Used car, some financial help get grandmother and granddaughter rolling again

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Sal Dimiceli | July 14, 2014

Dear W.C.,

I live with my grandmother and I am her caretaker. She is confined to a wheelchair. I receive some funds for home care for my grandmother. I also work a part-time job. My grandmother receives Social Security.

Even with this assistance occasionally we cannot afford some expenses. We live very frugally. My grandmother knows how to stretch a nickel, as she likes to say. We have not been able to pay our electric bill and we have received a disconnection notice. The reason we could not pay the electric bill is because our car keeps breaking down and we have to keep repairing it so we can get to grocery shopping and doctor's appointments. My grandmother also needed to go to the dentist because she was in so much pain with her teeth. I had to force her to go because she knew we did not have the money. Now we are trying to make the payment for having two teeth pulled.

If we could please have some help with our electric bill it would remove a lot of stress from our lives.
— Caregiving granddaughter

Dear readers,

I went to visit the two women at the address given. I was greeted by the granddaughter. I showed my identification and was invited inside. The grandmother was in the kitchen eating her dinner of soup. Both women offered to share their dinner with me, even though it looked like there was barely enough for the two of them.

The grandmother shared some of her history while she ate. She had been a single mother with one infant son when her husband died many years ago. She had worked hard to raise him alone by working as a waitress and later as a cashier. The grandmother had never remarried. Her son married and had one daughter. The son and daughter-in-law both died in a car accident when the granddaughter was a young child. The grandmother again found herself raising a child on her own.

The granddaughter joined in the conversation, telling me what it was like growing up with her grandmother. They both kept complimenting each other, telling me about different events they lived through. Some were happy times, others were hard times. After sharing one of the harder times, they both stopped talking and looked at each other with eyes filled with tears and love for each other.

I interrupted after a few seconds and said, “You are both blessed with a great love for each other.”

They both answered, “Yes, yes.” Then they hugged each other. I could see they had a special bond.

I could see the granddaughter took good care of the grandmother, who was confined to a wheelchair due to a severe bone disease. The older woman was well groomed, with her hair combed, and was wearing clean clothing. The apartment was clean and organized. I have been to homes where people are not properly cared for and have seen them suffering from neglect.

The granddaughter and I went outside to look at the car that was causing so many repair bills. It was a very old car that was not worth repairing. The granddaughter said she knew this but did not have any other option because they needed transportation and could not afford a different car.

We had recently received a donated vehicle. I knew the vehicle would be good, reliable transportation for the two women. They were both surprised to know they would receive a dependable vehicle.  

The granddaughter showed me the disconnection notice for the electricity. They owed more than $400. We brought their utilities up-to-date to prevent the impending disconnection. We also provided some gift cards for food, gas and toiletries.

The last time I saw the two women they were riding in their reliable “new” car on the way to the grocery store. The granddaughter admitted to feeling much better due to reduced stress over their finances.
The grandmother smiled and said, “The only person that has brought me happiness in my life is my granddaughter. Now I have everyone at The Time Is Now to Help that has made me happy, too. God bless all of them for being such good godsends. You have restored my faith in the good that people can do.”
And I say, God bless all of you for your support that made this assistance possible.

Health and happiness,
God bless everyone,
— W.C./Sal

Please 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. You will receive a tax-deductible, itemized, thank-you receipt showing how your donation provided assistance for the poverty stricken.

A special thank you to: James and Lynne Newman Foundation, Whiting Law Group, Dick and Jean Honeyager, Pentair Foundation, Kunes Country Chevrolet-Cadillac, Fox Charities, Paul Ziegler, Lake Geneva School of Cooking, Chef John Bogan, Lake Geneva Area Realty, Jeff Martin, Martin Group, John Stensland and family, Barbara Spiegelhoff, ITW Foundation, Francine Pease, Jack Mallory, Michael Glass, Kevin and Michele Batz, James and Marilynn Dyer, Walter Myalls, William and Kimberly Basford, Walter and Florence Strumpf, Beth Rendall, Gregory Swanson, Debra Guzman, Karin Collamore, Mary Lusignan, John and Sally Dicmas, Robert and Mary Winter, Diana Sullivan, William and Dorothy Tookey, Gerald and Joyce Byers, Donald Lightfield, David and Terri Kropetz, Dennis and Jeanne Ludwig, Louise and Clifford Morris, John and Lynda Visek, Christopher Cummings, Edward and Helen Kosinski, all of our anonymous donors, W.C. Family Resource Center/Food Pantry volunteers, and all the God-loving volunteers of all our caring pantries, those 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.

The Time is Now to Help was founded by a local businessman who knew extreme poverty as a child. With the help of donations from the community, The Time is Now is able to help local residents in need.

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