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Daughter worked two jobs to keep family above water

(Published Dec. 13, 2007, 1:00 p.m.)

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

www.timeisnowtohelp.org

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.

Dear Readers,

Together we have matched the $25,000 MLH Matching Grant and it's been sparking people to care and share. When you give one dollar and it's matched by another, the caring and sharing doubles. I have received many notes and comments with donations thanking the MLH Matching Grant for making the decision to help an easy one.

I received a request from a neighbor letting me know that a daughter had stepped up to take care of her single mom and younger brother and sister due to an injury to the mother. The mother has not been able to work and it had been three years since the father had passed away. We have to ask ourselves how those who are left behind are getting along. That is what the neighbor wanted me to do.

When I checked into the situation, the neighbor was right. The mother had become temporarily disabled due to a severe injury. She had used up what little savings she had. Her oldest daughter, without having to be asked, stepped in and started working 60 hours a week. When she first looked for a second job, she would not take no for an answer. She kept looking until she found one, knowing that putting food on the table and keeping the rent paid was on her shoulders.

When I inquired how the bills were, the daughter worriedly replied, "We are trying to hold on but we fell behind and I am trying to catch up."

"Are you going from month to month?" I asked.

There was silence.

"Week to week?" I asked.

As she looked up into my eyes and tears started to form, I realized they were living moment to moment. We talked some more, and along with the tears came sobbing.

As I have seen many times in the past, when there is a question of survival, when there is no way bills can be paid, when you have done everything possible to cut back on food costs and you are sitting down to have a meal that is barely sustaining, let alone satisfying, and when you reach into the mailbox only to find more bills, late notices and disconnection notices, an overwhelming fear sets in.

To have it put upon your shoulders at a young age the overwhelming responsibility of helping to feed, clothe and shelter your two younger siblings, to care for your mother, all while trying to catch up on past due bills, is very frightening. It was so painful to watch this daughter's love and devotion for her family, her wanting the best for her broken family, praying with a heart full of sadness and also full of much love for her mother and siblings. I felt her pain and I also felt the hopelessness that she had expressed. Their situation had been getting worse over the past several months with threats of eviction, the utilities being behind, a car that would barely run and the relentless question of what is next with no answer except for fear, doubt and hopelessness.

Thanks to this wonderful neighbor bringing this family to our attention--the same neighbor who has helped them in the past but has her own financial limitations--we at the Time is Now helped. We brought the utilities up to date, paid the back rent and convinced the landlord to reduce their rent. We helped to set a budget they can adhere to. I reached out to both of the daughter's employers. One was able to give a 10 percent raise, the other a 40 percent raise. Both had nothing but good to say about the employment of this wonderful young lady.

Once again, together we removed the pain and suffering of one of our neighbors in need. I have had another visit recently, and they are doing well. Their happiness in life is restored thanks to the caring and sharing of all of you.

Health and happiness,

God bless everyone,

WC

A special thank you to: MLH, Bill and Lois McEssy, Richard and Jean Honeyager, Gregg Kunes, Marcia Pulich, Shirley Gifford Abell, John and Beverly Rawson, Barbara Giovannoni, Charles Vaughan, John and Vickie Geier, Robert and Patricia Host, Jon and Patricia Christensen, Robert and Veronica Dealey, Ronald and Carolyn Bloch, William and Georgia Gehrmann, William and Patricia Reid, James and Karen Goodrick, Sharon Shukas, Gerald and Marilyn Wilkin, Charles Munger, June Davidsen, Donald and Gladys Keith, Lorraine Ferstl, Francis and Nancy Branfort, Charles and Lucille Coates.

Pick 'N Save We Care Program. A percentage of each purchase will go directly to the Time is Now to Help. All you have to do is designate account No. 832410 on your Advantage Plus Savers Club Card application.

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