The Time is Now: With a little help, single mom avoids stress of poverty
My husband left unexpectedly a few months ago. He moved out of the country so he does not have to pay child support. I have been raising our boys on my own ever since. I have only been working part-time since my oldest son was born six years ago. I have been looking for full-time work. We keep falling farther and farther behind. My landlord is threatening to evict us and my utilities are overdue. Can you please help us get back on our feet after such a tough last few months?
I called the mother that wrote the letter to set up a time to visit. We agreed to meet in a public place where she would feel more comfortable.
I met the mother and two children at a local coffee shop. I offered to buy her and the boys a special drink and snack. The mother declined at first but when I insisted they all picked something out. The boy's faces went from sad to happy as they looked into the bakery case full of goodies.
The mother said, “They know we can't afford treats like this. This is definitely a special day for them. They haven't had a lot to be happy about lately.”
Once the boys were happily settled with their chocolate milk, cupcakes and a coloring book the mother and I were able to talk.
The mother said, “I don't talk about a certain man in front of the boys if you know who I'm talking about. They don't understand where he went and are finally stopping asking me about him five times a day. I don't know how a man could do that to their own kids.”
I agreed with her completely and told her I would not mention any names in front of the boys. Since we had no other options we talked the best we could with the children present. I don't usually like to do this as it can be very distressing for children to listen in on the stressful events that affect adults and financial problems.
The mother said they had been on their own for nearly three months now. The checking account was pretty much emptied when the father left. He took the only good car and left behind his old truck that had over 200,000 miles on it. The few belongings that were worth anything he had taken with him. The mother said, “I guess that man needed to start a new life somewhere else. I didn't even see it coming.”
Just to remind us they were listening in the youngest son said, “What didn't you see Mommy?” The mother looked at me fighting to keep tears in her eyes as she patted her sons head saying, “Oh nothing my baby boy. Your Mommy is seeing just fine now.” Her son said, “I'm not a baby anymore Mommy. I'm a big boy.” We both smiled and knew we had to be careful with what was said around the little ears.
As I had asked the mother to bring her budget and bills we went over these. The rent was two months overdue but the landlady was being as patient as she could. The landlady had a smaller rental they were willing to let them move into and they had said they would transfer over the security deposit if the mother could just come up with the overdue rent. The mother said it was a small two bedroom apartment in an exposed basement that would be perfect for them. The utilities were included and there was a shared free laundry room. It was walking distance to the boy's school. The landlady had a new renter for the present house she was renting and wanted them out ASAP, even though her lease was not up yet.
The landlady had asked to speak with me to verify that The Time Is Now to Help would be giving her assistance. I agreed to give her a call. I stepped outside so I could speak freely without the young boys listening in. I told the landlady we were indeed helping the mother and children. She was so relieved and said she wanted to help them as much as she could but she relied on her rental income to get by. I told her we would bring her past due rent up to date and pay the first month's rent on the smaller rental. When I mentioned to the landlady that the mother was still looking for full-time work she said she possibly had a job. She was looking for someone that could do cleaning and yard work on some of her rentals. The landlady said it could be a full-time job and she could even bring with her boys if needed. I promised the landlady I would speak to the mother and let her know she would be moving to the smaller rental. I also thanked the landlady for her help with this mother and children. The landlady said, “God Bless The Time Is Now to Help for all you do for our community.”
I went back in the coffee shop and told the mother about the conversation I had with her landlady. I asked if she would be interested in the cleaning and maintenance job the landlady had offered. I told her she would even be able to bring the boys when they were out of school. The mother looked shocked and sat thinking for a few minutes. I told her the pay and a few more details. When she looked at me again tears were running down her cheeks. “This all just happened while you were talking on the phone? This job will be an answer to my prayers. That is the best news I've heard in a few months.”
One of her sons asked, “What news, Mommy?” The mother clapped her hands as she said, “We are moving to a new home and Mommy just got a job!” With that both boys hugged their mother and shouted, “Yay Mommy!” The mother laughed as several onlookers smiled at the happy sight.
I went over the rest of her budget, making some suggestions. The mother wrote detailed notes of what she would need to do in the coming weeks to get her finances in order. She would be making a visit to her bank to change her accounts, call her insurance agent to remove her husband from her automobile policy and she was going to sell some of her furniture so they could fit in her smaller rental. We also did some minor repairs on the truck to make it safe enough until we received a donated vehicle to replace it with.
Two weeks later I paid a visit to the mother and children at their new rental. It was indeed small but much easier for the mother to keep up with. The mother said, “We really like it here. We are walking distance to everything, even a few of the rentals I am doing maintenance on. After years of having a husband that never did much around the house I am an expert at doing all the maintenance on a house anyway. This was perfect for me. The boys can play in the empty rentals or in the yards while I work.”
I asked how the boys were doing and the mother said, “Each day is a little easier for them. They still ask for their Dad but for now I can change the subject and they seem to forget about it. I am sure they will have a lot of questions for him when they grow up.” I could only feel sadness for what this father had given up for his own selfish wants. He would never know the love of a grown son or the satisfaction of a life spent raising them. The good news was this mother would, thanks to all of “You” helping her to be a successful mother that is able to raise her sons without living under the constant financial stress that poverty can bring.
We promise to continue our good works, our mission of caring and sharing, removing the pains of poverty for as many as donations allow in our communities. Your support has been crucial in our success at changing lives forever. We are so grateful to call you not only donors but friends in our mission The Time Is Now to Help. God Bless all of you.
Health & happiness, God bless everyone, W.C./Sal
Please help: There are many coming to us in desperation. Our good fellow creations need our compassion. Together we make a big difference. Make checks payable to: The Time Is Now to Help, P.O. Box 1, Lake Geneva, WI 53147. The Time Is Now to Help is a federally recognized 501(c)3 charitable organization licensed in the states of Wisconsin and Illinois. You will receive a tax deductible, itemized thank you receipt showing how your donation provided assistance for the poverty stricken.
A very special thank you: Fox Charities, Clarence & Marilyn Schawk Family Foundation, Paul Ziegler, Lake Geneva Area Realty, Petco Foundation, Terry Dignan, Saints Simeon & Anna Anglican Church, Rita's Wells Street Salon, Bradley Solheim, Jack Mallory, Stephen Henning, Stateline Grange No. 772, William White, Ken & Joyce Pagel, Michael Burke, M.J. & C.A. Garibaldi, Gerald & Cheryl Kuhn, Michael Glass, William & Dorothy Tookey, Susan & Andrew Obecny, Mr. & Mrs. Phil Hagenah, Lorna Klein, Claudia Siesennop, Carol Hinners, Lauren Grady, John Poiron, Charles Carlson, James Borden, Albert & Ellen Burnell, Theresa Hurley,W.C. Family Resource Center/Food Pantry volunteers, and all the God loving volunteers of all our caring 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.
Please visit: www.timeisnowtohelp.org