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Thursday, February 14, 2008

For some, expressing gratitude is difficult

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


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 W.C.,

A friend of mine needs help. I do not know if you help people when they give you a difficult time, but I have to warn you there could be a confrontation. From what I know about you, I really believe in my heart you can help.

I met my friend at a class. I am 34 and my mom is helping me write this letter to you. My friend and I both have several different medical problems. My mom says we cannot give any more money to help my friend.

Thank you and

God bless you,

A worried friend

Dear Readers,

In this situation, an adult who had a slight mental disability needed help. There are many who successfully live independently, sometimes with the help of prescription medications. If they stop taking their medications or take them improperly they can have a difficult time from the many different side effects.

The worried friend was correct. When I went to visit there was a period of disruption, to put it mildly. I did not want to give up.

After a lengthy introduction we got along very well.

After some help was given, the person became defensive and distrustful, and felt the need to be on guard

This person could not understand the concept of offering help while wanting nothing in return. This fellow creation was struggling through life with a mental disability that made the person distrustful and angry at the world.

We provided some daily necessities. By the time I went for the third visit, one of those items we had given had broken. There was a very defensive attitude taken by the recipient, who questioned why I had given something that was broken. In normal circumstances you could debate that situation. In this one I could see there would be no winning that debate. I just humbly said, "I apologize, I'm very sorry."

With that, I returned with a new item. It seemed like the replacement was expected. There was no sign of gratitude like the first time because it was thought that I had given a broken item and this person was entitled. I was very patient and said a silent prayer.

This was a very good experience. Sometimes in life we are tested. Every time I would come to visit, the person was always dressed in the clothes that I had brought in the beginning.

"See, I am wearing the nice new clothes that the Time is Now had given me, they said."

I had explained that this was not from me but from all who want to help our neighbors.

I learned from this situation that we need to accept everyone as they are.

Upon my seventh visit, I was asked, "Do you remember when the TV broke and I got upset with you?"

"Yes," I replied.

Then the person told me that they had no good reason to be upset with me--that I was only trying to help. I cannot tell you how much that statement meant to me. Of course it made me feel good because there was finally an understanding that I was only trying to help. It also made me understand two other things. One was the fact that this person did understand about kindness and gratitude, and the other is that I never once during that time got upset, short-sighted or felt any type of ill feelings for helping this person who acted unkind and ungrateful.

It is very easy to help people when they are very thankful. Try helping someone who is ungrateful, yet in your heart you know they are very deserving of our help.

Try to understand when they are not expressing gratitude, but instead they get upset to the point where they yell at you and lose their temper with you. You know the saying about turning the other cheek. It is a good lesson in life in all situations. How did you react the last time you were tested?

Health and happiness


Note: a follow-up from the original letter writer:

Dear W.C.:

Thank you very much for helping my friend. My friend tells me all the time about all the good food that the Time is Now brought, the new things they have and they no longer have to sleep on the floor. My friend has learned to do many other things and says there are new people who visit and make the days very happy. My mom and I no longer have to worry and cry about my friend. Thank you for helping. I knew the Time is Now could do it. God bless.

A special thank you to: J.D. Development, MLH, Bill and Lois McEssy, Tom and Kathleen Murray, Dick and Jean Honeyager, Jay Ieronimo, Steve and Catherine Boho, Geneva Lake Development Corp., Heidi Hall, Margaret Allender, Shawna Kneipper, Karen Oglesby, H. Bell, Lake Geneva Woman's Club, United Church of Christ Congregational of Delavan, Corcoran Landscaping and Construction, Carl and Barbara Baker, Jack Meredith, John and Cynthia Barron and Gustalvia and Patricia Heath.

Pick 'N Save We Care Program: A percentage of each purchase will go directly to the Time is Now to Help. Just designate The Time is Now, Acct. No. 832410, on your Advantage Plus Savers Club Card application.



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