear Readers:

This neighbor was right to be so concerned. This elderly man desperately needed our help. He is one of the millions of our fellow Americans who worked all his life at jobs that just paid enough for him to put food on the table and live a frugal lifestyle. At the same time, due to his lower income he did not pay that much into Social Security, resulting in Social Security checks that are too unsubstantial for him to support himself.

There were many people who came forward to state he is a good man with a wonderful heart. His belief in God is what has kept him going. I found that his utilities and rent on his old rundown mobile home were behind. He was also in desperate need of transportation to get to work.

Together we helped him get his rent and utilities caught up, supplied him with gift certificates for Pick n' Save and gave him information on obtaining help from other sources such as the food pantry, Clothes Closet, etc., if there was any need in the future.

Best of all, thanks to a generous donor we were able to give him a van to ensure transportation to work, doctor appointments and trips for daily necessities. We have provided him with much-needed independence. He is a good, conscientious, safe driver and as he said, he has at least nine to 10 more good years of driving left.

When I first met this gentleman, he hung his head down in shame. He told me of the desperation and anxiety he experienced on a daily basis. He spoke of falling asleep with the mental anguish of not knowing what the next day was going to bring-if he was going to become homeless after all his decades of working.

I could tell he had been stressed for a long time. After we spoke for awhile he opened up and started to cry.

"I have been so scared, with no one to turn to," he said. "All I think about is becoming homeless. I don't drink, I never have, and I don't smoke either. I could never even afford to waste money that way. I love America but is this all we get after all the years of working?"

I assured him we are here on this earth to help one another. I said I knew he would help one of us if we needed it because he had a kind, godly heart. As I confirmed, he was a hard worker but he had a menial job and received low pay. His American dream certainly was not to become homeless and penniless.

Through our help he was able to let go of all those fears and anxieties, lift his head and let go of his shame knowing that this was not a hand out but rather a hand up.

We were happy and grateful to assist him. This is the blessing that God has bestowed upon each and every one of us, the ability to care and share with those less fortunate than ourselves. It is a wonderful feeling to be in a position to help others. I do believe God puts these people in our paths so we can help to ease their pain and sorrow. We are all capable of great goodness, kindness and compassion and we should all be grateful that we are in a position to help.

Health and happiness,

God bless everyone,


A special thank you to: Mark and Ann Pienkos, Jessica Rufenacht, in memory of Irene Lesniewski. Yvonne and Christopher Morgan, Darien Seniors Group, Donald and Gladys Keith, Barbara and Lee Zuzanek, Dale and Eileen Grzenia, Steven and Susan Woodcock, Harold and Bonnie Mayer, Jack and Phyllis Mayer, in memory of Orlin Stoughton.



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