I put the title in quotation marks because this is actually a search term people have typed into Google to get to that post.
The one I’m talking about is this one:
“Its hard being poor in America. When your kid is sick enough that you can’t work but disability doesn’t pay the bills, it is crushing. “
The response to that guest post here a month ago was incredible. The outpouring of emotional support and compassion helped both the author of the post and myself regain some faith in humanity. Since writing that, the family has gone through even more challenges. Thanks to the November cuts to SNAP, their food stamp amount was cut to just $159/month. Then, the chimney collapsed in the home they were renting, the property was condemned ,and they had to move. Fortunately, their landlord was able to let them move into another rental property right away but they aren’t being allowed back in their old place to get belongings.
I’ve always thought there was a lot to that expression, “When it rains,it pours.” Sheesh.
Around the time of the food stamp cut, I had put out a message on the Poor as Folk facebook wall, just asking if anyone in that family’s area had ideas of what resources could be available for additional help. It wasn’t a call for personal donations and I did not expect that would happen but it did. Someone in their city(shoutout to Danyelle…who also wanted me to mention her friend Erica Quinn, who got many people on board) was motivated to ask friends and coworkers for help to collect donations for the family.
Not only did donations include about $400 in cash & gift cards, food, toiletries,and diapers but also winter boots,clothing, dog treats and more. Even a button hook tool for Mom who has rheumatoid arthritis.They made Christmas happen for the family with toys, including a wii and games for the kids. Every bit of it was greatly appreciated and helped alleviate a little bit of the stress this family is under. That’s incredible valuable in itself.
I think one of the greatest things about giving and exercising kindness is that the beneficiary isn’t the only one who benefits. Danyelle said, “This opportunity to help their family has not only strengthened my faith in the generosity of others, but has reinforced my belief that raising awareness is effective, but can be made to be exponentially more meaningful when it is followed by organizing action. I am so grateful to all that helped; I hope your blog continues to inspire organized action. Thank you for all that you do!”
For me, The Blogger, I feel much the same way and am so grateful for the opportunity to raise not just awareness on some issues but to inspire compassion. I’m amazed and touched every day just by the fact that people are so willing to share their often very personal stories of struggling. I don’t have a lot to give to others but I realize that just being the listener is enough. If telling the stories inspires others to give, this free writing gig is SO worth every minute I spend here.
Updated to add: Some have asked where they can send some donations to this family. I do have an address but don’t really want to put it here publicly but you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’d be happy to pass it along.
There is a donation page set up to help replace items lost in the house when the chimney collapsed HERE.
UPDATE Feb 23,2014 : Their daughter is having surgery this morning. Please keep the family in your prayers or thoughts or whatever it is you do to send out good juju. When she returns home, she’ll require the pre-packaged foods again. So, I’m guessing that fundraising page linked up there might be more helpful now to offset grocery costs now.