Vision of hope: Disabled family gets a helping hand with finances, transportation
My husband and I both are disabled. I have an eye condition that is causing me to slowly go blind. My husband has a heart condition that he has been struggling with for the past five years. He has had surgeries and is on several very expensive prescriptions. I have not been able to see my ophthalmologist for the last year, because we did not have the money.
We have two mentally disabled children. We are trying to survive on my husband’s disability. I applied for disability last year and I am still waiting for approval. My vision keeps getting worse and I am so afraid I will go blind. I was working as a waitress but can no longer work due to my poor vision.
We have fallen behind on our electric, gas and rent. I am so sorry to ask, but we have no one else to turn to. Can you please help us?
-- Disabled family
This is another of our struggling fellow Americans trying to get by with disabilities. The mother worked until she could no longer drive, due to her increasing blindness. At work, she was criticized for walking too slow. This was due to her only having 20 percent of her eyesight. The father had been unable to work for the past two years and was receiving disability. According to the state, the mother did not qualify for disability yet.
What I saw when I paid a visit was even worse than her letter portrayed. Their apartment was sparsely furnished. The children were playing alone on opposite sides of the room. The husband was lying on the couch, and just trying to sit up to meet me caused him to gasp for air. He explained he had a heart condition that made most activity impossible. I could see the mother feeling her way around the couch to help him up. The mother’s blindness was more severe than her letter explained. I wondered how anyone could question her need for disability.
After spending several hours with this woman, observing her and talking with her previous employer, it was obvious she needed our help. The employer told me how this woman hid her poor vision from him and never said a word. The employer commented that she kept walking slower and bumped into customers, until finally he yelled at her and she broke down into tears telling him she was going blind.
I took a good look around the small room and noticed there were hardly any furnishings. The children’s clothing was in poor condition. The mother looked much too thin. All of these factors are tell-tale signs of financial distress.
I asked the mother if I could look around the apartment. I could tell she was a little embarrassed. I told her not to worry, I just wanted to see how much food they had. I was surprised to see how neat and orderly everything was, but saddened to see how little food was in the refrigerator and cupboards. When I commented on how neat everything was, the mother explained it made her vision disability easier if everything was in its place. It certainly made sense, as I looked at her husband’s prescriptions lined up neatly and cups with the children’s names on them written very large.
I sat with the husband and wife to go over their financial situation. I could see they desperately needed the wife’s disability checks to begin. I asked the wife if there was any progress on that and she said they had assured her they were to begin soon.
They were behind by two months in their rent and utilities. The mother admitted to giving her husband and children larger portions of food. She began to cry when she said the children had told her they were still hungry one day after they had only enough food for a small meal. The mother said she would rather go hungry than ever hear her children complain of hunger again.
I reassured both of them that The Time Is Now to Help would not let them go hungry any longer. We brought their rent and utilities up to date. I called a volunteer to help with purchasing food and another to drive them to medical appointments.
I have to take this opportunity to thank the several hundred people who have offered to volunteer. God bless each and every one of you. I have called on many to help. At the same time, if I have not called you as a volunteer, it is because we are very blessed to have many, many caring volunteers.
I told the mother she was to see her eye doctor immediately. I told her if she could preserve even a small amount of vision, it was worth it to be able to see and care for her children and husband. She began to cry again, realizing she actually had been making their situation worse by not caring for her own needs. Financially, she did not have a choice. Her immediate concerns were feeding her children and keeping the family from becoming homeless.
Their lack of health insurance for the past two years stopped her from seeing her doctor. She had to prioritize her husband’s heart medications.
As American citizens, we need access to a good health plan for everyone. There should be no more fellow Americans losing their homes due to medical bills and no more people suffering due to lack of health insurance.
Together we fed this family, removed the fears `of homelessness and provided caring people to help. We replaced their fear and helplessness with love and hope. In five more weeks the woman’s first disability check showed up, allowing them to balance their budget.
Once again, The Time Is Now to Help, with your help, removed the pain and suffering of poverty.
-- Health and happiness,
God bless everyone, W.C./Sal
Please help: Make checks payable to: The Time Is Now to Help, P.O. Box 70, Pell Lake, WI 53157. The Time Is Now 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: Fox Charities, Montei Foundation, Turner Broadcasting System, The Rhoades Foundation, Kunes Country Auto Group, Petco Foundation, Lake Geneva Petco, Interstate Insurance, Dick and Jean Honeyager, The Wanasek Corp., Frank J. Huml Jr., Milton and Carol Ann Ancevic, Randall and Margaret Smith, Steve and Betty Thornton, Michael J. Butler Sr., Jennifer Olomon, Leslie Scheurer, Hedwig Spaight, Sid and Patty Johnson, William and Jean Isaacson, Sylvester and Virginia Seick, John Poiron, Albert and Ellen Burnell, 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, call (262) 249-7000.