(Published Dec. 27, 2007, 2:17 p.m.)
Send your donation to: The Time Is Now to Help, PO Box 70, Pell Lake, WI 53157
I received a letter from a woman asking if I could please help her daughter, who was a single mother recovering from surgery for cancer, and three grandchildren.
When I first conduct my investigations, I tend to take a firmer stance. To safeguard all donations, I need to do a very thorough check on all facts. After I do my introduction, I begin checking and then double-checking the facts. I often research third parties for additional information before I begin to obtain a true picture. Sometimes the true picture is apparent from the start and this was one of those cases. I was very shocked at what I found.
The mother's recent very extensive operation left her nearly disabled, but our government does not consider her disabled enough to receive a disability check.
One daughter is a middle school student who had nothing to eat all day other than the lunch program at school and a bowl of cereal for dinner. That was it. She wore her pajama bottoms to school because the only other pair of pants she had no longer fit her properly. She had not had a new pair of pants in two years.
Her toddler was the only child in the home to have enough food. In order for him to have enough to eat the mother had given up her meals.
The teenage son was not going to school. He should have been a senior in high school. My initial thoughts were that the son was lazy, so I thought I needed to spark some inspiration into this young man.
At first I was not that easy on him, asking him if he loved his mother.
"As much as I can love anyone," he said.
"Poverty is hurting your mother," I told him. "If you are not going to school, you need to get a job."
"I will do whatever I have to, to help my mom," he said.
He said he had been trying but no one would hire him. He needed a haircut but was unable to pay for one. When I offered to pay for a haircut he gladly said he would go. I also noticed his clothes were very worn, old and fit him poorly. When I offered to purchase him a pair of slacks, a nice shirt and some shoes, he was extremely grateful. This young man really stepped up and took on some responsibility for the family.
The mother told me he had been giving blood so they could afford a small meal. Since he only weighed 127 pounds and was 6 feet 2 inches, they had suggested he not give blood.
The utilities were about to be turned off. Their landlord was not evicting them even though they were behind on several months of rent.
They were surviving on hand-me-downs and a monthly visit to the food pantry. The mother did not tell her story to the food pantry staff, so there was no sympathy shown to her. They questioned why she did not have a job, not understanding that her internal system does not work like ours.
They had an old car that barely ran but could not pay for license plates and registration. She had been stopped three times for no plates and given three tickets she could not afford to pay, but she was offered no help.
We live in a very defensive, cynical world. We chastise and judge people without offering a kind word or help. If we instead offered love and help where needed we would truly be doing what God would want us to do.
The daughter was the first one to start crying when clothes were supplied. They were tears of relief from the shame of having to wear pajamas to school and the endless taunts from other students. And she was happy to come home to a warm meal where the cupboards were filled with food supplied by your generous contributions.
The young man got his much-needed job. I called the manager and asked him to give this young man a chance.
"I will do everything possible to make my mother proud of me and to be proud of myself," he said, then started to cry, thanking us for getting their life back together.
We gave her some direction on getting further assistance, brought her utilities up-to-date and paid some into the future. Having the son bringing home a consistent paycheck will be a big help to this family.
The grandmother never asked for any help for herself. This wonderful senior citizen was not only widowed, but had recently lost one of her adult children a few months prior. She was just barely making ends meet, consistently falling behind while she was trying to help her daughter. We offered her assistance with her utilities and rent. She accepted our help with much evident relief. She also wanted to help with the rehabilitation of her family so she got a part-time job working for some wonderful people.
I want to thank everyone for networking to make the assistance to this good family possible.
Health and happiness,
God bless everyone,
A special thank you to: MLH, Bill and Lois McEssy, Richard and Jean Honeyager, Gregg Kunes, Badger High School, Mark and Natalie Reno, Nancy Golden Bell, Joseph and Elizabeth Michels, Randy Christenson, Linda Haen, Allyson Freitag, Diane Flitcroft, Marshal and Susan Ketchpaw, William and Ruth Rorig and Neil Diercksmeier.
Endowments/helping others through your will: For those of you 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.
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