Time is Now: With your help, grief-stricken family is back on firmer financial ground

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Sal Dimiceli | August 11, 2014

Dear W.C.,
I have a friend who is living in a trailer with two children. His wife died a few months ago from cancer. He recently lost his job. He was told he was let go because he missed too many days of work.

He was, and continues to be, extremely grief stricken. He needs a job to support his children and it would help his mind. He is a good father and trying his best to care for his children. He just has not been able to get another job.

I know they are behind in their lot rent and his utilities are being threatened for disconnection. I am hoping you can help him through these very trying times.
 — Devoted friend

Dear readers,
I paid a visit to the father and children with their elderly friend who wrote the letter requesting help. The father's phone was shut off so he did not know we were planning to check on him. It was noticeably dark inside, a tell-tale sign of utility disconnection. I could see a Coleman lamp inside.

He was very happy to see his elderly friend and gave him a hug. He then turned to me as the friend introduced us. He looked surprised and embarrassed when his friend explained who I was.

He said, “Why did you ask him here? We don't need any help. We are just fine.”

The friend said, “I have been so worried about you, my friend. I couldn't let you and the kids live like this. The Time Is Now to Help can help you. Please let us help.”

The father had tears in his eyes as he held the door open for us to come in.

The trailer was old, but I could see the father kept it tidy. The children were sitting at the table by the Coleman lamp doing homework. The children were happy to see the friend and ran to give him a hug. He had brought along a puzzle for them to share. They were overjoyed with the gift and thanked him.

We sat to talk in the room next to the kitchen. It had a little light coming in from the windows. I explained to the father about The Time Is Now to Help and all of you who make our help possible. I told him how we help people who have fallen on hard times.

He looked down at his hands and said, “I guess you could say we have fallen on hard times.”

He started to get tears in his eyes. His pride fought them back. He explained the valiant fight his wife gave not to leave him and the children. After two years she lost her fight against cancer. Now, his tears fell freely.

As he leaned over his knees, covering his eyes with his hands, he said, “I was let go from my job of five years for missing so much work after my sweet, sweet wife died.”

He paused, as he continued to sob. I put my hand on his shoulder and consoled him. He regained his composure and continued, “I have applied for other jobs but they are hard to get and there are very few opportunities.

“They shut our utilities off yesterday. I feel so lost.”

I told him that I was here to help get him back on his feet.

I knew he needed encouragement to pick up the pieces and live again. His children also had suffered a terrible loss, but they needed to know they still had a parent to lead them through life.

We talked about his job loss and continuing grief over his wife's death.

“Everyone thought I could just go back to normal. I just couldn't do it,” he said. “I needed my own time to come to grips with losing my beloved wife. I loved her with all my heart. We were best friends, soul mates ...”

After this we went over his budget. I asked him if he was ready to get back to work and support his children. He shared how his children needed him after the loss of their mother.

He said, “I could have forced myself to work then but my kids needed me. How could I send them to someone else when they needed me? It was important for us to spend those weeks with each other. No one, especially my employer, seemed to understand that.”

I was impressed by how intuitive and helpful he was to his children's needs during such a devastating time in their lives.

They needed assistance with the past-due lot rent and getting the utilities turned back on. I asked the father where he had worked. When he told me, I was a little shocked. I knew the employer and he had a reputation for being a wonderful, caring person. I went outside to call the employer.

When my phone call was answered with, “Hey! How are you?” I recognized the happy people person I knew.

I explained the situation and my friend was appalled. The termination had been handled by one of his supervisors, not him. He said he would call me right back.

Twenty minutes later the employer called back, saying “Sal, I was informed just now about the gentleman and his loss of his wife. He was let go heartlessly. Please give him my cell phone number to call me when he is ready to return.

“I also found out he was a great employee and capable of taking over as a supervisor. Tell him the job is his!”

I began to tear up. I thanked him profusely. He said, “No, thank you, and God bless all the work The Time Is Now does.”

When I hung up I told the father everything. He stood up, looked at me with tears flowing again, saying, “How can I ever thank you?”

I told him, “Thank your friend here for our introduction and thank all of The Time Is Now to Help supporters for making our good works of God possible.”

With that he gave his friend a tearful hug. Then he called out to his children, “Kids, we have good news!”

The father and children were extremely grateful to all of us for our assistance.

I returned the following week. The utilities were turned on. The father had returned to work, taking on his new supervisor position. He and the two children were going over to their elderly friend's apartment for dinner.

God bless all of you. Together we helped those in desperate need.
  — Health and happiness,
  God bless everyone
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.

Thank you to: The Summertime Foundation, Fox Charities, Matt Stracner, Lake Geneva Area Realty, Martin Group, John Stensland and family, Mark and Julia Kiehl, Moelter Foundation, Thrivent Choice Program, Ray and Pam Ring, Lake Geneva Country Meats, Skip's, Piggly Wiggly, Lakeland Trash Service, Michael Glass, Arlene Torrenga, Donald and Jean Cooper, Harriet Muskat, John and Violet Hotzfeld, Barbara Giovannoni, Sid and Patty Johnson, Lisa and K Herner, Deborah and Michael Halverson, Merilyce O'Connell, Barbara Kufalk, W.C. Family Resource Center/Food Pantry volunteers, all the God-loving volunteers of 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 TIN donation box in your business, please call (262) 249-7000.
Editor's note: 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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