Strangers' donations help proud senior live with dignity, basic necessities
I’m writing you on behalf of an elderly woman who goes to our church. A neighbor of hers told us she needed help but could not help her. When I saw the elderly widow at church, I asked her if she would mind talking to me. When we met I asked her if she needed any help. She looked at me with a puzzled expression and said no. I told her I was just trying to help.
She just looked embarrassed, shook her head no and walked away. When I caught up to her, I noticed she was crying. She would not stop walking away and kept saying, “No, I am fine.” Could you please check on her?
-- Concerned Pastor
I had no phone number to call, just an address. I drove to the house in the middle of the afternoon. When I knocked on the door, I could hear a little dog barking. I knocked and waited. The dog stopped barking and seemed to go to a different room. I went to the back door and knocked again. The little dog started barking at that door. Then I heard a faint voice beckoning the dog. I raised my voice a little louder and said, “My name is Sal. Your church has sent me.” I mentioned the neighbor’s name as well. I waited patiently for a response.
I heard some shuffling and the little dog was back at the door barking. This time the dog was accompanied by an elderly woman. She asked me through the window who I was and why I was there. I told her a good neighbor of hers and the minister from her church were concerned about her well-being. She opened the door and I offered her my identification, along with the names of the concerned neighbors and minister.
She then politely asked me in. The first thing she said to me was, “I am fine. I don’t know why everyone seems worried about me. I am fine.”
I told her how I grew up in hard times, watching my own mother struggle in poverty being too proud to ask for help. I shared how I had made a promise to God that I would never forget those hard times and I would help my fellow creations. I could see she was saddened and I felt she could relate to those hard times. With that I told her, “Please help me keep my promise to God.”
After talking for some time, she broke down into tears and told me she was having a very difficult time financially. She said her Social Security ran out every month and left her without enough food and utility bills that were past due.
She told me her little dog, her only friend, ate very little. Her little dog intently looked at her as if to say, “I wish I could help.”
Every now and then as we talked, she would break into tears explaining her desperate situation. Whenever she began to cry, her little dog would climb into her lap and look up at her with a helpless sadness. She would reach her hands down and hold the little dog’s head to her. I consoled her and told her we were there to help.
She seemed worried and asked if I had brought someone with me. It is very common, especially with the older generation, to have such pride. Doing without is painful enough, without the added shame of others knowing. I reassured her I was alone, which seemed to be a big relief to her, even though I represented many good people. I told her about The Time Is Now to Help and all the God-loving people who help us help others in need. She was very anxious to hear about all of us and how we help our fellow Americans.
After she became more relaxed and comfortable with our offer of assistance, we went over her budget. I showed her some areas of assistance for which she was eligible. We brought her utilities up to date. We provided her with much-needed food, and we provided her with two different volunteers who would rotate with visits. We also provided dog food for her most wonderful little friend.
I also spoke with her landlord about reducing her rent. I made the offer with us paying half and the landlord paying the other half, to create a reduced monthly rent to meet her new budget. The landlord was very gracious and reduced the rent.
After all of this, I presented her with a new budget. She looked at the paper intently. When she looked up at me, she began to cry. This time I was determined to console her as quickly as her little friend did.
I thanked her for allowing me and all of us to keep our promise to God to love one another and help our neighbors in need. The elderly woman asked me to tell everyone, “Thank you for helping an old woman you do not even know. You have put my life back together. All of you will be in my prayers every day.”
What is real love? It is relieving the pains of poverty for someone you expect absolutely nothing from in return. Doing these acts of kindness fills our hearts and brings true life into our being.
Thank you for caring and sharing.
Health and happiness,
God bless everyone, W.C.
Please help: Make checks payable to: The Time Is Now to Help, P.O. Box 70, Pell Lake, WI 53157. The Time Is Now to Help is a federally recognized 501(c)3 charitable organization licensed in Wisconsin and Illinois. You will receive a tax-deductible, itemized, thank-you receipt showing exactly what every penny of your donation provided for the poverty stricken.
A very special thank you to: Clarence and Marilyn Schawk, Albert and Geraldine Hinton, Martin Business Group, Lake Geneva Area Realty, Aptar Group Charitable Foundation, Sandra and John Dietschweiler, Martin O’Brien, James and Mary Loftus, Helen-Kay Eberley, Bernard and Debra Stritzke, Fairfield Grange No. 679, John and Kathryn Swanson, Robert Dooley, Arlene Clausen, Margarie Egger, Frank and Kathy Taras, Michael Glass, Sherry Hale, Lora Hill, Chris Wood, Ana Kosok, Steven Cambridge, Amy Geise, Sue Radmiller, Mitchell Cline, Doyle Johnson, Angelica Oung, Venu Middela, Marc-Oliver Wright, Mary Hill, Wendy Hisel, Christine Busler, Amber Bergeron, Laronda Brown, Kathleen Ruppert, Trisha Donnelly, Bryan Stuba, W.C. Family Resource Center/Food Pantry volunteers, and all the God-loving volunteers of all our caring food pantries, all of you who support The Time Is Now to Help donation boxes and the businesses that allow our donation boxes. Anyone who would like a Time Is Now donation box in your business, please call (262) 249-7000.
We desperately need cars. Please donate a used car to help people get to work and other daily necessities.
Search the web with www.goodsearch.com and help to raise funds for The Time Is Now to Help. Just make www.goodsearch.com your homepage and pick The Time Is Now to Help as your charity.
(Read all of this week's stories from Walworth County Sunday HERE. )