By Sal Dimiceli

Contributor

This week we finished distributing the assistance provided by the 2020 Family Foundation $40,000 Matching Grant and all your matching donations. It provided poverty relief to more than 95 senior citizens, veterans, children, working poor families, handicapped, and single mothers suffering in poverty in our communities.

When we began the grant on Jan. 21, we were just becoming aware of the COVID-19 crisis and did not believe it would ever affect all of us as deeply as it has in such a short amount of time. If it was not for the Family Foundation and all of “you” we would not have been able to answer the pleas for help that have been increasing daily. Never in our history have we felt more strongly that the time is now to help.

Below is a sampling of the many ways the grant helped:

 

Rent/shelter, $21,607.64

The first people helped were a working poor family with three children. The father works in construction and his trade had been slow in January. They were unable to pay their lot rent for their mobile home with the lack of income from his job. The mother was still working to provide food and utilities. We pray they can make it through and hopefully receive unemployment soon. We also provided rent assistance to many including senior citizens and those who have pre-existing conditions. We have removed the worry and stress of being unable to pay their rent and ensured they could stay safely at home until it is safe to return to their jobs once more. A widowed father was provided rent after losing his wife to cancer and giving up his job months ago to be her full-time caregiver. A single mother with three children who was quarantined due to testing positive after her child fell critically ill due to the virus was provided with rent along with other assistance to prevent her family from becoming homeless. Emergency shelter at a hotel was provided for a single mother who was already homeless with her children. We have since helped her find a rental.

Utilities, $17,400

We paid high utility bills for 35 people. A recently widowed senior caring for her bedridden daughter who is suffering due to a progressive genetic disease, was provided both gas and electric utility assistance. We provided utilities to a woman recovering from a painful spinal surgery that required her to give up her job while she rehabilitated. Many single mothers and working poor families were provided with utility assistance as well.

Food, $9,347.75

Many people were blessed with the removal of their pains of hunger. Providing food to the hungry has been one of our main goals over the past 30 years. In that time we have been through recessions and seen many tragedies that cause hunger, but have never seen anything like what we are going through right now. With children home from school many are no longer receiving the benefits of the breakfast and lunch programs provided at our schools. These families have been provided with gift cards for groceries. Combine unemployment, a shortage of food items and rising food prices and the result is hunger. Many senior citizens and the handicapped have dealt with insufficient food for years but COVID-19 has made it dangerous to go out and purchase food and also unattainable for so many.

Transportation, $16,839.35

Four cars were repaired by Kunes Country Auto Group; their generous support of our mission and reduced costs allows us to help more people. Another area affected the past two months is car payments. Many people were already on the verge of losing their cars before the virus wreaked havoc on our economy and it has become even worse over the past month. We also paid 11 car payments, registered a donated vehicle for a woman who is an essential worker and also purchased a used car for another. Without transportation you cannot maintain a job or get to medical care. Gas gift cards were provided for people struggling due to long commutes.

Beds, $8,872.00

Twelve people were provided with new beds. They were either sleeping on chairs or couches due to old beds or lack of beds. These new beds provide much needed restful sleep for the elderly and disabled. We also provided beds for five children and two single mothers, as both of those families had recently gone through homelessness.

Household, $2,733.26

Many senior citizens, single mothers and working poor families were provided sheets, blankets, towels, much needed cleaning supplies and other household necessities. Everyone was very appreciative.

Toiletries, $3,200

Toilet paper (when you can find it), toothbrushes, toothpaste, shampoo, soap (when you can find it), diapers, feminine hygiene products and more were provided to those suffering due to job loss and lack of income. Now we have the added struggle of being unable to find certain toiletry items that we all rely on. Toiletries have always been in high demand for the homeless, the handicapped, senior citizens, children and veterans who were living on the verge or in the depths of poverty. How can you afford diapers for your children when you have not had any income over the past few weeks? With dental care only available as an emergency right now, we especially want our poverty stricken neighbors to be able to keep up with their dental hygiene. With handwashing being our first line of defense against this virus we cannot afford to go without hand soap. These items should not be a luxury.

Grand total, $80,000

One hundred percent of the 2020 Family Foundation $40,000 Matching Grant funds were used to provide poverty relief. Every request was reviewed and investigated to be sure assistance was given to those that were most in need. The many lives touched thanks to your generosity have been shown compassion and have felt the caring and sharing that you have provided. We are all so grateful for the blessings provided during this trying time thanks to all of our donors and the matching grant.

We are hoping and praying for the end of this crisis soon. With each passing day the need for assistance increased. We continue to have people who are sick, those who are selflessly caring for the sick, first responders and the many people that go to work so we may have food and other essentials in our prayers. If you’re able to donate at this time it would be greatly appreciated. For those of you who have already donated in anticipation of the need, we and the people we assist thank you from the bottoms of our hearts.

We know many of you are very concerned. We are too but we also have great faith this won’t last forever. This too shall pass. We will continue to be there to do what we can in a safe manner for all people involved with The Time is Now to Help.

Health & Happiness,

Love & God Bless, Sal

 

Please help: 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 Wisconsin and Illinois. Donors will receive a tax deductible, itemized thank you receipt showing how their donation provided assistance.                                                   To donate furniture call Love, Inc. at (262) 763-2743.

For more information visit www.timeisnowtohelp.org.

 

 
 

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