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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Time is Now: A child comes to the rescue

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 WC:

I am 15 years old, and I am concerned about my grandmother. When it's dinner time my grandma always says she's eaten, or she eats very little.

Since we really don't have a lot of food at home, I think she's just saying she already ate before I get home.

I am in the free breakfast and lunch program at school. Some kids complain about the food, but I look forward to it. Maybe it's because we do not have a lot of food at home and I am very thankful for the food my school provides.

My mom works hard, but I always hear her complaining to my grandmother that she doesn't get paid very much. When I walk in the room they usually change the subject if they are talking about food, money, or bills. When I ask them what is going on, they always tell me everything is fine. I can see that it's not. I can see that my mom and grandma are worried a lot.

If there is anything you could do to check with them because they are not telling me what is going on. I told my mom I wanted to quit after-school activities and get a job. She won't allow me to do that. I really think I need to get a job. I am very confused.

Thank you for reading my letter.

God bless you too,

--A concerned daughter and granddaughter

Dear Readers,

I contacted the mother, and she agreed to meet. I went to their humble apartment filled with just the basic necessities--a table, chairs, small tattered couch, a small TV and three very worn beds. I found out they had relocated.

Everything they previously had was lost in a fire.

There was no insurance, and the fire was due to an electrical problem. The landlord was well aware of the problem, but had done nothing to correct it.

She confirmed with me that her job only paid her a little more than $7 an hour. It did not leave much to live on. The grandmother received a very small Social Security check. They had to cut back on everything to maintain their rent and keep the utilities on.

After seeing for myself how little food was in their cupboard, I told the grandmother, "You must really love your granddaughter to tell her you have been eating, when most likely you have not been."

The grandmother said, "I love my granddaughter very much and she needs her strength." With that she looked down and I could see she was hiding her feelings. I looked at the mother and she said, "My mom is very headstrong. She gives me many excuses why she isn't eating, but I know what she's doing. She's trying to save as much food as possible for my daughter."

After reviewing their budget I could see that there was little money left for food. I asked the mother about the idea of the daughter wanting to get a job. She got upset over the fact of her daughter having to give up her youth so early.

She said, "No, I do not want her to get a job, earning next to nothing and giving up her life. That's what I'm doing now."

I contacted one of our volunteers and asked the mother and grandmother if they would like to go on a food shopping adventure.

The volunteer took them to Pick n' Save and demanded they fill up several carts of food.

While this was happening, I delivered three new beds, got a few more pieces of furniture and had everything ready for their return. While the granddaughter was looking at her new bed, as the old tattered mattresses were being hauled out, I noticed the grandmother and mother holding on to each other, crying.

I approached them and told them they should be happy; they need to be happy for the daughter.

They said, "We are. We just can't understand why all this goodness is happening to us. It seems like all we've had is bad luck, until The Time Is Now came to help." I told them there are a lot of people out there, a lot of good neighbors throughout our communities who want to help one another.

The granddaughter thanked me profusely for reading her letter and for helping her family far beyond what she had ever imagined.

All three women looked at me curiously when I said, "I talked to your employer and they agreed to give a $2-an-hour raise. The employer did not know things were so desperate, and since business has been good they said they can give a raise.

In addition, the employer provided a check for next month's rent. The mother began to cry saying, "I never knew they even cared about me. We were always so busy working."

I told her sometimes people just need to know that someone is out there hurting and they will help. The entire premise of The Time Is Now is when good people know good people need help, we help.

I received a letter from them thanking each and every one of you, our caring and sharing supporters, for your kindness and generosity.

--Health and happiness, god bless everyone, WC

A special thank you to: Joan Brinker, Dale and Eileen Grzenia, Zachary and Tina Janssen, Gerald and Marilyn Wilkin, Geraldine Hinton, Lorna Klein, Steven and Susan Woodcock, Ruth Przewoznik, special thanks to Lula and Sigrid Anagnos for their generous birthday celebration to benefit The Time Is Now to Help, Michael and Margot Hayes, Richard Borkowski, David and Sarah Schuster, Katherine Kay and Jonathan Walczynski, David and Nancy Williams, James and Donna Stackpool, Margaret Condos, James Peck, Tyler and Tami Irwin, Tammy Mikrut, James and Janet Happ, Michael and Tamela Dunn, Mary Ellison, M. Keeley Lindner, Patricia and Gregory Johnson, Eugene and Diana Altwies.



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